Thursday, June 30, 2011

Follow Friday (#8)

Follow Friday is a weekly blog HOP, hosted by Parajunkee

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

Well, that's easy~ But I'm going to have to list three, as I simply can't make myself chose.


Sam, Dean and Castiel from Supernatural ;]

And here's some more visual stimulation :)

And here's Castiel

So what would I do if I met them? I'd take as many photos with them as possible, got autographs and hugs and then probably I'd pee myself from happiness.

Looking forward to seeing your answers! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (#6)

"Waiting On" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Expected publication: October 11th 2011 by Tanglewood Press

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.
I am absolutely obsessed with this book. Ever since I first heard about it, I knew I just HAD TO get it!! And so I did everything I could think of to get my own ARC of it.. Let's hope it will get here soon! *fingers crossed*

What are you waiting on this week?

Leave me a linky, I'll drop by!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

(Book Blog Tour) Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Romance
Publication.Date  July 14th 2011
Published By:  Penguin Canada
WebsiteLesley Livingston Blog
Once Every Never - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC provided by the publisher (*Thank you!*)
Where to get: Chapters | Amazon

     Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.

“You actually want to spend precious minutes of our last summer vacation before final year hanging out with dead dudes.”
“Don’t knock it. Vampires and zombies are very hot right now.”
“First of all, vampires are undead. And zombies are … ew.”
“So that leaves bog guys.”

“I think Milo’s kinda cool.”
“You think Math-a-lympics are cool. You are an unreliable source.”

     Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston is a fantastic, engaging and highly entertaining Young Adult novel for those who like adventure. Lesley’s smooth writing style is irresistible and incredibly impressive, I absolutely loved it.

     Clare (or Clarinet if you prefer) is pretty much your typical teenager girl, with a dose of sass. She’s a good student, although you wouldn’t call her a nerd. She might not be the most popular girl in town, but that’s perfectly alright with her, because she gets all the attention and support she needs from her best friend, Allie. While her orchestra-musician parents are on a world tour with the Symphonia Intenationale, Clare is spending her summer vacations in England, under the watchful eye of her aunt, Maggie. Maggie – Dr. Magda Wallace – is a well known and highly respected professor of archeology, who works at the British Museum. You know what that means? Yup, Clare will be spending most of her time exploring the museum’s exhibitions. Not a very exciting prospect for Clarinet, but thankfully her best friend, Allie, is there to keep her company. And let’s not forget about the super handsome and unbelievably smart Milo, Allie’s cousin.

     What promised to be an utterly boring and dull summer, all of a sudden turns into a breathtaking time travel adventure when Clare touches one of the artifacts in the museum and is magically transported to AD 60, the times of Queen Boudicca. As it turns out, Clare has the ability to travel in time and it’s all due to an ancient blood curse. Now Clare has to figure out how to control her ability and find a long lost artifact, and she has to do all that without altering the time-space continuum and causing irreversible changes to the present. With an uber hot young warrior distracting her, this might prove to be even harder that she thinks.

     I had a lot of fun devouring this book. Fast-paced and entertaining, it was an excellent mix of mythology, history, paranormal, adventure and romance. All that spiced up with sharp, hilarious and witty dialogues.

     What I liked the most about this novel was Lesley Livingston’s fantastic writing style. She tells the story in such a smooth and fun way that it’s really impossible to put the book down once you start reading. It’s definitely a great page-turner. Most importantly, the dialogues are not forced or overdone, they are realistic, humorous and very entertaining, I was constantly cracking up. What can I say? I really think Lesley is a brilliant storyteller!

     It wasn’t only the constant question if Clare can actually do something to change the past and if/how it will affect the present that kept me turning the pages, it was Clare, too. As well as Milo and Connal. I wanted to know more about them. I was dying to find out how the whole time-travel-love-triangle will play out and who’s going to win Clare’s heart in the end. Clarinet is a very likable protagonist and, together with Milo, Connal, Allie and Aunt Maggie, she really made this story.

     The historical background provided by the author was skillfully incorporated into the plot in a way that didn’t come across as boring or too informative. What we get here is a perfect dose of history, mythology and even some powerful Druid magic.

     The ending, while it ties up things nicely, still left me with an impression that there was something lacking in the story. The way the love-triangle played out was a tiny bit unsatisfying to me and I found myself wishing for more emotional depth and some heart breaking drama. That would be my only complaint and the reason for rating this book 4/5 instead of 5/5. Overall, I had a fantastic time with this novel and I hope that Lesley Livingston will decide to write more books featuring Clare, Allie and Milo! I’d love to meet them again!

A Taste of History 

Boudicca was queen of the Iceni people of Eastern England and led a major uprising against occupying Roman forces. 
Boudicca was married to Prasutagus, ruler of the Iceni people of East Anglia. When the Romans conquered southern England in AD 43, they allowed Prasutagus to continue to rule. However, when Prasutagus died the Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and confiscated the property of the leading tribesmen. They are also said to have stripped and flogged Boudicca and raped her daughters. These actions exacerbated widespread resentment at Roman rule.

In 60 or 61 AD, while the Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paullinus was leading a campaign in North Wales, the Iceni rebelled. Members of other tribes joined them.

Boudicca's warriors successfully defeated the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester. They went on to destroy London and Verulamium (St Albans). Thousands were killed. Finally, Boudicca was defeated by a Roman army led by Paulinus. Many Britons were killed and Boudicca is thought to have poisoned herself to avoid capture. The site of the battle, and of Boudicca's death, are unknown.

Blog Tour Stops 
(make sure to visit them all!)
Giveaway Announcement! 

I will be giving away a finished copy of "Once Every Never" The giveaway will be posted together with my interview with Lesley at the end of this week. Make sure to check back! It will be open to Internationals!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hottest Upcoming Releases - July 2011

Brought to you by Bookish, sponsored by *Reading Hotties* :D
It's a new Bookish feature designed to highlight hot releases in the upcoming month. 
Since there is no way I could track down ALL the upcoming releases, I apologize if your book hasn't been featured! I assure you, it was purely accidental! 
If you'd like me to feature your upcoming release, let me know! I'll be more than happy to do that!

Hottest Upcoming Releases in July 2011

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings (July 8th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile) 
Luminous by Dawn Metcalf ( July 7th 2011 by Dutton Childrens Books)
My Life As A White Trash Zombie  by Diana Rowland (July 5th 2011 by DAW)
The Beginners by Rebecca Wolff (June 30th 2011 by Riverhead Hardcover)

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller(July 12th 2011 by Razorbill)
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (July 12th 2011 by Scholastic Press)
Sirensong by Jenna Black (July 5th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin)
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (July 26th 2011 by Philomel)

 Ripple by Mandy Hubbard (July 21st 2011 by Razorbill/Penguin)
Supernaturally by Kiersten White (July 26th 2011 by HarperTeen)
 Paradise by Jill S.Alexander ( July 5th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends)
The Siren's Cry by Jennifer Anne Kogler ( July 1st 2011 by HarperTeen)

7 Souls by Barnabas Miller, Jordan Orlando ( July 13th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Love Story by Jennifer Echols (July 19th 2011 by MTV Books)
Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt ( July 12th 2011 by Simon Pulse)
 Clean by Amy Reed ( July 19th 2011 by Simon Pulse)

Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs ( July 1st 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books)
Shadows on The Moon by Zoe Marriott ( July 7th 2011 by Walker Books)
Siren's Storm by Lisa Papademetriou (July 12th 2011 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Wildefire by Karsten Knight ( July 26th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

 Starstruck by Cyn Balog (July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler ( July 11th 2011 by Clarion Books)
And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (July 26th 2011 by Simon Pulse)
Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris (July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Press) 

 Lost Voices by Sarah Porter ( July 4th 2011 by Harcourt Children's Books)
Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker (July 19th 2011 by Bloomsbury)
Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray (July 5th 2011 by Poppy)
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (July 26th 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation) 

Pearl by Jo Knowles (July 19th 2011)
Stolen Girl by Yxta Maya Murray ( July 7th 2011 by Razorbill)
Sleepless by Cyn Balog ( July 13th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Xisle by Steve Augarde (July 13th 2010 by David Fickling Books)

Excited? :D I know I am!!!

(Cover Reveal) Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under The Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 7th 2012 
by HarperTeen 

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—nicknamed The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms eventually will. In this dystopia, even the very air she breathes could kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous—a savage. He’s also her only hope.

Perry needs Aria, too. She alone holds the key to his redemption. And their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Debut author Veronica Rossi is accumulating fans from all over the globe—the book has already sold to more than twenty countries. It’s not surprising that foreign rights for this title have been flying off the shelf. It’s a tantalizing romance in any language.

I'm looking forward to this book! The plot sounds fantastic, the cover is beautiful and energetic and I've been following the author's blog for a while, she's a wonderful person! What else could you possibly want? :) Awesome job, Veronica!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Interview + Giveaway: Jackie Gamber, author of Redheart

I'm very excited to be joined today by Jackie Gamber, author of a beautiful YA Fantasy novel, Redheart.
Jackie is not only a wonderful author with phenomenal writing skills, but she's also a fantastic person!
She's an angel and I totally <3 her!! :)

Guys, please give a warm welcome to Jackie!

E: Evie
JG: Jackie Gamber

E: Welcome to Bookish Jackie! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
JG: Sure, Evie! I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who has been in a transition to full-time writing for the last several years. As my kids grow (they’re 19 and 16 now), I’m finding myself shifting from one sort of identity into another. I think all moms do that at some point! I also have a deep and abiding love of being outside and hanging out with animals, especially my bulldog, Ursula, who is also affectionately called our “snorfelump”
E: Who or what inspired you to write a book about dragons?
JG: I really approached my novel  “Redheart” by way of the characters. Kallon Redheart introduced himself to me as a dragon, and so the world of Leland Province filled in around him. At first, I couldn’t think of a good reason to write a novel about dragons because it seemed so…hard to explain. After resisting the story for a time, it refused to go away. And then, as I thought about it, I realized I didn’t really have a good reason not to write it.
E: Do you mind telling us how long did it take for you to write your book?
JG: I don’t mind, although it’s a little hard to pinpoint, exactly. I’d had bits of the story in fractal chapters—some just in my head—for a long, long time, and my version of “writing sessions” were just opening chapters and moving words and scenes around. I dabbled like that for a good number of years before I finally said to myself, “Self, are you going to do this or not?” Once I set my mind to it, the rest of the chapters up to ‘the end’ took about six months or so.
E: Redheart is the first book in the Leland Dragon Series. When can we expect the next one?
JG: I’m actually in the process of the writing the second one now, so I’d like to think the second book, “Sela”, ought to be finished this summer.  The editing, publishing, production all hinge on that, of course, but Seventh Star Press and I are aiming for As Soon As Possible.
E: Which of your characters do you feel is most like you?
JG: I think parts of me make it into most of my characters in some way, but I can definitely say Kallon Redheart and I recognize each other. We share a lot of fears.
E: If your book was made into a movie who would you cast for it?
JG: I would love to see Jim Broadbent as Orman Thistleby! And my female wizard, Layce Phelcher, is my homage to one of my favorite actress/comediennes, Lily Tomlin, so of course she would be ideal. And I really like Donald Faison’s talent as a voice actor for Kallon.

E: Where is your favorite place for writing? Do you have any special writing rituals?
JG: My favorite place to write is at my studio in the Historic Midtown area of Memphis. It’s a cozy room fashioned from a converted warehouse with a huge window, a wall of brick, and stucco walls. I really do my best work there, I can really focus. And I must have tea. Warm or cold weather, rain or shine, I love to brew up a big mug of tea to sip (or sometimes forget to sip) while I work.
E: On your website you started a feature called “Book Tastings”. Could you tell us more about it?
JGI’d be happy to talk about my BookTastings. It’s something I used to do for myself, just for the challenge of finding just the right tea to drink while reading a particular novel. I found that tea blends have a personality, just the way stories do, and that by either enhancing or complementing tea flavors and novels, they both made the whole experience deeper and richer. liked the sound of that, and I began blogging my novel-and-tea companions for them. It has now grown into BookTastings that I do for other authors, bloggers, and even on the road for conventions! I love doing it, because I enjoy sharing my affection for tea with readers, and supporting my genre and its delicious books. My website has links for my BookTastings, and of course I love suggestions and comments!
E: What genres do you like to read in your free time?
JG: I read so much science fiction and fantasy! Not just for my BookTastings, but because the genre is my first love. But I also really enjoy mysteries, thrillers, paranormal cross-overs. And true crime. I’m always fascinated by the human psyche, and its dark side.
E: Which of your favorite books would you recommend everybody to read?
JG: Oh, my favorite books. How much space do I have to type them? One book to start with, though: Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” It’s so much more than the movies and pop culture have made it out to be.  It’s dark and true to human nature, and brilliant. I also adore Charles Dickens’ work, and “A Christmas Carol” in particular. And anything by H.G. Wells; wow, talk about a science fiction writer ahead of his time.
E: Do you have any other hobbies that you enjoy?
JG: I’ve finally learned to knit, after years of promising myself, and I just finished my first scarf. It’s a start! I also really enjoy digging around in my little patch of garden. And I recently took a motorcycle trip of about 1,000 miles with my husband on our Suzuki VStrom, and was surprised to find I love motorcycle travel!  I can’t wait to explore more winding, nature-wrapped roads
E: If you could have a paranormal power, what power would you want and why?
JG: Ooh, this is a good question. I imagine if I had been asked this 10, 20, 30 years ago, I’d have a different answer for each phase of my life.  Nowadays, nestled precariously in the middle of my 40’s, I’m finally caring less and less about other people’s opinions about me (I could have used an opinion force field some years ago), I’m finding that rising above can be done without actually flying, and if I live at just the right angle, I’m invisible enough to get away with most of what I want to do with my life. So, that being said, I could sure use more energy, like AtomicWoman or something, to get everything done I want to do.
Random Questions:

- white or dark chocolate? Dark chocolate. The darker the better. Give me that cacao and don’t hold back!
- coffee or tea? Tea, most definitely. All kinds, from green to white to black and all the blends they come in.
- favorite fictional character? Ebeneezer Scrooge. Not because of who he starts out as, but for who he becomes..
- favorite movie? ANYTHING Mel Brooks. I adore that man’s mind, and I love to laugh. His movies make me laugh for days. 
- favorite TV show? I grew up with Columbo, Quincy, The Rockford Files. I revisit them with much appreciation to Netflix. The best!
- Spring or Autumn? I adore Fall, with blue skies and just enough nip in the air to bring on the big, loose sweaters. Autumn makes tea more satisfying and open windows make the breeze more inviting.
- ebook or printed copy?  Both! I love ebooks for the instant gratification (and I can carry my whole library in a motorcycle bag). But I also love the smell, the touch, the comforting heft of a tree book. Ebooks are wonderful! Treebooks are treasures.

Jackie, thank you so much for joining us today!  
I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing your next books!

I hope you guys enjoyed the interview, for more information about Jackie Gamber and her books, please visit her website:  Jackie Gamber or/and read my review of Redheart

If you're wondering where to get Redheart, here are the links:

Paperback, 294 pages
Published April 6th 2011 by Seventh Star Press

Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.

A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series

Giveaway Time! 
Seventh Star Press generously provided us with a copy of Redheart plus swag (set of postcards + bookmarks)

Open to US & Canada (sorry Internationals!)
Ends: Friday, July 15th 

*Mandatory entry: be a GFC follower of my blog and fill out the form below
*Extra entries: 
+1 Follow me on Twitter @SeoEvie
+5 Follow Jackie on Twitter @JackieGamber
+5 Be Jackie's Fan on Goodreads HERE
+5 Leave a comment on this post

(Announcement) Fandom Fest Debuts New Literary and Gaming Tracks

Fandom Fest Brings Large New Literary Track to Louisville Amid Major Expansion of Fright Night Film Fest

     Marquee celebrities like Hollywood legends John Carpenter and Henry Winkler will command great attention at the Fandom Fest/Fright Night Film Fest weekend July 22-24, 2011, in Louisville, KY. Alongside the wide array of premium Hollywood and media personalities, an incredible opportunity beckons for writers, gamers, readers, artists, filmmakers, pop culture fans, costuming enthusiasts, and many more.

     Fandom Fest represents a bold expansion of the popular Fright Night Film Fest, establishing several new tracks, genres, and a host of activities catering to pop culture, science fiction, steampunk, anime, costuming, and fantasy. The event builds upon Fright Night Film Fest’s strong horror legacy, growing from its inception in 2005 to become the third largest genre film festival in the United States.

     Fandom Fest’s brand new Literary Track alone features over a hundred participating authors, covering over 55 expert panels, 20 workshops, and a large number of live readings, author signings, and book launches. From the current state of publishing, to intensive writing workshops, and workshops in topics like self-publishing and e-Book development, the panels and workshops of the Literary Track have something to offer attendees from all levels of experience. As a comprehensive learning, networking, and career development opportunity, Fandom Fest’s 2011 content is unprecedented in its region.

     Major press authors such as Julie Kagawa (The Iron Faery Series), Molly Harper (Jane Jameson Series), Eric Wilson (Fireproof, Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy), Shirley Damsgaard (The Ophelia and Abby Mysteries), Michael Williams (one of the first DragonLance novelists), and Maurice Broaddus (Knights of Breton Court) are just a few examples of the well-established, award-winning authors from all across the United States who are attending. 

     Editors and publishers of many levels round out the impressive list of track participants., The Literary Track’s sponsor is Belle Books/Bell Bridge Books, who also happen to be sponsoring the prestigious Dragon*Con’s 2011 Writer’s Track. The main genres being featured at Fandom Fest are primarily fantasy, horror, and science fiction, but the Literary Track programming caters to writers of any genre, with panelists from spheres such as mystery, romance, and even erotica.

     The new gaming track unveils an array of panels, tournaments, special guests, and much more, debuting yet another new section of the event. Tabletop role-playing games, video games, board games, and even Live Action Role Playing are scheduled throughout the weekend with a strong team of gaming hosts. Attendees include representatives of highly regarded game companies/publishers such as DriveThruRPG, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, SilverMeet Studios, Hex Games, Beautiful Brains, and Blackwyrm Publishing.

     A multitude of vendors will fill the concourses of the Fern Valley Hotel and Convention Center at Fandom Fest. Gaming stores, publishers, authors, crafts, production companies, memorabilia dealers, actors, artists, and much, much more will be available for convention attendees to browse and buy one-of-a-kind items from.

     Even the live music portion of the event advances with a concert from international rock act Bella Morte, whose frontman, Andy Deane, is also a horror author appearing on the Literary Track. Fast rising heavy metal/hard rock prospect ZeroKing is slated to open for Bella Morte.

     From gatherings of cast members from popular franchises like Revenge of the Nerds, Enter the Dragon, Jem, and The Walking Dead (including Tony Moore, artist and co-creator),to icons such as Margot Kidder (Lois Lane in the Christopher Reeve Superman films), Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees in several Friday the 13th installments), and Larry Drake (Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Dr. Giggles, and Darkman), the list of attending film and media guests contains something for everyone. For the thousands in attendance, there will be more than enough to choose from in regards to programming, events, activities, parties, and celebrities.

     Best of all, standard weekend passes are just $45 dollars, which is much less than the cost of genre events which are a small fraction of the size of Fandom Fest/Fright Night Film Fest. In value, content, and affordability, Fandom Fest/Fright Night Film Fest is poised to become one of the top events of its kind in the United States.

For further information on the 2011 event, please visit or

Direct Links related to Literary and Gaming Tracks:

Literary Track Guests:

Literary Track Programming:

Gaming Track Guests:

Gaming Track Schedule and Programming: 

(Book Blog Tour) Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon (ARC review + Giveaway)

Genre:Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Fairytale
Publication.Date  November 8th 2011
Published By:  Bonneville Books (Cedar Fort)
WebsiteCinder and Ella
Cinder and Ella - Goodreads
My review copy:netGalley
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

     After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.

Please note:  Quotes are from an ARC and will be verified against a published copy.

Tanner: "I think that I might kiss you to keep your lips busy from something other than insulting me."
Ella: "If you think you can do it without getting lost."

"Shut-up, you fool! I will not listen to your snide remarks any longer. I will stop crying as soon as you can learn to keep your mouth shut for more than a few seconds at a time."

     Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon was a big surprise! When I started reading this book I expected yet another re-telling of the classic fairytale. You know the one with evil stepmother and stepsisters, handsome prince-charming, glass slippers, pumpkin turning into a beautiful coach, ball at the palace and a girl trying to escape the life of abuse and servitude.  This book, however, was nothing like the original story. As a matter of fact, it was so different from the classic Cinderella fairytale that if not for the title, I never would have connected these two stories.  

     Let’s talk about the plot, shall we?

     Cinder and Ella, together with their parents and two sisters, lived in a small cottage on the side of a steep mountain.  For a time, the family lived a happy and peaceful life. They all loved and respected each other. The sisters grew in joy and their days were filled with happiness. Their lives were absolutely perfect, and they never foresaw the dark days ahead of them.  

     One night Prince Monticello came knocking on their door. He didn’t come in search of a bride. Nor did he want to invite the ladies to a ball. What he wanted was to gain supporters of his treasonous intentions. He spoke of the injustice and lunacy of the king. Most of his words, though, were pure deception. Unfortunately, both Weston and Adela of Willow Top were trusting people. They believed in the prince’s good intentions and they fell for his lies. 

     After the prince’s visit the family of Willow Top started to fall apart. The father, bewitched by a dark, invisible spell, eventually started to lose his mind. The prince’s words poisoned his thoughts and he became bitter and gloom. He started to neglect both his blacksmith business and his family, until one day he disappeared without a trace. 

     The sisters started to mistreat each other and often fought over silly things. Devastated by the disappearance of her husband, the mother was no longer capable of taking care of her daughters. She became disconnected from the reality and spent her days at the spinning wheel.  

     Cinder, the kindest of all daughters, ends up having to care for her whole family. Treated more like a servant than a family member, she now has to look after her sisters, Katrina and Beatrice.  Just like Cinderella in the original fairytale, Cinder is in charge of all the chores in and around the house, working from early mornings to late evenings.  

     The tough family situation is not everything she will have to deal with, though.  Both Cinder and her sister, Ella, will have to face a huge danger. The evil prince is out there to get them, and he is charming and deceitful. Will the sisters be able to recognize the danger in time? Or will the evil triumph this time? 

     I really enjoyed reading this novel. The writing is simplistic, yet very captivating. The book is slightly more than 200 pages, which makes it a quick read. The plot is fast moving and you don’t really get those slower moments, when you feel like you can cast the book aside for a while. It’s the kind of book you can easily devour in one sitting. I found myself really engrossed in the storyline and wanting to find out what will happen next and how the whole thing will end. 

     My only complaint about this book would be the nonsensical or absent motives for many characters’ actions. The prince is evil, dark and devious, but we never really learn what caused him to be like that. I mean, he comes from a good, loving family. The king and queen seem to be perfectly reasonable people who care for their son. There was no wicked witch to cast a spell on him and he didn’t fall on his head when he was a child. There just doesn’t seem to be any logical explanation for his evilness.  Same goes for the father and the king and queen.  I just didn’t understand the motives behind their decisions. I do, however, believe that this is just how the traditional folktales are and that’s the beauty of the genre. It’s meant to be simple. And you’re not supposed to question the motives. We’re talking about a story, which is written in a way that preserves the tone of a classic old fairy tale. The guy is evil because he likes it this way. Period. 

      I highly recommend this book for a beach read. It might be slightly darker than the original, but it’s not heavy or depressing at all. If you’re looking for a quick read to pass the time, Cinder and Ella may just be the novel for you.

Here's the complete tour schedule, some blogs -- like Bookish -- are hosting giveaways, so make sure to visit them all! :) Happy hopping! 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

1 2 3 4

I Like These Books   ReaWrite I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Reflections of a Neurotic Writer  

5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Reflections With Coffee   The Victorian Vanity
Lost for Words
Librarians Life in Books   Dr. Stravagante’s Traveling Book Circus   Not on Shelf
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(Cover Reveal) Legacy by C.V. Hunt

by C.V. Hunt

Expected publication: withing the next few months

The sequel to Endlessly. Narrated by Ashley.

The power struggle continues within the world of misfits. Ashley tests her powers and discovers an awful reality; not every story has a happy ending.

I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book by C.V. Hunt and now I am super excited about the upcoming release of the sequel. Can't wait to read it!
If you'd like to check out my review of Endlessly, you can find it HERE.

C.V. is a wonderful person and  a phenomenal writer, so don't forget to visit and follow her blog! :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

(Excerpt) A Season of Transformation by Jayne Fordham

A Season of Transformation 
by Jane Fordham

Mass Market Paperback, 258 pages
Published March 31st 2011 by Jayne Fordham 
A Season of Transformation is a young adult fantasy/ romance novel set in the contemporary world. It is the story of five young people drawn together to complete a Quest, to protect their town from destruction. In order to defeat the story’s villain, Maxvale, the five virtual strangers must come together and not only forge a bond of trust but become proficient with the ‘abilities’ temporarily bestowed upon them.

In the midst of the lead up to the battle each of the young people has their own personal struggles they are trying to deal with. Lucas, an adopted and bitter teenager struggles to become the person he wants to be whilst developing feelings for Makenna, a rich kid who doesn’t like his attitude. Bonnie is a ‘gothic’ that is dealing with an alcoholic father, Ben the school nerd and Adam the class clown are trying to break free from their high school stereotypes. Can these five teens put their differences aside to defeat Maxvale and save their town?

Chapter 3- Makenna’s Emerging Abilities

     The morning approaches too quickly. I groan and slam my hand on the alarm clock. Is it just me or did the buzzer turn off a split second before I hit the off button? Okay no more crazy thinking Makenna! Today I am going to return to living a normal life. No more odd forces, old boxes or contemplating strange things happening in my room. 
I can’t count how many times I have yawned by the time I enter the kitchen of the main house. I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night. At least I only have to get through one more day of school, before the weekend starts. Oh how I love Fridays. I think about what I might do with myself over the weekend as I open the pantry doors in search of the cereal. 
I scan the containers stacked side by side in matching Tupperware containers. Cornflakes, Weet-bix or Coco Pops? I think I’ll go with Cornflakes today- something reasonably healthy after the whole packet of fairy floss that I shared with Tamsin and Aliysha last night. Before I reach up to grab the container I stifle a yawn and rub my eyes and try to open them up real wide to help me feel more awake.
I scream and jump backwards when my eyes re-focus. The Cornflakes are hovering outside the cupboard… in mid air. My eyes widen.
How could this be happening? Am I that deliriously tired?
“What’s the matter hun?” My mother asks with concern as she enters the kitchen behind me.
My body tenses up as I am startled even more by my mother’s voice and the possibility of her witnessing this unnatural experience. I quickly reach up and grab the container out of the air before my mother can see.
I peer at my mother from around the pantry door; her eyebrows are furrowed down, her eyes peering at me curiously.
“Uhh. I thought I saw a spider,” I stammer.
“Oh. False alarm then huh,” she smiles.
“Yeah I guess so,” I smile back weakly.
My mother is dressed in her usual professional attire. She wears a black pin stripe pencil skirt with a matching vest. Underneath she is wearing a teal button up shirt which brings out her blue eyes and is a nice contrast against her honey blonde hair. Although she is in her early forties she could easily pass for a woman in her early thirties. She is often asked by strangers if she had me when she was a teenager. She politely explains to them that she is older than she looks. I secretly admire her and hope that I take as much pride in my looks when I get older as she does.
“Well how was the carnival last night?” She asks chirpily.
I try to avoid further eye contact with her as I pour the cereal into a bowl.
“It was fun.”.
“Oh that’s good hun.”
I nod, shovelling cereal into my mouth in an attempt to finish it as soon as possible so I can leave.
“So what are your plans for the weekend then?” Mum asks, trying her hardest to engage me in conversation.
“Um not sure yet mum. Might hang out with Tamsin and Aliysha tonight. Haven’t really thought about what I’m doing over the weekend yet.”
“Okay well just so you know I will be working tomorrow. Tonight I have a dinner on with the partners so I won’t be back until late.”
“Okay no problem.”
“Have a good day,” mum says as she plants a kiss on my forehead and leaves the kitchen.
A good day. Well it wasn’t quite starting off that way. I can only hope that once I get to class I can forget all about the cereal container floating in mid air in the centre of my mother’s kitchen.

Chapter 1 & 2 are available for free on Jayne's site

This book is available for purchase from Amazon Kindle Store  and from Lulu  as paperback or file download. Ebooks are available for only $2.99!
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