Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – The Merchant’s Daughter

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Title: The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date: Nov. 29, 2011
Genre: Historical, Christian
Summary: An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
I adore fairytale retellings and lately, I have been reading (and loving) more historical fiction. The Merchant’s Daughter is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I am very excited about reading it. What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: Elemental Reality

Release Date: Aug. 21, 2011
Publisher: Revolution Publishing
Pages: 251 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC for Publisher
Goodreads Summary: When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that's only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful than any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.
Let me start by saying that I love the cover of this book! It’s one of my favorite covers for the year and really does fit with the story.

Callie is a very likable character. The story begins on her 22nd birthday which is always a sad day because it marks the anniversary of when her mother left the family. I love how the book starts and the relationship between Callie and her friends and her family. You really get a sense of how much they care about each other. The back and forth banter among them is snarky and funny and helps to move the story along nicely.

The story is well paced until Callie meets Oli and Cayden and then everything speeds up - her relationship with Oli, finding out the truth about herself and her family, learning to use her powers, training to use her powers – it all happens in a very short period of time. Not that I like slow stories but I would have preferred if the plot and characters had more depth, especially since we meet so many minor characters in passing.

That being said, the book has tons of action, hot romance and a nice twist at the end that will keep readers looking out for the next book in the series.

Content: Kissing, profanity and violence.

Book Review: Frost

Release Date: Oct. 11, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC from Publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads Summary: In this sequel to STORK, Katla Leblanc has to employ her grit, spirit, and special gifts to rescue the boy she loves.

After the drama of finding out that she’s a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla Leblanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden, pregnant mother’s to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn’t have time to question Brigid’s motives or deal with Jack’s increasingly cold behavior. But Katla’s suspicions mount when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner. Adventure, romance, and myth combine in this winter escapade for teens who like a bit of fire with their ice.
Stork was such a cool book. Katla, the main character, was a spunky girl who was struggling in a fish out of water situation after moving from stylish California to cold Minnesota. The book was a really fun read and I loved the Norse mythology, not something that find a lot of in YA. Additionally, the romance between Kat and Jack is so sweet!

Frost is an equally fun read. Portions of the story - the main storyline featuring Jack, Kat and Brigid - is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen and had wonderful fairytale-like quality to it. The story takes place in Minnesota, Iceland and Greenland and I love Ms. Delsol’s vivid descriptions of Icelandic folklore. Frost has a lot more going on than Stork did and at times, I wondered how the author was going to pull all the sub-plots together, but she does so very nicely in the end. 

I love Kat’s voice. Even though she still a bit snarky, she is also more mature in this book. As with many second books in a series, Jack and Kat’s relationship is tested and we don’t get to see them together as much as I would like. I also wanted more of the Stork Society and I hope we will see more of the Storks in the next book in the series. I’m really hoping there will be another book because while Frost does not end with a cliffhanger, it does a great job of setting up some storylines that I hoping will get resolved in the next book. 

Frost has a very satisfying ending and I recommend this series to anyone looking for something fun and different from the usual YA offerings of vamps, faeries, wolves and the ever increasing amount of Greek demigods we have been seeing lately.

Content: Kissing and violence.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Supernaturally Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to win the ARC of Supernaturally from Goodreads so I thought I would pay it forward and give someone else a chance to read this awesome book (read my review here). Just fill out the form below to enter the giveaway. Following the blog is not required to enter but you will get an extra entry if you do and another for Tweeting the giveaway. Good luck and thanks for entering!

Book Review: Supernaturally

Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Won from Publisher through Goodreads
Goodreads Summary: Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself. So much for normal.
Supernaturally was one of my most anticipated books for this year and I happy to say it’s a great sequel to Paranormalcy!

Evie is back with her signature brand of snark and wit and I could not be more happy. Other characters that we love (and some we love to hate) are back including Lend, Raquel, Arianna, David and Reth. We are also introduced to a new, impish character named Jack who is all sorts of interesting.

While Paranormalcy introduced us to Evie and focused on who was behind all the paranormal killings, Supernaturally is all about Evie and how she tries to fit into both the normal world and the paranormal one. As with many second books in a series, there is a lot of angst on the main character’s part. Evie is worried about her future and her relationship with Lend and as a result, she makes some bad choices. I’m not a huge fan of angst but Kiersten White writes it better than almost everyone else so I was not overly frustrated by it.

Supernaturally also gives us the back stories of some of the characters and I was very especially interested in how Evie, Vivian and Arianna came to be. The plots of the books in this series are very well done and the paranormal aspects: the vampire, werewolf and fey lore, are really interesting and unique. I also love the relationship between Evie and Lend and want to see more of him (and Tasey too!) in the next book. While the book does not end with a cliffhanger, there are also some unresolved plot lines in Supernaturally that I am hoping will get tied up in the next book, Endlessly.

Overall, Supernaturally is a very well written, fun book and this series is just so good. Kiersten White is a truly fantastic writer and I cannot wait for Endlessly to come out next year.

Content: Kissing and some violence.


The winner of the A Vampire Christmas Carol is Darcus! The winner was chosen by and has been notified by email.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. I have a few more giveaways coming up so make sure you enter.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – Insurgent

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: May 28, 2012
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Summary: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
I’m sure Insurgent will be a popular Waiting on Wednesday pick this week and it should be. Divergent is one of the best books I have read this year and one of my all time favorites, you can read my review here. Insurgent is one of my most anticipated books for 2012. The cover is amazing (I love gritty/artistic dystopian covers), it complements the Divergent cover and the summary has me dying to get my hands on this book. What books are you guys waiting on?

Book Review: Isle of Night

Release Date: Sept. 6, 2011
Publisher: NAL Trade
Pages: 302 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher - girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.
When I read this summary a few months ago, I thought it sounded a bit crazy but I was intrigued. Turns out I was right. Isle of Night is crazy, as in a crazy good, highly entertaining vampire novel!

Annelise Drew, or Drew, is a super smart girl who yearns to get out of her small town of Christmas, Florida and get away from her drunken and abusive father. She graduates from high school one semester early but when she goes to the University of Florida to enroll, she finds out that her papers are not in order and technically, she has no high school diploma. Broke and homeless, Drew is approached by Ronin, the extremely attractive guy with a sexy accent. He tells Drew that he can take her to an island that offers an education to special girls like her and she accepts, getting into his private jet and flying off into the unknown. Of course, he fails to tell her that she will be training to work for vampires and its either she succeeds during training or she dies.

Isle of Night starts of a bit slow and I was very annoyed with Drew for getting on the plane without knowing exactly what she was getting herself into. After about 60 pages, the pace of the story picks up dramatically and the action is almost non-stop after that. Drew’s character is very snarky, which I liked. Even though the books are very different, Drew’s character reminds me of Katniss from The Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent – girls that are not violent by nature but when backed into a corner, they will push themselves to be the best, to succeed in spite of other people’s expectations and know that sometimes you have to use brains, not brawn to get out of a bad situation.

The secondary characters were very well written. I love Ronin and really want to read more about him in the sequel. Lilac, Drew’ nemesis, is one of the meanest mean girls I have come across in a while and let’s not forget this is a vampire book. The vamps in Isle of Night are a sickly combination of creepy and sensual at the same time.

While the book focuses on Drew and her experience and personal growth, I am really looking forward to the sequel, Vampire’s Kiss. I hope it will tell us more about the vampire mythology, why they need Watchers and maybe a little more romance. Isle of Night seems to be flying a bit under the radar but it is really worth reading. Vampire’s Kiss will be released in March 2012.

Content: Heavy profanity and violence, may be more appropriate for older teens and adults.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: Sacrifice

Title: Sacrifice by Melinda Metz and Laura J. Burns
Release Date: Sept. 20, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pages: 256 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher through S&S Galley Grab

SPOILER WARNING: The summary and review contain spoilers to the first book in the series, Crave.
Goodreads Summary: Gabriel and Shay are convinced that they can make their relationship work. Knowing that Shay is half-vampire, Gabriel thinks that his coven will embrace her as one of their own, but instead they view her as an abomination, a thing that doesn’t belong in either world. And they want her dead. Now Gabriel must make the ultimate decision - watch his love be killed by his coven or defy the people closest to him, the people he has spent centuries with to save her.
I had some issues with Crave, mostly the main character’s bratty behavior and the speed at which their relationship progressed into undying love. You can read my review here. Crave ended with a huge cliffhanger so when I saw Sacrifice on Galley Grab, I really wanted to know how the story ends. I’m happy I did because I like Sacrifice more than I liked Crave.

Sacrifice begins exactly where Crave ended with Gabriel taking Shay to his coven believing that they will help and protect her because she is half-vampire. Turns out Gabriel could not have been more wrong and his family hates her. The tables are turned in this book so instead of Gabriel being held captive by Shay’s family, Shay is now the prisoner.

Shay’s character is significantly matured in Sacrifice, it’s almost like she is a different, much more likable girl. If you can look past the idea that they have know each other for about two weeks, you will appreciate the level of commitment that Gabriel and Shay make to each other. To be together, the couple has to fight against the horrible prejudices and the intense level of anger and bitterness that their families feel toward each other. I really wanted these two to be together and that’s not something I thought I would say after reading Crave.

I enjoyed Sacrifice, it makes the series worth reading. It’s a quick read, fast paced and I think anyone who likes YA vampire romance will also enjoy this. 

Content: Kissing, mild profanity and violence

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – Stolen Away

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publish Date: Jan. 5, 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Fairies
Goodreads Summary: For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.
Without a doubt, Julie Kagawa has set a new standard for fairy stories and now that the Iron Fae series is coming to an end, I am looking for another great fae book to get into. Stolen Away sounds like it could be that book. Additionally, I have heard great things about Harvey’s other books so I’m sure this will be awesome! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: Juliet Immortal

Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Delacort Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: The most tragic love story in history . . . Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

Juliet Immortal has an interesting premise. It’s both a retelling and a continuation of a story that most of us know very well.

After Romeo betrays Juliet to gain immortality from the Mercenaries, or the agents of dark, she is recruited to work for the Ambassadors, the agents of light. As an immortal, Romeo is sent to couples who are destined to be soul mates and convince them to choose immortality over love by killing each other. Juliet is sent to the same couple but her job is to convince them to love, not kill, each other.

Juliet has a really tough job. Not only does she have to physically and emotionally fight Romeo (who is always trying to kill her, again), her mission is further complicated by the body of the girl she temporarily inhabits. Prior to Juliet’s soul moving in, Ariel is an emotionally damaged girl with low self esteem. I love that Juliet works to make Ariel’s life better, to improve the relationships with Ariel’s loved ones. I also love how this story is told from Juliet’s perspective and she is the hero, not the victim in the story. Not everything or everyone is as they seem initially, and there are some nice twists in the book that I was not expecting.

While I like many things about the story, I’m not crazy about the insta-love in the book and the speed at which the entire story takes place. I do understand that the story mirrors Romeo and Juliet which happens fairly quickly as well, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I love Ben’s character and I see why he and Juliet like each other, but again the all consuming love after a few days is wearing thin on me. Why do the events of so many YA novels take place in a week or less? I also thought the ending of Juliet Immortal was a bit contrived.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and Jay’s writing. I like the original take on a classic and think anyone who enjoys YA will like this more Juliet empowered version of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Content: Kissing, sexual situations, mild profanity and violence

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crossover Christian Fiction

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the awesome Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (read my review here) where I commented that there were not enough YA Christian books on the market with the crossover appeal of Bergren’s River of Time series. While I enjoy Christian fiction, I know some people are turned off by the preachy quality of it. I want to highlight some upcoming novels that I can’t wait read and I think they will appeal to readers who normally would not be interested in Christian fiction. Not all these books are YA or would be considered paranormal, but they all look so good!

Title: Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee
Pub. Info: Sept. 13 by Center Street
An apocalyptic/dystopian story about the world being drained of all emotions except fear. While this definitely not YA, I love dystopia and am so excited about this book. Ted Dekker is a powerhouse writer and Tosca Lee is good too. We have a short wait for this one, it comes out tomorrow!

Title: Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie
Pub. Info: Oct. 7 by FaithWords
About a girl who can sense things in the supernatural realm who is recruited by a vampire to wage war on his enemy in modern-day Prague. I have a copy of this book and am dying to start it! Plus, as other bloggers have pointed out, the guy on the cover looks a bit like Johnny Depp.

Title: There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
Pub. Info: Oct. 4 by Thomas Nelson
American girl goes to Ireland as a foreign exchange student after her brother's death, meets the teen star of the hottest new vampire movie on the plane ride there and starts a friendship with him. I am not a huge fan of contemporary fiction by my bloggy friend KM at One Page At A Time recommended this and she has never steered me wrong!

Title: Halflings by Heather Burch
Pub. Info: Feb. 2012 by Zondervan
After she is attacked by demons, a girl is protected by three half-human/half-angel boys and she falls for two of them and they for her. I have yet to see any Christian YA book like this one. Not sure if I can stand waiting until February to read it.

Title: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
Pub. Info: 2012 by Thomas Nelson
After a tragedy, a girl finds out the angelic realm is real and the boy who lives next door is one of them. This book doesn’t have a cover or a release date yet and I want it already!

How do you feel about Christian fiction? Are you looking forward to any of these books? Are there other crossover Christian fiction novels that I left out?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dark Eden Trailer and App

Title: Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
Release Date: Nov 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?
Not only does Dark Eden sound like a thrilling and exciting read, but you can also enhance the reading experience throughout a downloadable app that enriches the elements of the traditional story. I downloaded the app to my iPad yesterday and it’s really fun. It also makes me really excited to read the book! Download The Arrival, the first free episode, available through the Dark Eden mobile app in the the Apple/iOS App Store and the Android Market.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Giveaway: A Vampire Christmas Carol

Title: A Vampire Christmas Carol by Sarah Gray
Release Date: Sept. 27, 2011
Publisher: Kensington
Goodreads Summary: Ebenezer Scrooge has never been known for the greatness of his heart. A miser, a leech, a penny-pinching old coot... Say what you will about him, though—he’s never actually sucked someone’s blood. That dubious honor belongs to the vampires who surround him, preying on the weak and laying traps for the strong. They’ve dogged his footsteps since he was born, driving him from the love of his friends, family, and faithful fiancĂ©e.

Now, on Christmas Eve, Scrooge’s old friend Jacob Marley rises from the grave to warn him about the evil gathering around him. With three mysterious spirits to guide him, he rediscovers his lost love Belle, toiling fearlessly as a seamstress by day and vampire hunter by night. He sees the secrets of his nephew Fred and his clerk Bob Cratchit, who risk their lives as Belle’s loyal soldiers. And he learns of the plot mounting to attack all of them, starting with the innocent sacrifice of Bob’s son Tiny Tim…

Scrooge has only one night to save himself and all that he once treasured—but if he can vanquish the vampires, he might finally earn back the love he cast away...
Since I have two ARCs of A Vampire Christmas Carol, I thought I would give someone an opportunity to read it by doing a giveaway, plus I will inclucle some swag. Please fill out the form and while you don’t have to be a follower to enter, you will get an extra entry if you are and another for tweeting the about the giveaway. Good luck and thanks for participating!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Winner of the Back to the Books Giveaway!

The winner of the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop is Marci Clark! The winner was chosen by and has been notified by email.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway and since I love doing giveaways and Rafflecopter made it so easy, I will be starting another one tomorrow! Make sure you enter.

Mini Review: Daimon

Title: Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 62 pages
Genre: Mythology
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: Free Download
Goodreads Summary: For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty.

According to her mother, that’s a good thing.

But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill. The daimons have found her.
Daimon is an awesome prequel to Half-Blood. We are quickly introduced to Alex, our main character and she is a snarky, spunky, kick-butt type of girl. I love her already. In such a short story, Armentrout does a great job of introducing us to her mythological world of demigods. She has also packed so much action into these 62 pages, I can only imagine how exciting Half-Blood will be. The mythology is cool, Alex’s crush is swoon-worthy and the ending leaves you dying for the next book. Make sure you download this for free from Spencer Hill Press and enjoy before Half-Blood comes out on Oct. 18.

Content: Kissing, references to sex, some swearing and violence

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – A Breath of Eyre

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Title: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: April 1, 2012
Genre: Historical
Goodreads Summary: Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…
I have really been enjoying historical fiction lately, especially the ones that have some supernatural element to them. A Breath of Eyre sounds so awesome and I love the cover! This is exactly my kind of book and is pretty much a must read for me....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book Review: Wolves Among Us

Title: Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 304 pages
Genre: Christian, Historical
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: In this richly imagined tale, Ginger Garrett takes readers to a tiny town on the edge of the Black Forest in 1538. In a medieval German village, a double murder stirs up festering fears. The overworked sheriff is baffled, so the village priest sends for help to solve the mystery. But the charismatic Inquisitor who answers the call brings with him a deadly mix of spiritual fervor and self-deceptive evil. Under his influence, ordinary village fears and resentments take a deadly turn, and soon women are the targets of his crusade. Terror mounts. Dark secrets come to light. But in the midst of it all, a man and woman—the priest and the sheriff's unloved wife—somehow dare to listen to another Voice ... and discover what it means to love instead of fear.
Wolves Among Us is one of those books that starts out slow and you may be tempted to put it down in the first few pages. I know I wanted to but I’m glad I didn’t because it got more exciting as the story progressed and I did enjoy it.

Set in 1538, Mia is married to the small town sheriff. She spends her days taking care of her sickly three-year-old, Alma, and her husband’s sick mother. Mia attends Mass and prays constantly for Alma to be healed from what appears to be asthma. She works hard to be a good wife and keep a good house in the hopes that if she is perfect, only then will God heal Alma. I wish I could say Mia came up with this misconception on her own but unfortunately, this is what women were being taught by the church.

Mia lives a sad, lonely life. None of the women in the village will befriend her or even speak to her with the exception of the town gossip who Mia avoids. Her husband is harsh and unloving but all the men in this book are horrible, even the village priest who thankfully redeems himself.

Wolves Among Us is a darker novel than I expected. Yes, I realize the book is about witch hunts and innocent women being wrongly accused and burnt alive so what levity could I have expected? In addition to the accusations and persecutions, the life of the women in the story, the Inquisitor’s hypocrisy, the truth behind the murders and the real evil in the town is depressing. Thankfully, there is a much greater story/message beyond the darkness and I appreciate it.

Like I said, the book does pick up the pace and the ending is neatly wrapped up. While I was not sure what to expect when I began reading, I do like the story and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction. I am looking forward to reading more books from this author.

Content: Violence and references to rape.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Buried in Books. For this hop, I am giving away a copy of Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep or an ARC of The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. Fill out the form below, good luck, thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to visit the other participating blogs.


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