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, October 24, 2012

Giveaway: Trucker Ghost Stories edited by Annie Wilder


OPEN TO US/CANADA RESIDENTS ONLY! 




Add to your Goodreads shelf

In a uniquely entertaining book by a rising star, here are uncanny true tales of haunted highways, weird encounters, and legends of the road.

It may have happened to you; it’s happened to almost everyone who’s ever driven down a highway at night, or in the fog, or snow. Something suddenly appears: a flash of movement, a shadow...what was it? It could be, as the true stories in this book attest, a ghost.

These are true stories from the highways and byways of America. These firsthand accounts are as varied as the storytellers themselves—some are detailed and filled with the terror and suspense that made people feel they had to share what happened to them with others; others are brief and straightforward retellings of truly chilling events.

Here is a chupacabra attack on the desert highway between L.A. and Las Vegas; ghost trains and soldiers; UFOs; the prom girl ghost of Alabama; a demon in Texas, and other accounts of the creepy, scary things that truckers and other drivers and passengers told to editor Annie Wilder.

With so many different stories, Trucker Ghost Stories moves beyond the usual haunted house to offer stories to entice any ghost story reader...and anyone who’s ever wondered...



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Preview: Iced by Karen Marie Moning

I think that about 90% of the reading community is highly anticipating KMM's upcoming novel, ICED. So, to increase our fangirly excitement, I am happy to share with you all an excerpt. You'll definitely want to read this folks, I'm practically buzzing after I did, and I don't think I can wait much longer.

Don't forget that ICED comes out on October 30th. 


Iced: A Dani O'Malley Novel (Fever Series) by Karen Marie Moning

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tori's Review: Death's Rival by Faith Hunter


Released:
October 2, 2012
Paperback: 336 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: Penguin 
Source: Publisher 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Jane Yellowrock 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…

For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.

Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Holy sweet baby Jesus, this book was good.

It took me longer than expected to finish DEATH'S RIVAL (DR); I was planning on finishing the day after I started, and wanted to have my review posted before the October release date. Alas, GREs thwarted my plans--but I managed to survive them! ...unfortunately, I don't think I will survive the wait for the next book.

It's no secret that I am a fangirl of the JY series, and these books hold a special place in my heart. SKINWALKER was the first novel I ever wrote a review for on Book Faery. Jane, Beast, Leo, Rick, and Bruiser are a unique bunch, and they never fail to keep me amused. Much like Kresley Cole's IAD series, whenever I read about Jane and her world, I feel like I'm coming back home and reuniting with some good friends.

The start, much like RAVEN CURSED (RC), was somewhat slow for my tastes. It took me a brief period of time to become fully immersed in Faith's writing. Like I said in my review of RC, those who may not be as invested in the series (or those of you sillies who read this series out of order) have a higher chance of not feeling invested enough to continue reading the book. I hope not, but based off my own reading experiences from new-to-me authors/novels, if I'm not pulled in right away, I probably won't continue reading. What I've come to notice in the more recent books in the JY series is that the beginnings are a slow buildup. By the time you finally get to the last few scenes, it's like an avalanche effect; Faith hits you over the head with one thing after another and I absolutely love it.

Religion and Jane's faith came up again, but I did not find it to be as obnoxious as it was in MERCY BLADE (MB). Jane has, for the most part, come to terms with her beliefs, and she has come to understand and accept what is morally acceptable for her person. I never thought I would say this, but I felt like her religion humanizes her when compared to the vampires that she interacts with on a daily basis. This is especially true by the final showdown...which was amazing.

There are quite a few plot twists in DR; one in particular made my jaw drop and had me squealing in displeasure about halfway through. I was so pissed on Jane's behalf, and I really wished I could have punched Leo for her. I eventually forgave him, but then the ending of the book had me about to start squealing again. By this point, I didn't know who I wanted to punch, though Rick may be the most likely candidate, surprisingly enough.

Speaking of the ending of the book: wow. It wasn't a cliffhanger by any means, but it was open-ended regarding a fairly important issue affecting both Jane and Beast. For that reason, it kind of feels like a cliffhanger for me--hence my angsting as I await the next book release.

One thing I think readers with similar tastes to my own will take issue with is the romance in this series. There is no set love interest (well I guess there kind of was before, but I'm not so sure that he is now after the way he reacted to Jane's reaction *sad panda*), but there are quite a few men that Jane and Beast either want to mate with or flirt with. I have no problem with this, because I think Faith handles everything both tastefully and realistically, but some readers who are jaded when it comes to YAs and the notorious love triangles may reflexively cringe at the number of men in Jane's life. I view it as: there aren't a lot of women in this line of work. Jane is a strong, beautiful, and independent woman with a mysterious air about her--of course all these single men are going to start panting over her if they interact with her on an almost daily basis. Hell, one of her nicknames is Legs. She's getting a lot of positive attention. What girl wouldn't react in a similar fashion?

Like I've been saying, if you haven't given the Jane Yellowrock series a shot, you really need to. The character development throughout the entire series is astounding, the worldbuilding is well thought out and unique, and the characters themselves will squirm their way into your heart and never let you go. The best piece of advice I can give is to start with SKINWALKER, and work your way through the series in order. If you start with a later book, you will be missing valuable information and character development. Definitely a must read.


Series Order:
1. Skinwalker (Tori's Review)
2. Blood Cross (Tori's Review)
3. Mercy Blade (Tori's Review)
4. Raven Cursed (Tori's Review)
5. Death's Rival

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tori's Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Released:
July 10, 2012
Hardcover: 480 pages
Price: $17.99
Publisher: Random House 
Source: Amazon Vine 
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Series: Seraphina 
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I am so depressed that I finished this book.

I wasn't expecting to have such a strong reaction to SERAPHINA; in fact, ask any of my friends the first day I started reading it and they could tell you that I was not impressed with this novel. The writing at the beginning reminds me of DoSaB By Laini Taylor, or anything by Maggie Stiefvater--not in how poetic it is, because I did not find SERAPHINA to be very poetic--but in how...different it is from the typical YA novel. I believe that, because this is a fantasy, the foreign names contributed to this "eccentric" writing style, if you will.

It was not until Seraphina met Lucien that I really took an interest in the book, if I'll be completely honest. I've been craving a good old romance, and once I realized that there was the potential for one between these two, I was hooked. I am still hooked now, and am desperately awaiting the second book in this series. Yes, there is the potential for a romance. Does one ever blossom? Maybe. Either way, I'm satisfied...for now.

I will say that Lucien is certainly not the typical romantic interest that I would squeal over. He's not dark and not an ass (well, not without good reason, anyway)--not that I support either of those qualities. He's very bubbly and cheerful, and I think he is like that in order to draw Seraphina out of her shell. I didn't see myself swooning over him like I would some other YA or adult heroes, but I liked him. He needs to grow on me more.

Seraphina was peculiar. I liked her as a character, but she kind of fell flat for me. I felt engrossed in her trials, felt myself tearing up at one particular scene, was cheering her on as she developed and grew a pair, and at the same time, I was apathetic about her. I can't describe it. I suppose I felt some sort of disconnect when it came to all the characters. They didn't pop, but I would not go so far as to say they're 2D.

There was another factor that kept me reading, even before I caught on to the potential for a romance: the dragons. I found this entire world, and how the dragons play a role in it, to be incredibly fascinating. Even when I felt myself growing tired of Lucien at some points, the dragons and my curiosity of them made me continue on. Then that curiosity shifted to the half dragons, and all the illusions inside Seraphina's head. When those creatures were first introduced, I had no interest... But leave it to Rachel to suddenly make them so important--and in turn, so mysterious--that I'm dying to learn more about them! Especially the girl who was sealed away (won't say anything more, you'll just have to read the book to know what I'm talking about).

Does this novel end with a cliffhanger? Yes and no. No, you will not be screaming and threatening the air because the story was suddenly cut off at an important scene. Yes, there are plenty of loose ends that have not been acknowledged because there is a second book in this series. I am content with how the story ended and will be able to survive the wait for book two, though I would be pissed if the series was suddenly discontinued.

Do I recommend? Well, you're either going to love it right away, you'll love it eventually (like me), or you'll probably feel apathetic. I don't think many people will hate it, but I do see people DNFing it because of the slow start. Honestly, this is one book that I'm wary of recommending because I had such an unexpected response to it.


Series Order:
0.5. The Audition (Tori's Review)
1. Seraphina
2. Dracomachia (2013 release)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tori's Review: The Audition by Rachel Hartman


Released:
June 19, 2012
Paperback: 19 pages
Price: $7.99
Publisher: N/A 
Source: Scribd
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Series: Seraphina 
Read: Scribd 



Add this book to your Goodreads shelf 





My Rating: 

My Opinion:
This was such a cute little piece! It contained everything I fell in love with while reading SERAPHINA, and it was such an unexpected teaser that it made me want to reread SERAPHINA as soon as possible.

For those who loved the first book in this series, you will love THE AUDITION. Seraphina and Orma's interactions held more meaning to me after learning about the two in the novel. I found it humorous, to boot.

For those who were not too crazy about SERAPHINA, I am unsure if this short story will appeal to you, either. I've found that people either love Hartman's writing style, or they don't. It can't hurt to give THE AUDITION a shot, since it's free, though.

For those of you who have not yet read this series, I would suggest you save it to savor once you have finished SERAPHINA. I think that THE AUDITION gives readers a good taste of Hartman's writing style, but, unless you are familiar with the characters to begin with, I do not think many will appreciate them.

Either way, THE AUDITION is free, and I suggest you take the time to read this piece. I'm so happy I spent ten minutes to!


Series Order:
0.5. The Audition
1. Seraphina (Tori's Review)
2. Dracomachia (2013 release)


Seraphina Prequel WEB

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tori's Review: Crave the Night Anthology


Released:
October 5, 2011
E-book: 372 pages
Price: $3.99
Publisher: Swell Cat Press
Source: Author
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: N/A
Buy: Amazon

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf

This collection of never-before-published novellas features paranormal pairings romance readers will pine for. Vampires, demons, werewolves, faeries and even a mermaid will satisfy the darkest of cravings.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Hidden by Sharon Ashwood -- 3/5
Lila and Rafe are a cute couple, but they don't hold a candle to Sharon's characters in her full length novels. This was not my favorite Ashwood piece of writing, which I am sad to say, since I've loved every book I've read in her series thus far. If this anthology is your first foray into her writing, I highly suggest you give her a second chance if you found HIDDEN to be anything less than amazing.

Having not read any of her books in a while, I felt like I was reentering the universe as a brand new reader. I recognized Darrak's name, but aside from him, I couldn't connect what I read in HIDDEN to anything in the PNR series. So, feeling like I was reading about a brand new world, I was left wanting more romance and worldbuilding. Lila and Rafe have an almost instant attraction, but Lila is the "bad" guy--albeit, a pitiful one. I was disappointed in the romance because it felt slightly rushed, but I understand how difficult it can be to flesh out characters, the romance, and a world in such a short word count.

Final verdict: a good piece, but nothing mindblowing like Sharon's PNR series is.


One Soul To Share by Lori Devoti -- 4/5
OSTS kept me interested the entire time while reading. The world was unique, and I found that, while I may have been weirded out about a mermaid having sex with a vampire (even if she had a human form, I just kept thinking about the tail and fin), I was able to ignore this knee jerk reaction and focus on the characters instead once the story picked up.

My only complaint: I was disappointed when it ended as abruptly as it did, and found myself wishing that Lori had a larger word count to include a final showdown with the Hag. As it currently is...well, I'm disappointed, and a bit agitated. The ending felt anticlimactic at best..

The romance between Nolan and Sarina was convincing, and I found the conflict to flow naturally--two qualities I notice most novellas lack in general. OSTS did not blow me away, but Lori's execution was impressive and I am interested in checking out other titles under her name. Novellas do not usually have that effect on me, so I think that is pretty spectacular.


Cruel Enchantment by Michele Hauf -- 3.5/5
I think this story had the most engaging intro out of the three so far. The big thing in CE was the idea of an Intended, but thankfully, there was no love at first sight. The romance felt a bit rushed, and I wasn't fully convinced that Bree and Rev fell in love as quickly as they did. Part of that was because Rev was an addict, and I felt that he spent a lot of time battling his addiction, and less focused on loving Bree.

This story didn't blow me away, but it was entertaining, albeit, a bit cliche.


Enemy Embrace by Patti O'Shea -- DNF
For whatever reason, I couldn't get into this one. I'm still not entirely sure why.

Overall this is a good anthology. I may not generally be the hugest fan of novellas, but I found at least one new author to check out. My primary reason for checking out CRAVE THE NIGHT was to read Sharon Ashwood's piece. It was not my absolute favorite, it did help make the wait for her next book release to become a bit more bearable.

I would say to definitely check CTN out if you're into anthologies. If, however, you're not a fan and prefer full-length books, you may be better off passing up this title if you're familiar with these authors already. And if you aren't? Well, it can't hurt to check it out, anyway.


Series Order:
1. Crave the Night

Friday, October 5, 2012

Author Interview with Claire Ashgrove



I suppose author interview isn't entirely accurate, my friends. Today, instead of having Claire answer a few questions about herself, we will be visited by Farran de Clare, our hunky hero from Claire Ashgrove's most recent release, IMMORTAL SURRENDER (Curse of the Templars #2).

So without further ado, Farran here is going to grace us with his delicious six pack wonderful personality.

Hi Farran! How old are you, exactly?
I am over nine hundred years old.

Is that so? And what, exactly, do you do? 
I serve the archangel Mikhail, under the steady sword of Merrick du Loire, in the Holy Order of the Knights Templar.

What is your favorite saying? 
(Farren chuckles.) At present, I find myself oft beginning my sentences with damsel.  As in, Damsel, mind your tongue.  'Tis hard not to when I'm bound to one so willful.

Who is your worst enemy, and what did he/she do? 
My worst enemy is the dark lord, Azazel.  I am sworn to fight against his vile creations, to protect the mortal realm you know.  He covets the highest throne, and 'tis mine and my brothers' duty to stop his ascent.

What is one thing you wouldn't be caught dead doing? 
Once I would have said watching television, but I find myself in greater luxury of late, and cannot claim such now.  'Twould have to be dancing at one of these so-called clubs Noelle has spoken of. 
 
Any love interests? 
(A wicked smirk drifts across his mouth.)  Aye.  
  
Well... are you going to tell us who? 
'Twould be the lady de Clare, Dr. Noelle Keane.  Though 'twas not an easy journey to reach this contentment of my heart. I wanted naught to do with her.  She, however, possesses a... way... about her, shall we say, that made it impossible to do anything but adore her.  
 
When did you know you were falling for her? 
(He laughs again.)  When the urge to feel her lips on mine became as fierce as the urge to throttle her.  (Farran pauses for a moment, then his expression sobers.)  In truth, 'twas a moment we shared in the belly of the temple, when I glimpsed the woman she was, not the seraph forced upon me.  
  
What is one favorite childhood memory? 
Saints' toes -- a millenia has passed since I have been asked about childhood.  I do not oft think about those I have left behind.  Though I recall a special fondness for riding through the de Clare lands as a young boy beside my sire, grateful for the time he shared with me.  He was truly a lord to be admired, and I deeply respected him.  
  
When this war is over, if the Templar are the victors, where would you like to go to get away? 
I have seen much sand in my life.  Fought in the dispicable dunes against Saladin.  But I have never set foot on tropical sands.  I should take Noelle to an island, I do believe.  One that is not marked with a gate to Azazel's realm.  (His grin returns, devilish as ever.)  And there, I shall focus on naught but my duty to Noelle.


Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire’s paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars debuted with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also writes for Berkley Heat as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire.

To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com. You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.
 


Giveaway

What you can win:
  • One digital copy of any of Claire's backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series
  • Commenters’ names will be added into the tour-end drawing of a 25.00 Amazon gift card.

What you need to do:
  • Leave a comment on this interview; be sure to include your email address in the comments section, otherwise you will not be entered to win either prize.
  • Follow the tour – the more you comment on participating blogs, the better your chances of winning. Complete tour dates can be found at Claire's website, here.