A Note:

6/2/13

I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles.

https://twitter.com/Book_Faery

And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3322973-tori-book-faery

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)

xoxo
Tori

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield


Even vampires should never sleep with the enemy.

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.


Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

Obtained:
Netgalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series:
1. Shadow of the Vampire
My Rating:

My Opinion:
An interesting read.  I, for the most part, found myself more invested with the romance between Declan and Alexia above all else.  They had a connection that sucked me into their world, and their initial interactions seduced me into wanting more.

As for most of the secondary characters, they fell a bit flat in the sense that they appeared slightly underdeveloped in the beginning.  I understood the prejudices vamps and dragons had, but a lot of the dragons were just.  I'm not sure.  I never felt a need to learn more about them.  I got tired of reading the scenes in their POV.  In particular, I did not care for Tallon.  She appeared intriguing in the initial stages of the book, but then her change--a change that I suppose is understandable due to the trauma her family has experienced thus far--made me dislike her.  She came off as whiney and selfish at times, yet at the same time, she wasn't entirely.  There was just something about her that was off....

Until around the last 50 pages in the book.  It was at this point where something seemed to click in my head.  Her anguish suddenly went from bratty and annoying to something I genuinely cared about.  The descriptions Meagan used for the scene before Tallon goes to try and beat up her fellow dragon resonated within me.  I think a lot of people can connect, on some level, with the anguish she was suffering from.  THAT is what made her seem real to me, and that is what ultimately redeemed her in my eyes.

The action scenes tended to be a bit chaotic for my tastes--but fitting for the chaos that was occurring throughout story--and tended to drag on for a bit longer than necessary.  Perhaps this is simply my preference speaking right now, but I'd rather it be short, sweet, and kick-ass, instead of slow, chaotic, and slightly confusing (from my perspective).  I couldn't understand the motivation behind some of Alexia/Declan's decisions about halfway into the book when all hell breaks loose at the Horde's caves.  It could just be that I was tired when I was reading this on my laptop, and maybe I would appreciate these scenes a bit more on paper... who knows.

Back to the romance: it was sweet.  It was seductive.  It had me giggling at times.  I loved the scenes where Declan and Alexia meet, and then the one following in the dungeon, and then the one that concludes the story.  The initial teaser successfully kept me hooked until the very end.  Their relationship was bittersweet also.  Suffice to say, I felt the connection between the two.

If you're into paranormal romances, if you like dragons, and if you like vampires, chances are, you will enjoy Shadow of the Vampire.  Despite my initial reluctance, if this turns into a series, and if the next book is about Tallon (which I think it is), I would definitely be interested in checking it out.



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl


 The Dragon King Seeks His Princess--Who Dares to Stop Him?
 
Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon marry. She dreams of a charming prince, but when her first suitor arrives, he's not what she'd hoped. Prince Aethelbald of mysterious Farthestshore has travelled a great distance to prove his love--and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be on the hunt and blazing a path of terror.
 
Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer--and ignores his cautions with dire consequences. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in his sights. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.

Obtained: Publisher
Genre: Fantasy/YA
Series: Goldstone Wood 
1. Heartless
My Rating:

My Opinion:
I was delighted when I received this book to review.  I'll be shallow enough to admit that, before reading the summary, the mysterious cover sucked me in.  Was this going to be a love story about a young girl and a dragon?  Was it going to be a love story at all?  Why was the dragon watching this mysterious figure the way it was?  Was it an evil dragon?  (the eye kind of looks menacing.)  So many questions flittered through my brain, and I had no answers.  Well, the book summary kind of answered a few of my questions, but I wanted to learn more!

I tore into Heartless enthusiastically, shattering my reading dry spell easily enough.  For the rest of the afternoon on Friday, one couldn't manage to tear me away from that book.  Even the offer of chocolate wouldn't be able to distract me, which is blasphemous, let me tell you.

There were two things that ultimately left me feeling disgruntled, and yet, they seemed integral to this particular story line: Una's naivety, and the somewhat slow pacing towards the middle of the story.

Una is--correct me if I'm wrong--eighteen years old by the time her first suitor arrives.  In modern times, that is a bit too old for a young woman to be suckered by the fanciful daydreams of being swept off her feet by prince charming.  (Yes, I know some girls have this outrageous mindset, even today.  My old college roommate is a perfect example of such)  Yet, this is exactly what ends up happening at some point (not spoiling anything here, it says so on the back cover).  This frustration on my behalf does not reflect on the story itself, but stems more from my belief that girls shouldn't be so gullible in regards to a man and his words.  I simply felt that there was a bit of overkill in regards to Una's fickle desires.

Strangely enough this naivety somehow... worked.  Heartless is not a modern day story.  In fact, if anything, it's more like a fairy tale.  Fairy tales are usually based around the hero/heroine's sometimes brash, dimwitted decisions.  Said decisions usually teach a lesson by the end of the book, reinforcing the idea that one shouldn't do x, y, or z.  So yes, while Una's utter lack of common sense in regards to love is frustrating, it serves a purpose.  Plus, it makes the ending a bit happier.

Then there is the somewhat slow pacing in the book.  Suitor after suitor begin to appear, and the intended love interest proclaims his love... yet the only thing he manages to do is earn Una's scorn.  It almost felt a bit too tame.  There was no true drama at this point in time, which made me wonder (aside from my interest in the love story) what was there to keep me until the last page.  Una's "destined" fate didn't improve things for me, either.

Despite this, the characters instantly sucked me into this world.  The first few pages especially had surprisingly strong characterization.  I thought I knew Una and her brother intimately due to the descriptions alone.  I wish there was more showing--like the start--towards the latter half of the book.  It's clear that Anne has the ability to spin an intricate tale with enchanting characters, but to me, the book slowly began to run out of steam in the latter half.  I'm also quite curious as to why the author has Una begin to speak jibberish at one point.  To my knowledge, there was no explanation of this.

This idea that love conquers all, and Aethelbald's love for Una, is what kept me glued to this story.  It would have been nice to explore Aethelbald's love further, since we have--aside from the end--no true reason to believe that this prince loves her.  Despite that, this is what ultimately redeems the book for me.  If one reads this less critically, I believe that the love story will provide most of the satisfaction at the conclusion.

Overall, it was an engaging tale, and one that I suggest people read if they're interested in a fairy tale-esque plots.  If you like action in your stories, this piece might initially be a little too slow.  Like I've said though, I enjoyed it, and the ending made it all worth it. 


Monday, June 28, 2010

Cover Wars: Red Hot Fury versus The Breeder

Hello and welcome to another installment of...
Cover Wars!
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

Cover Wars is a weekly post occurring every Monday at Book Faery.  Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books in the process.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

In My Mailbox




Click the image to learn more about this event.
Did you fill out the form for the grand prize giveaway?



Photobucket

Click the image above to enter my Favorite Trio Giveaway!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Faerie's Contest Finds (10)

Don't forget to stop by the Borders True Romance blog & support my reviews (Gena Showalter & Larissa Ione) today!



The Faerie’s Contest Finds is a weekly feature where readers, bloggers, and even authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. The best part: you can post links to ALL of your current contests (please be sure to not double post).  These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please help support this new feature by adding The Faerie's Contest Finds button to your sidebar!  The more we spread the word about this weekly post, the more popular it will become.  That means more visitors and participants for YOUR contests!

Thank you Parajunkee for designing the button for this contest list.


Please include your contest end date & your blog's name so participants won't confuse your contests with others.  Thanks!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Guest Reviewing at Borders True Romance Blog!

Just like the title suggests, I will be doing a guest review on the Borders True Romance blog tomorrow!  While I have already written this book review on Book Faery, my post will be about The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter.

  • Unfamiliar with THE DARKEST PASSION?  
  • Missed my review during the Lords of the Underworld week in May?
  • Want to support the review again? *gives puppy dog eyes*

Click on the True Romance link and you'll be directed straight to my post!


For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence.  An angel--a demon-assassin--has been sent to kill him.  Or has she?  Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn't bear to harm him. But trusting - and falling for - Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this 'mortal' with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron's darkest passion?

Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn't...


Courtesy of Gena Showalter's Website



For those of you who have not heard about this blog yet, it is run by the wonderful woman Sue Grimshaw. Every day there is a post with an author, and there are SO many giveaways that you'll go cross eyed trying to keep track of how many have already been hosted.

"Borders True Romance Blog is a community, developed for you, the romance reader, to find out more about the books you love; the authors who write them & where to buy them :) Borders.com"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole


Under the cover of wintry dark shadows, passion's magic ignites a fire too hot to touch -- and too wicked to die....

Deep Kiss of Winter

Two never-before-published paranormal stories to delight the senses and tantalize the imagination!

KRESLEY COLE delivers a breathtaking tale of a brutal vampire soldier about to know love for the first time...and a Valkyrie aching to be touched.

Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice Maiden -- the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Soon desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together, can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?

GENA SHOWALTER puts a daring spin on a tale of huntress and hunted...and concocts a sensual chemistry that is positively explosive.

Aleaha Love can be anyone -- literally. With only skin-to-skin contact, she can change her appearance, assume any identity. Her newest identity switch has made her an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent and sends her on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only she becomes the captured. Breean, a golden-skinned commander known for his iron will who is at once dangerous and soul-shatteringly seductive, threatens her new life. Because for the first time, Aleaha only wants to be herself....

Note: This review focuses solely on the first part of this book written by Kresley Cole.  You can see the second part of this review about Gena Showalter's story here.


Obtained:
Bought
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Immortals After Dark
1. A Hunger Like No Other
2. No Rest for the Wicked
3. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
4. Dark Needs at Night's Edge
5. Dark Desires After Dusk
6. Kiss of a Demon King
Deep Kiss of Winter
7. Pleasure of a Dark Prince
8. Demon From the Dark (book review)
9. Dreams of a Dark Warrior (book review)

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I haven't gushed about Kresley Cole much on this blog.  In fact, the giveaway I posted the other day was one of the few times that I've mentioned the Immortals After Dark series with such fondness.  I should be ashamed.

I was ashamed that I didn't touch a Kresley book for half a year.  I had a book... I simply just could not open it.  Daniela's story sounded amazing when I heard the blurb for it.  I love people who have an affinity with an element (as you may or may not see in the near distant future with the current book I'm writing), and yet... here I was, avoiding Deep Kiss of Winter

I think it was due to this intricate situation I had imagined for Daniela and Murdoch.  So in the fear of shattering my dream, I put it off.  Plus, the cover was positioned perfectly so that I could turn to stare at it.  Yum!

When I finally did read this story last week, I was once again absorbed by Kresley's awesome writing skills.  Yet, in the back of my mind, something seemed... well, off.  Halfway through the text, I was growing slightly bored, which is strange since I never grow bored reading the IAD series. 

The characters are, as always, engaging.  Daniela and Murdoch were painted beautifully, and I felt an initially strong connection with the two of them.  I was confused though, and would have appreciated a warning due to the story starting off way before A Hunger Like No Other.  I kept flipping back to the start, tilting my head in confusion, which distracted me.  As I continued, it began to make sense.

Which is probably the first problem I had with this shorter story: it spanned so many years, with not a lot happening between the two, that I didn't fully believe in the romance.  One hears lots and lots of snippets of what occurs in the first four books, but I felt as if I were wasting away with Daniela because she was living in such solitude.

The two had settled after a certain amount of months, which also seemed strange to me.  I understand why there was this sort of... apathetic acceptance, but Daniela was Murdoch's bride!  Man up and be more passionate (I say that half-seriously, because Murdoch does try at times).  And Daniela was apathetic in her own way, secluding herself the way she did.  I missed the fun immortal interactions one usually experiences when reading an IAD book.  Everything was just secluded and lonely, and yet, it worked.  It worked for the story and those two characters.

The scenes where Daniela and Murdoch did interact melted my insides.  I felt the connection when the two weren't at odds with each other, and that pleased me.  The start to the book reflects that urgency perfectly, which is the kind of writing I've come to expect in regards to Kresley's books.  An icicle.  A freakin icicle!  Pure genius. 

Ultimately, Kresley's part in this book summoned both positive and negative feelings.  I simply felt that stretching the story out over so many years didn't work for me.  I enjoyed the start, and I loved the passion, which was there and wasn't at the same time.  If this is your first time reading one of Kresley's books, I highly suggest you begin from the start.  This story might turn you off from her writing, which would be a horrible crime, considering her books are amazing. And for those of you who are already familiar with Kresley?  This book isn't mandatory for the storyline, but it's still a nice addition.



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Favorite Trio Giveaway



First thing's first: I'm over at DARKLY READING today, doing my very first guest post! You should stop by Heather's blog, because my topic--and her birthday giveaway--actually coincide with each other (plus comments = love).  It's pretty exciting :)  Don't forget to wish Heather a happy, happy birthday while you're there!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Deep Kiss of Winter by Gena Showalter


Under the cover of wintry dark shadows, passion's magic ignites a fire too hot to touch -- and too wicked to die....

Deep Kiss of Winter

Two never-before-published paranormal stories to delight the senses and tantalize the imagination!

KRESLEY COLE delivers a breathtaking tale of a brutal vampire soldier about to know love for the first time...and a Valkyrie aching to be touched.

Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice Maiden -- the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Soon desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together, can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?

GENA SHOWALTER puts a daring spin on a tale of huntress and hunted...and concocts a sensual chemistry that is positively explosive.

Aleaha Love can be anyone -- literally. With only skin-to-skin contact, she can change her appearance, assume any identity. Her newest identity switch has made her an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent and sends her on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only she becomes the captured. Breean, a golden-skinned commander known for his iron will who is at once dangerous and soul-shatteringly seductive, threatens her new life. Because for the first time, Aleaha only wants to be herself....


Note: This review focuses solely on the second part of this book written by Gena Showalter.  You can see the first part of this review about Kresley Cole's story here.


Obtained:
Bought
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating:

My Opinion:
Gena has done it again.  I'm surprised that it took me so long to finally start reading this book (when I had bought it literally within the first month that it was released).  I would like to believe that I wanted to procrastinate, since Daniela's story was one that I was genuinely looking forward to.  Gena's story was unfamiliar to me, and while I love her writing, I felt no true initial excitement for the plot...

...Until I actually read the story.  In true Gena fashion, readers are introduced to a strong, determined heroine, and an equally strong, sexy alpha male.  Aleaha is not your typical earth woman.  In fact, it would be surprising if she was human at all.  She has the special ability to shift into any person she comes in contact with.  If we met, she could probably shift into me, you, or even your annoying kid brother.  It sounds nice, right?  Wrong.  Instead of being able to live her own life, Aleaha has been living other peoples' lives, forced to always live in fear.  For you see, her true appearance has a warrant out for her arrest.  Apparently, Aleaha wasn't such a good girl.

Breean, on the other hand, is your typical alien--if you count gold skinned, tall, muscled, and sexy as hell as a typical alien look.  If that's the new fashion sense amongst aliens, then please, abduct me any day now.  He had me under his spell within the first page of reading about his character.  Which is weird, because I'm not much of an alien fan girl (no, I have not read her Alien Huntress series yet.  But I will! ...when Darkness Eternal comes out in September).  In fact, my initial reluctance delayed my reading of this tale by a week because I was so wary.

Would just like to say that once again, in regards to Gena's writing, I'm an idiot.  I should have more faith! 

Aleaha is the heroine who must resist the male's advances.  One can't blame her, however, since these unwelcomed guests paid a surprise visit to earth, and then proceeded in killing a few of her team members.  The story continues on from there, with our beloved and sexy alpha trying to seduce Aleaha every chance he gets.  This leads to some amusing scenes later in the book.

It also leads to one of the best sex scenes Gena's written in a while.  This was so creative and amazing that I'm still floored when I look back and ponder over it.  I enjoyed it much more than the icicle scene in Kresley's story (I JUST UTTERED BLASPHEMY).  I know.  I can't believe it.  I think Gena just surpassed Kresley in my mind after reading this book.

Surprisingly, I have no complaints.  For a shorter length story, it was enjoyable, although I do wish the ending was more dramatic, and less convenient.  Fans of Gena will love this tale.  New fans will have no problem adjusting to this world, since it seems (haven't read the AH series though, so I'm not sure if these characters already made a debut in that universe or what) that the reader needs no prior knowledge of this alien infested world.  At least, I didn't wonder if I was missing any vital information.



Monday, June 21, 2010

Cover Wars: Forgive My Fins versus Nightshade

Hello and welcome to the second installment of...
Cover Wars!
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

Cover Wars is a weekly event at Book Faery posted every Monday.  Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books in the process.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (16)

In My Mailbox


Did you read about my official announcement of THE BATTLE OF THE SEXIES?
Have you filled out the form, submitting your entry for the grand prize giveaway?
If not, GO HERE.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Faerie's Contest Finds (9)

The Faerie’s Contest Finds is a weekly feature where readers, bloggers, and even authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. The best part: you can post links to ALL of your current contests (please be sure to not double post).  These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please help support this new feature by adding The Faerie's Contest Finds button to your sidebar!  The more we spread the word about this weekly post, the more popular it will become.  That means more visitors and participants for YOUR contests!

Thank you Parajunkee for designing the button for this contest list.






Please include your contest end date & your blog's name so participants won't confuse your contests with others.  Thanks!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Season of Eden by JM Warwick


He's my teacher. I shouldn't be alone with him. But I can't help that he's irresistible. I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. "I like hearing you play," I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn't say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. "May I?" The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. "Eden." My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. "Is it okay?" I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. "Let me stay," I said. "Please." "You're going to get me in trouble," he said.


Warning: this review is not for a paranormal book.  Read at your own risk =P

Obtained: ARC Tours
Genre: Young Adult
Series: N/A
1. A Season of Eden
My Rating:
This book has received the Faerie of Honor rating (what is this?)

My Opinion:

First, I would just like to reiterate that this is not a paranormal book.  I am bending the rules by posting about a strictly YA book, but when you hear why, perhaps you will understand.

First a bit of back story: I was scanning through the Around the world ARC Tours, checking to see if there were other available titles (I've only joined recently) that were still open.  A Season of Eden was, and while it intrigued me, it also repelled me.  First I was intrigued by the summary alone, but then, paranormal-addict that I am, I realized I would probably not want to write a review about it.  I moved on.

A week later, I had returned to the page for this book, staring longingly at the beautiful cover.  The summary resonated with me; I had the sudden urge to dip my toes back into the high school life--if only to briefly reminisce. 

I received the ARC in the mail yesterday, stuffing the book into my purse in my haste to catch my train.  I had planned on reading it as quickly as I could in order to pass it on to the next person.  I didn't read it on the train ride there.  I did, however, read it on the ride back home... and I almost missed my stop because of it.

As I munch on some Skittles at 2am, I've realized something: this is the first Young Adult book--and a non-paranormal one at that--which has moved me to this degree.  Why else would I be guzzling down sugar, overeager to type out my review?  (and I had planned on not posting anything tomorrow [well, today now] because I was behind on reviews)

While most of us might cringe when looking back upon high school (I know I do more often then not), this novel has the potential to summon memories of young love to the forefront of one's mind.  It, for me personally, reminded me of the person I was, and how much I've changed since then.  It was beautiful and ugly all at the same time.  It reinforced the reality of how harsh teenagers can be--and even adults.  I was reminded of how wonderful it can be to meet such a talented, pure soul, and the fear of how your "darkened" soul would corrupt the other. 

Well maybe that one's just for me, and maybe I've figured out why this has resonated with me so much.  I dated a musician, and much like James, my first boyfriend was innocent, optimistic, naive, and so pure it was astounding.  In comparison, I felt like a typical dramatic teenager who was getting over a rough time in her life.  Yep, I didn't have the student-teacher relationship, but I definitely had the musician relationship, and it was beautiful while it lasted.

I was reminded of how flaky girls can be at that age (because I'm not reminded of this on an almost daily basis *sarcasm*), and how nasty they can get when more than one of them is struggling to attain the attention of the boy they currently want.  *raises hand* I've been guilty of that one.  I was reminded of how easily a friendship can dissipate, and how easy it is for "friends" to gang up on one victim.  I was reminded of the desolation one can feel, and how that is multiplied when something goes wrong within the family.  I was reminded of that, and so much more.

There were minor factors that annoyed me, such as the overuse of the words "retard", "lame", and "I'm sorry".  Likewise, Eden's immature thoughts sometimes irked me, but when I really thought about it.... well hell, I get like that too sometimes, as does everyone.  Besides, this is an 18 year old rich girl who always--as it was reiterated numerous times--gets her way. 

The development of Eden's character was outstanding.  She really transformed from some snooty little high school brat into a beautiful young woman right before the reader's eyes.  Time somehow manages to blur together so that the reader, aside from when Eden announces it's a new day of school, has no real sense of how many days have passed.  Normally I would frown upon this, but in this situation, I believe that this was another element that enhanced my reading experience.  How many times, as a young teenage girl, did time fly by during school as you waited and thought about your potential love interest, or even just a crush?

And now that I've finished the other half of my bag of Skittles, I feel it necessary to wrap up my review (and hopefully pass out before the sugar kicks in).  While not a paranormal book, I believe A Season of Eden is something that everyone should read.  I loved it.  It managed to make me tear up, and it also reminded me of how innocent love can be sometimes (emphasis on the sometimes).  Once I have the money, I will definitely be buying an actual copy of this book, because I know I will, at some point, re-read this.  I only wish there was a sequel...


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guest Post with Leah Cypess

Instead of the usual, I have an author stopping by Book Faery!  If you've read the book Mistwood, then you know who Leah Cypess is.  But if you haven't, I have a little bio, courtesy of Leah's website:

"I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).

However, I took a few detours along the way to becoming a full-time writer. After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother's importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I am going to be a published novelist. I am very excited about this!

I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our two daughters."



Lately, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of articles and blog posts predicting “the next big thing” in YA literature.  Given that my blog reading tends to be erratic (and inversely proportional with how much writing I’m getting done), maybe this has been a hot topic forever and I just happened to notice a recent discussions. Nevertheless, it got me thinking about trends in YA, whether and when the next one will hit, and what it will be.

My preliminary conclusion: I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.

The guesses that get tossed around the most seem to involve new types of supernatural creatures: werewolves (unless werewolves are over already?), angels (ditto), unicorns, mermaids, etc.  What I think, though, is that these guesses miss the mark; what’s actually happening is that we’re in middle of one huge trend, “magical type of character,” and while the trend may go through phases, none of these types of characters are going to be the next BIG thing. And I think it’s great that this trend seems to have settled in to stay (says the author whose main character is a shapeshifter). But I don’t think it’s going to give rise to the “next big thing.”

The supernatural creatures trend focuses on a “type of character”; and the next big trend that hit afterward was totally different, a “type of world” trend – i.e. dystopia. Specifically, modern-day dystopias usually feature worlds with advanced technological abilities and oppressive governments. (As opposed to the dystopias I grew up reading, which were all about post-nuclear-war mutant-ridden anarchies. Someone could write a great dissertation about that difference).  Steampunk was supposed to be another “type of world” trend, though it doesn’t really seem to have come into its own… maybe because the “type of world” slot was already taken?

So if I had to guess, I’d say the next new trend will be a new category of different; maybe a “type of magic-system” trend (possibly based on non-Western magic, which would be cool), or a “type of plot” trend (mystery puzzlers, or quests, or ghosts looking to move on) or a “type of situation” (i.e. time travel).

Like I said, though, these are all random guesses; and the reason trends are so hard to predict is that what starts them, usually, is a book.  A single fabulous book that makes readers think, Wow, I want to read more stuff like this! and makes writers think, Wow, there is so much I could do with this concept. And that book has to be published at the right time and hit people the right way. There are many fabulous books that don’t manage to start trends; nobody knows, for example, why mid-grade fantasy took off with J.K. Rowling and not Diana Wynne Jones, or why vampires became so hot because of Stephanie Meyer and not L.J. Smith.  Which is part of the reason why, despite the fun I’ve had writing this post, I can’t predict the next big trend. And why, even more than I want to find out what it’s going to be, I want to read the book that starts it.



Leah's Writing:



Everyone tells Isabel that she is the Shifter - the ancient shape-shifting creature who has protected the kings of Samorna for centuries. They need her to be the Shifter. Prince Rokan risked everything when he rode into the Mistwood to summon her to his side; Ven, the magician's apprentice, has devoted his life to studying her legend; and even Princess Clarisse, who fears and hates her, depends on Isabel's powers to further her own plans.

But Isabel doesn't feel like the Shifter. She feels like a lonely human girl, beset by flashes of memory that do more to confuse than to help her. If she is the Shifter, why can't she change her shape? Why doesn't she remember what made her flee the castle so many years ago? As she is drawn deeper into a web of magic and assassination, Isabel will have no choice but to look for answers. But her search will lead her to the one question the Shifter hasn't faced in a thousand years: where does she come from, and what does she really want?



You can expect to see my review of Mistwood posted within the next few weeks.

Leah also has a number of short stories which you can locate at her website under the "short stories" tab.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Winner: $70 Gift Card Courtesy of CSN Stores

There were so many entries!  I feel pretty bad for having to pick one winner since I know all of us could use another bookshelf (or in my case, a bookshelf, period. haha)  I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who was kind enough to spread the word about this giveaway.  If I could, I'd give you all a bookshelf.


The winner of a $70 gift card to any of the CSN Stores (there's over hundreds!) to buy whatever they need *cough*BOOKSHELF*cough* is....

Luvsdemons666
Who said...
Awesome Contest ;D
I would DEFINITELY buy a bookshelf. I need one, but the color would have to match my room.


Well I'm glad you'll be getting a bookshelf ;)  Congratulations!  I've sent you an email.

Battle of the Sexies (UPDATE)

Photobucket

Sorry for any confusion my lack of description in yesterday's post may have caused.  I've decided to dedicate a second post that will go into a bit more detail about the grand prize giveaway (and the form) I was talking about, just in case some people missed the update included in the post below this one.

  • The grand prize giveaway is intended for US residents only.
    I will be shipping a number of books/swag for this prize alone, and I cannot afford the extra shipping costs.  I'm so sorry for the exclusion, but I'll also be shipping books from the daily giveaways, and well...it all adds up.

    • If, however, you live in Canada or Internationally, and you are willing to pay for the shipping via PayPal (or if you have a US friend who is willing to receive the prize pack and ship it on over to you), you are more than welcome to enter!  This, however, applies to certain daily giveaways that are open to US-only giveaways for the books in my possession.  If the author is providing the book, then you're going to have to get a blogger friend mail your prize to you (I'm not going to make the author's life more complicated by having people send them shipping money, sorry).

      Please be sure your blogger friend(s) will actually ship these books on to you.  Please note that I am in no way responsible if you do not receive your prize(s).  Refer to my CONTEST POLICY for general giveaway guidelines.
     
  • What is the form for, and why do I have to vote for 3 alpha (or potential alpha) males & 3 heroines?
    The form is a second method to win multiple entries into my grand prize giveaway.  If you vote correctly, you can win anywhere from 5-30 entries in the giveaway from this portion alone.

    I will be having a series of polls throughout the month of August.  The first two polls will feature the two lists that are provided in this form.  Depending on which poll form I use, people may be restricted to either one or two votes each.  (If someone knows of a polling form that allows for 30 different choices & allows multiple votes, please let me know!) 

    Having to choose only 1 male, and 1 female sounded not only difficult (lowering your chances dramatically of guessing correctly) but also a bit dull, especially when there were 60 characters total.  I didn't do more than this because... well, then I think the forms would have gotten a bit too out of control.
     
  • What's the difference between the checklist and the text boxes on the form?
    Check list: I needed a way to list all the characters, and I also wanted to make it easier on people.  Instead of having to search for your characters, and then forget where they were located, you could simply check them off, or narrow your choices down from however many you adore, to 3.

    Text boxes: Each box is labeled #1-6.  Out of your three alpha males and heroines, order them!  Do it by favorites, or do it in order of which heroes and heroines will dominate* the polls.  Who will ultimately earn the #1 spot?  The men, or the women?  Your favorite character, or someone that you detest?  Ultimately, it's up to readers like you to decide, and you'll help influence that decision come August when the polls are posted.  Until then?  Help spread the word, and try to rally your fellow fans!

    *Guessing correctly on who will dominate will determine how many extra entries you can earn for the grand prize giveaway.

So now that I've hopefully cleared everything up, go to this link and fill out the form! :)  And please, if you have any other questions, leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Battle of the Sexies (August 2010)

Photobucket

I've decided to do my first announcement for the event I have planned for the entire month of August.  I gave a hint or two about it during my IMM and on Twitter, but aside from that, I tried to keep it on the DL.

Here it is!  Starting on August 1st, and lasting until August 31st, I will be having a number of authors and bloggers doing guest posts and daily giveaways that you all can participate in.  Each post will be focusing on certain elements of books: particularly, paranormal alpha males and heroines.  I will also be having a grand prize giveaway, which you can start preparing for now.

So what can you do to prepare for this second giveaway?  The first thing you should do, if you would like to be entered, is to...
Don't wait, because at midnight on August 1st, the form will be closed, and no new entries will be accepted.

EDIT (June 15th- 4:37pm EST) Due to some confusion: 
 
Check out this post for a more detailed explanation of the Grand Prize Giveaway.


You can find a link to this post in my sidebar, so please spread the word to everyone else so that they can enter!  I will also be including the image code so that you can include the super awesome button Beth from Maybe Tomorrow? made.  It'd be awesome if you could add it to your sidebars.  (Only if you want, of course.  I would really appreciate it though!)


And now, here is a list of some of the participating authors:
  • Alexandra Ivy
  • Anastasia Hopcus
  • Andrea Cremer
  • Anita Clenney
  • Artist Arthur
  • Carolyn Crane
  • Carrie Jones
  • Dakota Banks
  • DB Reynolds
  • Jaye Wells
  • Jennifer Ashley (aka Allyson James)
  • Jeannie Holmes
  • Jennifer Rardin
  • Jess Haines
  • Julie Kagawa
  • Kelly Meding
  • Kiersten White
  • Kristin Stefanos
  • Lara Adrian
  • Larissa Ione
  • Laura Bickle
  • Laura Stamps
  • Leanna Renee Hieber
  • Lindsey Leavitt
  • Meagan Hatfield
  • Sharon Ashwood
  • Tera Lynn Childs
Plus many more! Make sure you stay tuned for the updates, and I hope you're all looking forward to the month of August :)


Attention authors: THIS IS NOT STRICTLY FOR PARANORMAL AUTHORS!  The event's theme is paranormal alpha males and heroines, but the posts are open to everyone.

There are still spots open if you would like to do a guest post.  Likewise, if you would be interested in contributing a signed book and/or swag for the giveaways.  Please contact me at: tori.book.faery[at]gmail[dot]com.  Debut authors who do not have a book out yet (this includes 2011 debut authors) are more than welcome to participate also, the more, the merrier!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cover Wars: Siren versus Firelight

Hello and welcome to the first installment of...
Cover Wars!
(inspired by Kate's Throwdown Thursday at The Neverending Shelf)

I asked, and you all responded.  While some of you were reluctant to see this new feature, about 90% of voters agreed that this would be a fun new addition to Book Faery, so here it is!

Cover Wars is a weekly feature at Book Faery posted every Monday.  Two covers will have a "face off," and it will be up to the readers to decide who is the victor and who is the loser.  This is a great way for readers to have their voice be heard, while also promoting new/old books in the process.


Week 1:
Siren vs. Firelight

Two YA books.
Entirely different worlds.
And yet... they have strikingly similar covers.

siren     Firelight


When I look at these two covers side-by-side, I can't help but think of fire and ice.

Which do you choose, and why?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

I'm still a fairly new blogger, however, I'd like to think that the content that I post about is not only informative, but also entertaining for my readers.  So when I stumbled upon this event a couple of bloggers were talking about, I decided it couldn't hurt to enter, right?

The Book Blogger Appreciation Week is, according to the website, "a week long festival celebrating the community of book bloggers and their contribution to preserving a culture of literacy through book reviews and recommendations, reading reflections, and general bookish chat."  I thought it would be so fun to participate in something like this.

I'll be applying to be entered for:

Best Speculative Fiction Book Blog—This blog offers the best consistently excellent reviews, recommendations, analyses, and other content in fantasy, science fiction, horror, and/or paranormal books. The blog may cover several of these subgenres or just one.

Best Written Book Blog—This blog is consistently well-written, clear, and engaging, no matter what the subject. [Note that nominated bloggers for this award are required to submit 3 reviews, recommendations, or analyses of a specific title; 2 are up to the nominated blogger.]

Best New Book Blog—This blog was launched on or after September 1, 2009. The blogger has already made his or her mark in terms of the quality of the reviews, recommendations, analyses, and other content on the blog; it’s hard to imagine the book blogging world without this blogger.  [Note that nominated bloggers for this award are required to submit only 2 posts that are reviews, recommendations, or analyses of a specific title; 3 posts are left to their discretion.]

Saturday, June 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox


Packages have slowly been trickling in, though I suppose I shouldn't complain since I'm still receiving books every now and then.  Ever since I started blogging, I must say that receiving packages has made me spoiled.  I always get so excited when I see something in the mail for me!  (as long as it's not a bill...)

Anyway, this was a pretty eventful week book-wise.

For Review:
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Yes, the cover changes colors when you shift the book in the light.  And apparently, The Passage is this highly awaited for/regarded book, and movie rights have already been sold.  The book was just released this month, and in short (from what I understand) it's about this young girl who saves the world.  Not too paranormal-y, but it's got enough that I will be reading (all 700+ pages of it) and reviewing it soon.  Got it in the mail from Random House, which was awesome!

Rosemary and Rue is the first book in the series by Seanan, and it's based in the fae world.  Pretty interesting concept the author's got so far.  Book is already out, I think the second book is out also, and the third (cover I love the most) is coming out in the Fall.

  • The Demon in Me by Michelle Rowen (+ sexy bookmark and Michelle's awesome business card!)
  • Karma Bites by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Won The Demon in Me which was a great read!  Highly suggest checking it out if you're curious (yes, it's been released) and then I'll have to read Karma Bites soon and let you all know how it is.

Bought:


  • Dark Warrior Unbroken by Alexis Morgan
  • Magic on the Storm by Devon Monk (signed)
Dark Warrior Unbroken was actually a used book I bought off Amazon that the seller messed up.  I had ordered the first book in the series and they gave me the second.  I guess it's no biggie, I'll just have to find the first elsewhere.

Magic on the Storm was signed because I tried to help Devon with some friendly competition she was having.  I still need to read the first book in this series, but that cover is beautiiiful, so I'd like to think I helped a good cause ;)


That's it for me!  Have you guys read any of these titles?

The Faerie's Contest Finds (8)

The Faerie’s Contest Finds is a weekly feature where readers, bloggers, and even authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. The best part: you can post links to ALL of your current contests (please be sure to not double post).  These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please help support this new feature by adding The Faerie's Contest Finds button to your sidebar!  The more we spread the word about this weekly post, the more popular it will become.  That means more visitors and participants for YOUR contests!

Thank you Parajunkee for designing the button for this contest list.






Please include your contest end date & your blog's name so participants won't confuse your contests with others.  Thanks!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Crazy in Love by Ashley Ladd


The ghost of Kacey's crazy great-grandfather threatens her life but just might save her marriage.

When the ghost of Kacey's crazy great-grandfather mistakes her for her great-grandmother, he threatens to kill her for cheating on him. Meanwhile her husband, Heath, finds out she believes he's fallen out of love with her and he sets out to show her just how much he loves her. However, he fears she's crazy as she claims to see homicidal ghosts.

Although Kacey longs to save her marriage, she doesn't know if she can stay with a man who doesn't believe her and thinks she's insane.


Obtained: Author
Genre: Erotica/Contemporary
Series:
1.
Crazy in Love
My Rating:

My Opinion:

I always try to approach a book with an open mind, especially when said book shies away from my usual reads.  Crazy in Love is written in a way where I imagined the words flowing along the page smoothly, much like water trickling along in a stream.  I must say that I really enjoyed that aspect while reading this piece. 

Why then, you must be wondering, would I rate this book a 2.5?  I think that the overall concept was an interesting one to explore.  I haven't read many contemporary books, but I will say that this was unique for my reading experience.  I simply would have enjoyed reading about these characters further.  33 pages was too brief for me to really appreciate the characters, their woes, and ultimately, their HEA.  It felt as if the reader was being told more than shown in this short story, which is something that I'm not a particular fan of.

Kacey's thought processes regarding her husband's lack of desire seemed to fly out the window the second she utters divorce to him.   Her sudden transformation from a slightly whiny character into a lusty wife, and then the sex that ultimately follows, also felt rushed for my tastes.  Perhaps it's just me, but I enjoy exploring a character's thought processes a lot more.  I want to know what makes them tick, and why they feel the way they do as opposed to being told they feel a certain way.  Readers are told why Kasey feels the way she does, and her husband's take on the matter, but it wasn't enough to satisfy my curiosity.

**Warning: slight spoiler alert** The bedroom talk betwixt husband and wife seemed, well, slightly out of place.  I'm not sure why, but I think it has more to do with the fact that the couple went from being at odds with each other, to one party discussing divorce, only to have mind-blowing sex an hour later.**End spoiler alert**  I know that if I was unhappy for whatever reason in a relationship, I would much prefer to talk it out first instead of resorting to sex to solve my problems.  I suppose I also have to keep in mind that this is an erotica.

The conclusion felt a bit too convenient, but I blame this on the fact that I still wanted this story to be explored further.  I feel that this author has talent (I'm new to this author, mind you), however, she should use said talent to focus on developing her world and characters more fully.  I really would love to see this tale, and future tales, in more detail.  I enjoyed what I read, but like I've said, for me personally, I want more.  (which makes me sound like a five year old, hah)

If you're in the mood for a quick, steamy read, then Crazy in Love is a short story you'll probably want to check out. 



Thursday, June 10, 2010

You Decide: Start at the start, or in the middle? & Write the review, or not?

I've had the fortune, as a new blogger, to not receive snarky comments in regards to the reviews I write.  Everyone who has left a comment has always been so kind and sweet, thanking me for the honest review I've written.  You don't know how much I appreciate the kindness, and knowing that people enjoyed my review.  It takes time for me to think of thoughtful things to discuss for a book review, so it's gratifying to know that I've helped the author, and likewise, the readers, in some teensy way.

I suppose that eventually, on some platform, that happy little bubble was guaranteed to eventually burst.  After a comment from a reader who believed that reviewing/rating a book you did not finish was simply unfair to the author, two significant questions had been raised that I would like to discuss with you all today:

Where should one start with a series?


Should you post a negative review about a book you did not finish?

For me personally, I feel that each person is entitled to start a series wherever they desire.  What if an author has a horrible debut, but a spectacular second book?  What if each book in the series--much like paranormal romances--focuses on one couple per book, and you discover that the first and second books were with characters readers genuinely disliked, yet the series continues on with couples that everyone loved?

I'm not promoting going by the public's word all the time.  If you're interested in a book, then you should go read it and not let other opinions sway you.  Likewise, if you're only mildly interested, you should be able to attain the book by whatever means--legally, of course--possible.

In my eyes, a strong series is a series that has a combination of individual stories per book that allow it to generally stand independently from the rest, and an overarching plot that connects all the books, in some way, together.  I'm generally not a huge fan of cliffhangers (unless I can get the next book ASAP), and I appreciate the short recap authors do at the start of books further in the series.  It helps me remember what happened last.  It also assists new readers in somewhat orienting themselves with a new, foreign world.

Personally, I prefer to read books from the start if I can help it.  However, if I attain a book for free that is further in the series, I will read that book first and decide from there whether or not to invest in earlier books.  If I find myself genuinely enjoying the world, yet I'm somewhat lost due to that overarching plot, I will then stop reading the current title.  It is at this point where going back to explore the previous books in that series to better orient myself is my priority.  Clearly the author's done something right if he or she has an engaging book further in the series that someone new is genuinely interested in.  And if they don't, why should one have to spend money on a series that doesn't captivate them?

Likewise, I feel that if I approached reading a story with the intention of reviewing a book, either received or bought, it is my job as a reviewer to post the review.  I know there was a huge debate about this a while back, so I guess this is my belated way of addressing the issue at hand.

I used to have stated in my "review policy" that I absolutely hated seeing hundreds of 5-star reviews on Amazon (this was before I knew what Goodreads was and before I realized there were book review blogs), only to discover the book was poorly written and/or poorly developed in whatever way.  I would have appreciated at least some warning from someone that it wasn't that great, with reasons why they felt that way.  It's not fun exploring a new world with high expectations, only to realize either the characters, the world itself, or the overall writing falls flat.

So yes, I feel that book review bloggers have a duty--to make it sound poetic--to warn their followers when they did not enjoy a story.  Readers put enough trust into their reviewers to take their word when a blogger gushes about a title they absolutely adore.  Don't they deserve the same heads up for a title that did not hold your attention?

The key, I think, is being professional when discussing the books that did not appeal to you.  This shouldn't be a personal attack on the author.  For me personally, I am experiencing how much time and effort an author spends working on that 80,000 word story.  People make mistakes.  Some people need to develop their writing skills more fully.  Not every writer out there is going to blow you away with the pure genius of their text.  And let me tell you, it's a rough journey packed with self doubt.

So, instead of bashing the story you hated, how about transforming that negative review into constructive criticism for the authors who don't quite meet your "standards" for a good book?  I think if reviewers explained why instead of bashing, it would help everyone in the end.  It not only helps the author (assuming they even see your review), but it also helps aspiring authors, readers, and even publishers.  Not to mention you appear more professional in the process.

That's my take, so what's yours?  Do you agree, or disagree?

Winner: Ancient Whispers Giveaway

There were a bunch of participants for this giveaway.  Thanks for spreading the word, and congrats to Marie-Claude on her release in May! 

And now, without further ado, and according to random.org, the winner of their very own copy of Ancient Whispers is....

Skyla11377

who said...
"The Only Author From Your List I Have Actually Read Is Mark Henry. I Read His Happy Hour Of The Living Dead. I Love Heather Granham But Have Not Read Her Books As Shannon Drake. I Have Books By Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jeanine Frost, And Monica Burns That I Haven't Read Yet. There Are Books By Angie Fox, Helen Scott Taylor, And Nicole Peeler That I Am Interested In. I Am Not Sure What You Mean By Pass. Do You Mean I Can't Pass Up Or I Can't Get Past. I Like The Authors I Just Mentioned And I Do Have All Three Of Mark Henry's Amanda Feral Books But None Of Them Are Really Ones That I Would Say I Can't Pass Up Or Get Past. Now, I Could Never Pass Up A Julie Garwood Book. I Have Every Single Book Of Hers Except Sizzle And A Girl Named Summer. She Is Just An Awesome Writer. I Have Been Reading Her Books Since I Was 14 Years Old. There Has Only Been One Book I Have Never Been Able To Finish And That Was Stephen King's The Dead Zone. I Love His Books But That One I Just Couldnt' Get Into. I Tried To Read It Back When I Was A Teenager And I Don't Know I Just Couldn't Get Past Chapter 6."

I've already sent you an email, so please respond within 48 hours, otherwise I'll have to pick another winner.  Congrats Skyla!

Don't forget to enter my current giveaway with CSN stores.  You can win an item of a $70 value *cough*bookshelf*cough*  Simply refer to the sidebar for the link!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Come and win your very own bookshelf!

The giveaway is...
[CLOSED]

If you're anything like me, then you're probably in dire need of a bookshelf for all the awesome books you get on a weekly basis. Well, you're in luck! CSN Stores is offering one lucky commenter a $70 promotional code to buy that bookshelf you need.  And, well, if you don't need a bookshelf, you can get something else like platform beds, outdoor furniture, or even something for the kids.


Yep you read correctly.  One winner will receive $70 for any item on their numerous sites (and there's hundreds!)  That means you can get something snazzy like this bookshelf above!  (click the image to be directed to the page), or any other bookshelves that you fancy.  Have I got you interested?  Do you want a bookshelf!?  *raises hand* I DO!  Well keep on reading to see how you can win!


Please note that this giveaway is courtesy of CSN Stores.  I did not receive anything for agreeing to host this on Book Faery.



Giveaway Guidelines:
  1. Open to US and Canada only.
  2. Include your email.  If you are uncomfortable posting it publicly, contact me.  Please be sure, however, to still leave a comment with your entry to be included in the drawing.
  3. Answer the question: What would YOU get from CSN if you won?
  4.  Giveaway ends 6/16   Be sure to check back after that and see if you've won! Winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is picked. 
Extra Entries:
  • [+1] Being a blog follower
  • [+1] Following CSN Stores on Twitter (provide name)
  • [+1] Following CSN Stores on Facebook (provide name)
  • [+2] Spreading the word about this giveaway (please provide links)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Contest Alert! (Includes a $50 Gift Card!)

Do you remember reading about my review of Hunted by the Others, which is written by the amazing author Jess Haines? Yes? No? Did any of you Google what a whale dork was?! A bit fuzzy about what I had said in the review? (Psst.. click this if you are)

Okay, so now that you know which book I'm talking about, do you remember my most recent In My Mailbox post, where I took a snapshot of James (aka Demon Spawn, "sonovabitch" Rat Bastard) with the aforementioned book?   Yes?  GOOD.  No?  Well here's the picture I was talking about:


Okay, flaunting cute puppy pictures aside, I have an announcement.  If my book review sparked your interest in HBTO, then you're going to want to CLICK THIS LINK ASAP.  Why?  Because Jess has a super awesome contest going on until June 30th!

So what exactly is this supposed super awesome contest?  It's a picture contest.  Take a picture of Hunted by the Others (even if you just see it at the bookstore!), and then send it to Jess and you'll be entered!

(There's a few rules, though, so you're probably going to want to go to the Contest Post to find out more about this)

Now, if you click on this link, you can see the list of prizes Jess is offering to three lucky winners.  Since I'm such a nice person, I've yoinked the list for your convenience.  Although, you should go check the post out anyway to see entry pictures, my awesome comment, and a link to this blog!  (Yes I still get excited when I find out people link to my blog)

The prizes are listed below:

THIRD PRIZE:
  • A round of kudos 
  • A signed copy of HUNTED BY THE OTHERS (if you already have one of these and you’re willing to wait, you can substitute NOCTURNAL or TAKEN BY THE OTHERS).

SECOND PRIZE
:
  • A round of kudos
  • A $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble
  • A signed copy of HUNTED BY THE OTHERS (if you already have one of these and you’re willing to wait, you can substitute NOCTURNAL or TAKEN BY THE OTHERS).

FIRST PRIZE
:
  • A rounds of kudos
  • A $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble
  • A personalized, signed copy of HUNTED BY THE OTHERS (if you already have one of these and you’re willing to wait, you can substitute NOCTURNAL)
  • A signed copy of an unreleased short story related to the world of the Others
  • First crack at my advance reader copies of TAKEN BY THE OTHERS when I receive them
  • Bragging rights to winning The Most Awesome Contest In All The Land (Or Maybe Just This Corner of the Internet)!

As you can see, this is pretty much AWESOME.  Not only can you win a copy of HBTO, but you can also win a gift card to appease the book addict in you.  You already know I've entered ;)  Have you?

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey



In less than a day I had been harassed, enchanted, shouted at, cried on, and clawed. I’d been cold, scared, dirty, exhausted, hungry, and miserable. And up until now, I’d been mildly impressed with my ability to cope.

At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. Then everything changes: In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting.

Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, betrayal, and war.


Obtained: ARC Tours
Genre: Young Adult
Series:
1. Guardian of the Dead
My Rating:

My Opinion:
I read this book in about two days, for a number of different reasons.  One, because I found the concept behind the novel to be fairly interesting.  It's always nice being granted the opportunity to learn about different traditions and lifestyles, and I think that Healey did a good job of explaining in detail about these things.  Two, because I didn't want to drag out a book I was only mildly interested in.  And three, I wanted to finish this book before I went to BEA.

The story itself had way too much going on in its 300 or so pages (which is why I'm not including my story snippet because I don't know what to include).  If Healey had made the first part--which primarily focused on the conflict with Reka--into a separate book, I feel that it would have been much more successful.  At the rate I was going, I was tired by the time I got to page 100, so I can't imagine how teenagers and younger children would feel reading this.  Those first 100 pages were jam-packed with plot, conflict, and a conclusion that I felt should have been the conclusion for the first book (in a possible series).  I was extremely weary (mentally) when I moved on to Part 2.

In regards to Part 2, I think Healey went into a bit too much detail in regards to the background of some of these traditions and beliefs.  While I appreciated this attention to the mythology, it detracted from my overall experience, successfully confusing me as opposed to making me appreciate the history along with the tale.  For those who enjoyed the book, you can blame it on the fact that I'm completely oblivious to New Zealand's mythology if you want, but the integration of all the other tales was too much for me.  It got to the point where I began to scan through multiple paragraphs describing about folklore. 

I would suggest that if Healey was going to write the book with parts 1 and 2, she hone in on one tale, maybe two, and explore them further.  I think if there was more of a focus on what Ellie saw (and limit what she saw) and how that made her feel, I might have felt less overwhelmed.  Either that, or reveal all the myths like Healey did, but don't go into their story as much.  Either way I feel like it doesn't give the tale absolute justice, but it's too much of an information dump.  Jumping from one story to another, and then to another, while introducing all this back story about New Zealand's fae (which are nothing like our perceptions of the fae) was overwhelming (as you can see with my overuse of the word).  Include this with the fact that I was mentally exhausted after the first part, and it became un-enjoyable at some points.

The love story in this book felt forced at times.  It went from the main character, Ellie, being wary of her crush due to a number of certain factors, to her acknowledging that her feelings ran much deeper.  The way she confronted him about it seemed out of place, and made me reread the entire scene over again in the fear that I had zoned out on a particularly important part. 

Overall, I felt the book had potential, yet there was a bit too much going on for my tastes.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Emailing Me

Hi everyone, if you've attempted to email me recently and I have not responded to your email, I give you my sincerest apologies.  After doing the swap from the initial email I provided, I combined the two email accounts together (gmail gives you that option).  It was working perfectly fine for me... until I started noticing within these past few days that I was not receiving emails from people.

I'm dropping the xlilangeltorix[at]gmail[dot]com account.  If you need to contact me in regards to this blog, please be sure to send your messages to tori.book.faery[at]gmail[dot]com from now on.  I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  If you sent me an email and I did not respond to it, please resend it to me.  Thanks.