Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Owlet Tour by Emma Michaels (Excerpt, Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway)!


“Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. I just need a must just be that ‘island fear,’ or something.”

Iris watched Diana and knew she had lied without needing the voice inside her to confirm that fact. She could see it in Diana’s eyes as she stared out the window without actually focusing on anything. She didn’t see the garden...she saw something else. Iris had been wrong, something else was affecting Diana. And while she was afraid of the island, it wasn’t what was hurting her.

“I will check it out...after...could we...?” Iris couldn’t decide what else to say so, relenting, she turned towards the hallway and walked back up the stairs. Diana had turned on all of the lights when she’d been looking for Iris so she didn’t need Diana to tell her which room it was because it was the only one where the doorknob matched the necklace. Its wood was even painted the same distinct dark red as the door. Looking down the hall she realized the ‘apple’ room’s door was painted an emerald green, Iris’ favorite color, and the door of the third room was painted a deep blue.

Iris got up the nerve to open the door with the feather handle. Please, let something be left. When she turned on the light she found more than she could ever have asked for. She hadn't cared if there were items she could keep now that she had the necklace, she just wanted to get to know more about the soul that had brought her into the world. She wanted to feel closer to her mother and the room provided that doorway, offering her a glimpse into a world that her mother must have truly loved.


Owlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Title: Owlet
Author: Emma Michaels
Series: 1st
Published: October 13th 2012 by Tribute Books 
ISBN: 9780985792213
Source: Arranged Tour

Description: Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.  Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the fa├žade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.

  I Give This ... 
I've been meaning to read Emma Michael's first series for quite awhile, but just haven't gotten to it.  When asked to join the tour for the release of the first book in a new series, I jumped at the chance.  The premise of this one sounded interesting.
The first thing that stuck me is the book seems very young.  Iris may be seventeen, but the story reads more like middle grade fiction.  There is some violence thats more geared towards the older teens, but overall I think the younger teens will like it better.  Most of the time when I feel this way, it because the characters speech and actions feel more juvenile.  That's not the case here.  I think it's because so much of Iris's life has been in seclusion, she comes across as particularly naive.  But, not annoyingly so.

I was intrigued by Iris's dreams.  I think these dreams are trying to trigger her memory loss.  She's been kept in the dark for so long that she has no clue at the journey she's about to undertake.  It's amazing that it was all able to be kept under wraps the way it was.  She does surprisingly well when confronted with the truth, especially when so little of it is explained to her.  She's just thrown into it all.

The link between the different types of owls and characters was interesting, but also a little confusing.  I often felt that the storyline lead to more questions than answers.  In the end, I feel like the book very little impression on me accept for the fact that I would like to know what makes Iris so special.  And why everyone was lead to believe that she was something different.

Creating the Owlet Cover 
I have been blessed enough to get to work with Tribute Books, who allowed me to create my own cover since I have worked as a cover artist for them in the past, but I’m a perfectionist, so I went through a TON of different versions. Whenever I’m working on a cover, my thought process tends to begin with ‘am I going to be able to do this?’ and from there it goes to ‘how’. How am I going to be able to make this a reality? What is that impossible dream for this cover and how can I make it come to life? Finally one day, after looking at the sixteen different versions I had created, the problem I was finding with the covers I had created was that I kept thinking within the parameters of what I thought I was capable of doing. So I decided to think more along the lines of creating a cover for Owlet that was far beyond what I could do. It was a crazy endeavor, one that I was worried might be impossible to achieve. What ended up inspiring me was that first moment in the book where she jumps from the balcony. She is standing there, knowing that she can stay and keep her life the way it has always been, or she can jump, and try to find something new. Yes, it was the beginning of the book, but it was also about her deciding to fly for what she wanted. That’s what I wanted the cover to embody – to capture that moment, that decision, that ended up carrying her to her Never-Never. In the end, a sketch that I did that I call “Iris’ Moment of Freedom”, ended up inspiring me to not limit myself to one scene from the novel, which is why the cover now features Iris in a white dress in the moonlight, framed by an archway. The owl in the background symbolizes the cage that Iris was in, and the changes that she was going to have to face in her life. Overall, I love the end result and hope that you feel the same! I want to say a big thank you to Tribute Books for allowing me to create the cover and placing their trust in me! I am so happy to have the support of a publisher that I know believes in me. I hope you love Owlet! So tell me, what do YOU think of the cover?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review - The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: 1st
Pages: 379
Published: October 23rd 2012 by Harlequin Teen 
ISBN: 9780373210572
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.  That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.  Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten. 

I Give This ...


I can not tell you how excited I was to see this book.  I LOVE The Iron Fey series and was sad to see it end.  I was more the willing to give a new chapter in this world a chance.

I was happy to see that the land of Fey is just like I remember it.  I didn't expect it to change, but I was curious to see how it had moved forward over the years.  All the characters that we know and love are still featured in this book.  I got just enough to please me, plus the addition of a few new characters that took me no time at all to love.

It's nice to see Ethan all grown up (or almost).  I wasn't surprised to see him as the bitter and angry teenager that he is.  The Fey have reeked havoc on his entire life.  His sister has cut his family from her life.  He tries desperately to remain aloof and friendless.  That kind of existence must be terrible.  While the events that lead him to journey into the land of Faery again are not the best, I think it was needed to make him begin to accept who he is.

I was especially pleased to see Kieran make such a prominent appearance in this story.  I just loved him.  I liked how he skates around the truth about who he really is.  He doesn't want Ethan to treat him any differently.  I liked that he wanted their relationship to develop naturally not because it's forced.  

It's a perfect next chapter in this series.   There's some questions brought up in the book that I can't wait to see answered.  I'll be eagerly awaiting the next one! 


Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2)The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Beta (Annex, #1)
  • Rebel Heart by Moira Young
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  • Beta by Rachel by Rachel Cohn

Currently Reading: 
Thorns (The Frost Chronicles, #2)
  • Thorns by Kate Avery Ellison

Up This Week:  

VelvetUntraceable (The Nature of Grace, #1)
 Velvet by Mary Hooper
Untraceable by S.R. Johannes

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In My Mailbox!

For Review: 

Sacrifice (Legacy, #3)Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries, #1)Shadowfell (Shadowfell, #1)
The Lincoln Conspiracy: A Novel
  • Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver  
  • Undeadly by Michele Vail
  • Shadowfell by Juliet Mariller
  • The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
*Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley, Random House, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!


The Song of Achilles: A NovelProphecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters, #1)

  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller  
  • Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink  (I've read this but can you believe I found it at The Dollar Store!!)


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sound Series Giveaway Game

To celebrate the release of the 3rd book of the SOLID series,
Shelley Workinger has put together a giveaway game! 

EVERY ENTRANT who COMPLETES the task will win
ebooks of BOTH “Solid” (Solid #1) AND “Settling” (Solid #2).

including “Sound” (Solid #3) just as it hits the shelves on Nov. 1st!

The rules are simple:

1. Visit each blog on the list

2. Leave a quick comment to show you were there

3. Copy the image fragment and paste it into a Word .doc
There are 18 stops to visit, comment on, and collect pieces from;
once you’ve hit all 18 stops and assembled* all of the pieces to complete the image,
email your entry to the author at: 

4. Visit the author’s blog: But What Are They Eating?
and leave a comment letting her know you’ve sent in your completed entry.
ALL 4 STEPS are important because she will choose the Grand Prize Winner
from her blog comments (using and then check her email to verify the entry.
*Don’t worry; the pieces are in order, so if you follow the list, it’ll be easy. :)

The Game runs from Oct. 25th through Oct. 31st;
last day to enter is Oct. 31st and winner will be chosen Nov. 1st.

Good luck and get gathering!
Here’s my piece:

And the rest of the stops:


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review - Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters #2) by Jessica Shirvington

Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters, # 2)Title: Entice
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Series: 2nd (Embrace)
Pages: 464
Published: September 4th 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire 
ISBN: 9781402268434
Source: Publisher for honest review

Description: Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels.  Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.  The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.  

I Give This ...

I probably wouldn't have picked this up if hadn't already been sent for review.  There were elements of the first book that I really liked and others that I had issues with.  I had hopes that this might be better.  I'm glad that I gave this book a chance.

Violet was a much better character this time around.  She's starting to embrace who she is a little bit better.  She acknowledges that she made mistakes in the past, but at the same time they are a part of who she is.  I'm not surprised that there's something different about Violet, ever more so than the fact that she's a Grigori.  I enjoyed how everyone refers to her aura.  I'll be curious to see how this will benefit her in the end.  I'm also curious to see how the 7 rays fit into this (and I especially hope that it's even a little bit better than the book of the same name).  

I was pleased to see that Lincoln and Violet's relationship seems to be moving in the right direction throughout this book.  I'm not saying that they need to be together, or that they are soul mates.  But, I absolutely hated the way Violet treated Lincoln in the first book.  But at the same time, Lincoln pulls some shady things throughout this book.  He desperately wants to make amends, but he is constantly hiding things from Violet.  I don't see how they can be soul mates because of their deceptions.

I liked the plot line more in this story.  The race to find the list first is interesting, especially since it does not work exactly like planned.  I love the idea that Moses body is hiding in plain sight, thinly veiled by angel magic and illusions.   I love how Judas plays into the story.  It was a twist that I was not expecting.  I also really enjoy Phoenix.   I'm not sure he's the bad guy we all want him to be.  I think his story is deeper than that.

At this point, I will be ready the next book in the series.  I'm hoping it can continue to develop. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review - Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin

Ashen Winter (Ashfall, #2)Title: Ashen Winter
Author: Mike Mullin
Series: 2nd (Ashfall)
Pages: 576
Published: October 16th 2012 by Tanglewood Press 
ISBN: 9781933718750
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive. 

I Give This ...

I was eager to read this.  Ashfall really struck a cord with me and there was never any doubt that I would read this as well.  This did not disappoint.

I didn't think Alex could last for long without knowing exactly what had happened to his parents.  If there is anything this journey has taught him is that family is precious, but it won't be easy to find them.  Darla is just the person to back him up along this journey.  While, Alex did a lot of growing up in the first novel, I think he backtracked a little bit in this novel.  I think he was so dead set on finding his parents that he didn't stop to think about what might happen along the way.  I don't think he thought it would be easy in anyway.  But, it sometimes felt like he thought he could just go get them.  It does not take him long to realize that the consequences are steep.

I admired that the story held nothing back.  It took all that could be dark, gritty, and horrific in this type of catastrophic situation and played it out.  It didn't take much to imagine that any of these things could happen.  When faced with our own survival, we have no idea what we might do just to achieve that right to live one more day.   While no of these things I really wanted to read about it any graphic detail, I think the author does a fantastic job of bringing them to our attention without dwelling on them.

Overall, I find this series fascinating.  Of all the books I've read that deal with  post apocalyptic events, this one feels real.  It's not a stretch of the imagination in anyway.  I think it deals with the very essence of human nature.   I think it focuses on the basic idea of hope, but there is evil out there and it can consume people.


Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
So in hindsight I placed Endlessly in my read pile last week.  I had hoped to finish it that night after making this post.  But, it ended up taking me a couple more days lol.   Dang work and kids activities keep getting in the way of my reading time!
Read Last Week: 

Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)Owlet (Society of Feathers, #1)

  • Endlessly by Kiersten White  
  • Owlet by Emma Michaels
 Currently Reading: 
Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2)
  • Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Up This Week: 
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In My Mailbox!

For Review: 

Stolen Nights (Vampire Queen, #2)Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School, #1)
  • Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel
  • Etiquette and Espionage by  Gail Carriger 


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review - Velveteen (Velveteen #1) by Daniel Marks

Velveteen (Velveteen, #1)Title: Velveteen
Author: Daniel Marks
Series: 1st
Page: 462
Published: October 9th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780385742245
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.  The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.  Bonesaw.  Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.   It’ll be brutal... and awesome.  But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.   Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her. 

I Give This ...

When this was first came to my attention I was excited about it.  The cover, title and description just absolutely grabbed me.  Sadly, it did not live up to the high expectations that I had placed upon it.

The high point of the book is Velveteen herself.  I like her personality.  She's a little bit snarky, but has just enough pull that you can tell she's the leader of her little group.  They trust her and respect her.  She gets thing done.  It seems a lot of people in the book are sit back and let someone else do the work.  And at lot of that delegation gets past on to her.  She's ok with it because it keeps her mind off of Bonesaw.

Now maybe her group shouldn't trust her because she's breaking a lot of rules.  But, the truth is that her dealings with her killer are the best part of the story.  It's what I wanted out of this book.  They just don't happen nearly enough.  From the description, it sounds like it should be the focus of the story.  It's not, and I found that very deceiving.  I'm not a big fan when the book is nothing like the description.

The story is mostly about what is happening in Purgatory.  And that is were the trouble with this story lies.  This world is absolutely maddening.  Half the time it didn't make sense.  The other half the time I just didn't care.  I wanted to get back to how she was tormenting Bonesaw.

I'm not sure I care enough to read the next one.  We will see though.     

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review - Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters #1) by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1)Title: Embrace
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Series: 1st
Pages: 369
Published: March 6th 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire 
ISBN: 9781402268403
Source: Publisher for honest review

Description: On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice.  Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.  LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.   PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.  Two sides: Angel or Exile.  Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...  

I Give This ...

This caught my eye originally, but I never firmly decided to pick it up and read it.  When the opportunity came up to review the second, I decided to give the series a shot.  

Violet's background is interesting.  Her mother died in child birth and her father has been pretty much no existent for the last few years.  Cliche in many ways with today's teen novels, but sometimes you have to just go with it.  The only constant in her life is Lincoln, whom is completely head over heels for.  Yet, she does absolutely nothing about it.  When she learns that she part angel, she refuses to believe that any of it can possibly be true.  When faced with nothing but the facts, she tries to deny her own powers.  I'm not sure how she thinks she can live a normal life after what has happened to her.
I thought the idea behind this was actually interesting.  But, sometimes it didn't really make sense.  I kept getting the Grigori and the exiles confused, not in the sense in who they were but in how they were made.  I also found Violet to be incredibly irritating for most of the novel.  Sure Lincoln lied to her.  But, they way she treated him in return was harsh.  I thought it was a little extreme and it really bugged me.  Granted in the end, we learn there is perfectly valid explanation for that.  But for me, it was too little too late.   I also wasn't really thrilled with her interactions with Phoenix and the repercussions from that.  

I will read the second in the series, but if it weren't for the fact that I already have it, I might not have picked it up.


Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters, # 2)The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)

  • Entice by Jessica Shirvington 
  •  The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa 
  • Endlessly by Kiersten White  
Currently Reading: 
Owlet (Society of Feathers, #1)
  • Owlet by Emma Michaels
Up This Week: 

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2)The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
  • Rebel Heart by Moira Young 
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


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