Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review: The Hollow

The Hollow (The Hollow, book 1) by Jessica Verday.

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.  

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

A beautifully romantic haunting story.  Abbey and her best friend Kristen used to hang out in the local Sleepy Hollow cemetery, near the river where Kristen disappeared.  Trying to understand what happened to her friend, and avoiding classmates who do not understand her, Abbey continues to wander the cemetery grounds.  It is here that she meets gorgeous, mysterious Caspian.  But as her feelings for Caspian grow, he begins to distance himself more and more.  Frustrated and hurt Abbey wonders if she is destined to loose everyone she loves.  A fabulous young adult paranormal romance that leaves you dangling on a precipice grasping for answers.  Today is the release of The Haunted (The Hollow, book 2) and I have a copy on preorder.  I can't wait to find out what happens next in this wonderful paranormal series!

I recommend The Hollow (The Hollow, book 1), to fans of paranormal fiction, young adult, urban fantasy, and especially to fans of paranormal romance.

Source: This book was purchased by me for review.

The Hollow on Amazon.
The Hollow on Goodreads.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guest Author Interview: Dee Tenorio

Please welcome today's guest author Dee Tenorio!  Dee is the author of Burn for Me, Betting Hearts, Kiss Me Again, Love Me Tomorrow, Love Me Knots, All of You, Midnight Sonata, Midnight Legacy, Test Me, Shaken, and Tempting the Enemy.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

Dee:  It probably sounds pretentious to say I've always written stories, but it's true. I don't remember a time without stories. Mom always tells me I was reading on my own before I was four. Of course, that was all REALLY bad. (I shudder at the memory of the 1000 page hand written opus of angsty romance) I've been writing seriously for about thirteen years now. :)

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

Dee:  Oh, a deep love for all things night-bumpy, lol. Honestly, I just love shifters. For a really long time I didn't think I had a shot at writing the shifter stories I liked so much, or the vampires I enjoyed or the many varieties of great suspense paranormal creatures that I loved reading about. Then this idea came along about a shifter and the woman he absolutely couldn't afford to make his mate. I was unequivocally doomed. :)

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

Hmmm, part of me wants to be psychic. But what I'd really love to do is to control an element, like fire or the wind. You know, really scare the crap out of people and have that awesome flying, backlit hair kind of paranormal cover moment, lol. And it would be handy, you know, to be in control of that kind of energy. Going camping? Dee will light the fire! Energy crisis? Not any more, Dee will help you fill up some windmill energy! It'd be fun!

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

Dee:  Well, one thing I think people will find somewhat refreshing is that despite the fact that my Wolf shifters do have a mating situation, they also have a choice. I live in fear of producing the so-called "scratch and sniff"shifters. I wanted to create a world where choice could be found, especially when the world they live in has almost no choices. Choice means so much in times like that. :)

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

For Pale I'd cast an older, scruffier, blue eyed version of Daniel Cudmore. Lordhavemercy!! If you're not familiar with him, he's Colossus on the X-Men movies. Muscly, hot, muscly, tall, muscly. YUM!

For Jade, lol, I'm not sure who I'd go with. I think it might take an unknown. Unless someone out there has some ideas? :)

Tempting the Enemy by Dee Tenorio.

Detective Pale Rysen, an Alpha, is determined to secretly rebuild the Wolf packs from the ashes of genocide. When a killer starts picking off young females looking for sanctuary, it's his job to protect them. Forced to work with a hated enemy, he fears his cover will be blown.

Jade-Scarlet's membership in the powerful Order of the Sibile has always been controversial. A half-wolf, Jade's unstable psychic powers are a disappointment to her mercenary handlers. So when the Oracle commands her to work with Pale, Jade must prove herself...even if it means challenging the enigmatic shifter.

Yet Pale triggers more than her curiosity. He sends her into Heat, and the intense sexual attraction could mean losing control of her gifts—something she can't allow. As the number of victims rises, so does the danger. A murderous darkness wants them both dead. But even if they stop the killer, how long can they fight each other?

Thank you Dee for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Dee Tenorio and her books please visit her website.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Almost Human: The Complete First Trilogy Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of Almost Human: The Complete First Trilogy by Melanie Nowak.  To enter please leave a comment with your email address.  You do not have to be a follower to enter (but I always appreciate a follow!).  US mailing addresses only.  Giveaway ends September 14th at Midnight EST.

ALMOST HUMAN: The First Trilogy~ 3 in 1 Edition by Melanie Nowak.

A vampire and a human girl navigate perils of addiction, desire, zombies, and... college. 

Vol. 1 - Fatal Infatuation: Cain is a vampire on a mission to inspire others not to feed on humans. Coven leader Sindy is difficult to control; but after meeting the lovely human Felicity, Cain's most difficult task is controlling himself. 

Vol. 2 - Lost Reflections: Felicity finds the historical tale of Cain's past enthralling. Now she must avoid an evil vampire and his zombie coven, as she decides whether the addictive venom in Cain's kiss is clouding her judgment. Can love conquer Cain's thirst for her blood? 

Vol. 3 - Evolving Ecstasy: Cain and Felicity are unsure of their future. Would Felicity only accept becoming a vampire, due to his persuasiveness, coupled with the foolishness of a young girl in love? Perhaps there is a brighter future for her in the human world. Is Cain's desire for her love worth the loss of her life?

Read E.J.'s interview of author Melanie Nowak here and learn more about Melanie's venomous vampires and her new release Almost Human the Second Trilogy: Born to Blood.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: The Poison Diaries

The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries, book 1) by Maryrose Wood, The Duchess of Northumberland.

Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden.  Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants:  that even the most innocent looking weed can cure--or kill.  So it is no wonder that she has always longed to explore the locked garden that is her father's pride and obsession--his poison garden, which contains exotic and local specimens of the most dangerous plants in the world.  But to Jessamine's frustration, Thomas forbids her from entering it.

But her life changes forever the day a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, claiming that the young man has special gifts that Thomas might value.  Jessamine is intrigued by the stranger, who goes by the name of Weed.  His sensitivity to growing things is extraordinary, and he seems to have even more rare and specialized knowledge about plants than Thomas does.  As Jessamine begins to fall in love with Weed, she is drawn into a dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined.

Plants can be categorized as helpful or deadly, it is in their nature, but what excuse for the nature of manThe Poison Diaries illustrates the dark side of humanity and the selfish, obsessive nature of man.  Some of the characters in this novel are horrifically cruel and yet Jessamine is a young, naive girl who has been sheltered all of her sixteen years.  When lonely Jessamine meets Weed their love blossoms, but can a love so sweet and pure survive amidst the harsh dark world in which they live?  The Poison Diaries was a dark, melancholy love story with an unusual paranormal twist.  Maryrose Wood builds a suspenseful series of events that leaves the reader breathless and wanting the second book in the series. 

I recommend The Poison Diaries to readers of fantasy, historical fiction, and especially to fans of paranormal romance.  Though this book has been categorized as young adult, this is a dark novel without the lightness that many YA readers may expect.

Source: This book was provided by the author or publisher for honest review.

The Poison Diaries on Amazon.
The Poison Diaries on Goodreads.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guest Author Interview: Lani Woodland

Please welcome today's guest author Lani Woodland.  Lani is the author of Intrinsical which released earlier this week.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?  

Lani:  I started writing when I was in elementary school. I used to make up plays and have my friends act them out for me. I've been creating stories and characters ever since then.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?  

Lani:  I have always loved ghost stories and books with magical elements to them.  I think it all actually started with the Disney movie Escape to Witch Mountain. I saw it when I was really little and I loved that the kids had magical abilities.

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why? 

Lani:  Only one? :) I wish I could  teleport to any place and anytime I wished. It would be awesome to visit friends and places anywhere in the world without paying for airfare. It would be amazing to see some people who have passed on that I would love to see again.

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.  

Lani:  I think people will enjoy reading my book because it has a little bit of everything:  danger, magic, mystery and romance.

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

Lani:  Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars would be a good Yara as would Nina Dobrev from the Vampire Diaries.  They both the right look for her and can act.

I think Paul Wesley, from the Vampire Diaries,  would be an amazing Brent. I'm not exactly sure why but when I saw his picture he made me think of Brent, although Brent is nothing like Stefan. I think it was his overall look, although it might have just been his abs. :)

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland.

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.

Thank you Lani for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Lani Woodland and her books please visit her website.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

She Smells the Dead Book Tour

Do you have an active book blog?  Are you interested in joining the She Smells the Dead book tour?  If you are interested, then please fill out the form below.

She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens releases worldwide on September 9, 2010.  The book tour will begin September 1, 2010 and ends October 31, 2010.

She Smells the Dead is the first book in the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal romance series.  Visit the official Spirit Guide website for book trailers, character profile pics, and more.

** This book tour is now closed.  The tour has reached 50 applicants (wow!) so all new sign ups will be kept on file as alternates.  I am now in the process of putting together review packs and giveaway packs to mail out.  Thank you all so much for your interest in this tour! **

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Ill Wind

Ill Wind (Weather Warden, book 1) by Rachel Caine.

Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she's trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she's resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life...

Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful warden known. Unfortunately, he's stolen not one but three bottles of Djinn-making him the most wanted man on earth. Still, she's racing hard to find him-before the bad weather closes in fast.

"Chaos happens.  Plan for speed."  Paranormal romance so hot you'll feel like a Fire Warden is in the room with you, working their magic, as you read.  Who would have thought the weather could be so exciting...and sexy?  Ill Wind (Weather Warden, book 1) is a fast paced urban fantasy thrill ride that builds like a gathering storm.  Joanne Baldwin is a fabulously tough heroine who likes fast cars, strong magic, and hot men.  Not necessarily in that order.  I will never think of Djinn, or the weather, the same way again!

I recommend Ill Wind (Weather Warden, book 1) to readers of paranormal romance, fantasy, suspense, and especially to fans of urban fantasy.

Source: This book was purchased by me for review.

Ill Wind on Amazon.
Ill Wind on Goodreads.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest Author Interview: Mari Miniatt

Please welcome today's guest author Mari Miniatt.  Mari is the author of Fledgling.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

Mari:  I have always wrote. I had a middle school teacher that had us write short stories every week. I would be disappointed if I missed that class. But for the longest time I considered writing a hobby, not a profession. It wasn't until about two years ago, I started to look at my work and realize it wasn't bad, it was rough. Since then I have been working on improving my skills.

EJ:  What brought you to the paranormal genre?

Mari:  I grew up in an old house. You would hear noises at night, that you knew were not from any animals or the house settling. For that reason ghosts interested me at a young age. I would read any good horror stories. I loved hearing people talk about the strange things that happened to them. Not only for the fright, but I was also curious about how things like ghosts, vampires, and the like could exist.
I don't consider what I write horror. It doesn't frighten me. Others might not think that. I like the term paranormal, because you don't have to rely on fear to tell the story. Not that a good fright isn't worth it.

EJ:  If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

Mari:  Shape shift. There is something primal about being able to touch the animal side of your nature, in the positive way. It would be handy sometimes to sneak around the city as a cat. Or if you needed a little more strength, perhaps a gorilla?

EJ:  Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.

Mari:  It's character driven and fast moving. The story centers around a young woman who has a lot of issues, the latest one was finding out that her brother works for a vampire. Until she found out he was a vampire, he was just a nice guy to her.  And it is not like the other vampire novels coming out lately. The vampires are closer to "traditional" vampires, yet are each different. You will want to find out more about the vampires and what they are doing in the city. 

EJ:  If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?

Mari:  I answered this in my blog already :) here.

The hardest part in the casting was for Steopa. He is the giant vampire. Physically he would be hard to cast. I chose Tyler Mane, because he is already close to the height and he can give a good physical performance. Steopa is the more physical vampire of the series.

Joy Nash for Beka. Beka is a large woman. I didn't want a skinny actress cast in her role. Joy Nash is about the right age, and her fat rant videos are wonderful.

Vincent was hard. I had to find the right smile. Jude Law was the only one that came to mind. Vincent always smiles and laughs. He can be a bit unnerving, but he is the charmer.

Only one choice for Ogden. Jason Isaacs. I could not see anyone else playing that role. He can be menacing and charming at the same time. Perfect.

Fledgling (Coiree Guardians, book 1) by Mari Miniatt.

"She didn't scream. She should have, but the scream never formed." Rebecka "Beka" Saberhagen had a shock of her life when she found out her brother worked for a vampire. Just as she was able to understand that Vincent was a vampire, multiple murders began to happen close to her home. Then she was attacked by another vampire. A giant by the name of Steopa. With the help of Steopa and Vincent. Beka begins to accept the changes. Her old fears are gone, but new ones are becoming apparent. Strange creatures and other beings, things she would never had seen as a human are suddenly real for her. The night has become a new playground for her and sometimes a nightmare. But, her brother and friends are being targeted; by someone with an old grudge. A grudge, she has nothing to do with. But it has ties to both Vincent and Steopa. As she discovers the past, she realizes she will have to fight. Will Beka find the strength to fight for the people she loves? Is she powerful enough? Will she survive?

Thank you Mari for joining us here today at From the Shadows!

To learn more about Mari Miniatt and her books please visit her website and her blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox: Birthday Edition

I haven't posted an In My Mailbox yet this month and thought it would be fun to have a birthday edition of IMM to show off all the fab books I am getting for my birthday.

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, book 2) by Julie Kagawa
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, book 2) by Cassandra Clare
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, book 3)  by Cassandra Clare
A Spy in the House (The Agency, book 1) by Y.S. Lee
One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, book 2) by Jeanienne Frost
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Eclipse Novella) by Stephenie Meyer
Strange Neighbors (Strange Neighbors, book 1) by Ashlyn Chase
The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, book 1) by Rachelle Cain
Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, book 2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, book 1) by Stacia Kane

From my publisher:  I received bookmarks, postcards and an ARC of She Smells the Dead.  I also learned that the trade paperback and kindle editions will be available at Amazon for my birthday!  What more can a girl ask for her birthday? ;)

It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television. 
The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears.
Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.  To join in the fun, visit The Story Siren's In My Mailbox page.