Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Night of the Purple Moon Brought Me to Tears.

After reading this book I am simply speechless. I was contacted by author Scott Cramer and was intrigued by his dystopian storyline. Usually books of the dystopian genre consist of a world that has aged after a worldly disaster. In Night of the Purple Moon you read what happens the very next day. I was put into a world where no adult survives an epidemic that comes forth in a blink of an eye, and was emotionally vested in these children who had to learn to survive. You are taken through this journey with the Leigh family, Abby, Jordan, and their two-year old sister Toucan. I was completely floored by how strong these kids were and amazed at their ability to strategize and think on their toes. There is a tremendous amount of drama and heartache in Scott Cramer’s newly published eBook, that it will have you shed a tear. Night of the Purple Moon is a rollercoaster packed with emotion that I could not put down. Everyone should seriously read this book.


Summary provided by author:

For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.

But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.

On a small island off the coast of Maine, a group of teens and children struggle to survive in this new world, but all the while they have inside them a ticking time bomb — adolescence.

Abby Leigh who is thirteen-years old, has a motherly nurturing side to her, maybe because she is the oldest. She seems high strung at times but it is never annoying because by doing this she shows how much love she has for her friends and family. The space dust that spreads across the planet because of the passing comet attacks hormones that are produced after puberty. Abby being thirteen has to go through the entire book wondering when the germs will attack her own body. She witnesses death after death but always has hope that a cure will be discovered.

Jordan Leigh is a leader that I would follow without question. My heart broke for him when the coyotes come looking for food near their home. Jordan shined in the entire book, he is always willing to take a risk and at times I forgot how young he was while reading. His best little moment for me was when he hears the voice of a three-year old boy on the phone at the police station; he is scared because his mommy won’t wake up. Jordan has no idea of how to find the boy. The next thing you read is Jordan driving up to his house in a squad car with the boy. He is a very determined hero.

I loved this book because of Scott Cramer’s writing. He is absolutely wonderful because he has a way of evoking a protective emotion from readers for his characters. I don’t remember being this attached since Hunger Games. So many little stories of survival are laced within his work. Mandy, who is brought in much later in the book did this for me. She has such a big story yet it’s told in few words. When I found out her terrible secret I gasped because I thought of only the innocence that was lost, both in her and the victim she speaks of. Scott Cramer is a grand author who I hope to read more of.

I want to say so much more about this book but don’t want to spoil it. The kids in this book are amazingly unique. A young reader could identify with anyone in The Night of the Purple Moon. Kevin Patel who is the brains of the group, Colby is the protective muscle and Emily and her innocence will have readers picking their favorite characters. I highly recommend this book, it's something I could honestly see as required reading in schools because of the powerful lessons. Because of the detailed description of Castine Island, the location of the book, I would love to see this as a movie as well. This book contains no hard-core romances, so I can safely say boys and girls will appreciate it. If you read any book this summer please read Scott Cramer’s The Night of the Purple Moon.

**What do you think of the new cover? Feel free to comment below.

Monday, June 25, 2012

August's Teen Self-published Authors Feature Update


Okay people I have been busy during my selection process for my self-published author's only feature in August. It's been great receiving all the great review requests and has been really hard to pick which authors to feature. I tried to cover a wide variety of story lines, and I feel I have achieved that with the author's and their books listed below. There are some great books here that I cannot wait to read. So if you are, or know of an author who has put their book out on their own, without a publishers help there is still time to submit. The deadline is June 30th and I've decided to post which authors I have selected to create a buzz and to show what I will be busy  reading next month. There is still room on my reading list so send your requests in now! Click here for more info.

The Dreamwalker
by Kristen Robertson
Click cover for a sneak preview

                                                          Summary provided by author:
I have never believed in destiny, and I never wanted to.
But destiny brought me to a home and a life I never knew existed.
Destiny showed me who I really am...
My name is Olivia and I am a cognitive.

Olivia is a sixteen-year old girl with a mother who drinks too much and a stepfather who considers a day at the casino is the same as a day at the office. Olivia can think of only one thing to do, to escape.

Now on the run Olivia can only hope that the unknown in front of her will be better than the past she left behind. She meets Sebastian, a mysterious boy, who she can't help feel an immediate connection to. Sebastian reveals that she is not only a Cognitive but his destined-the one person in this world he can connect to-and she wonders why that idea doesn't seem completely crazy.      

If things weren't confusing enough, Olivia is visited by her father in a dream and learns that his only chance at survival is if Olivia can find him in time. Armed with Sebastian, an the rest of the Cognitives. she must save her father before she loses him all over again.

The Mine
by John A. Heldt
Click cover for more author info

Summary provided by author:
In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war.

With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

Hell's Game
by Teresa Lo
Click on cover for more author info

Summary provided by author:
On Halloween night in Deer Creek, Kansas, Jake Victor, Ashley and Ashton Gemini, and Kristin Grace convince Ronnie Smalls to meet them at the town cemetery, which local folklore has always rumored to be the Gateway to Hell. Their intention was only to scare him, but soon the wicked prank becomes actual horror as the group learns the Gateway is all too real. After demons snatch Ronnie and drag him to Hell, the terrified foursome vow to keep what they had seen a secret.

Two years later, the group receives a mysterious letter, an invite to play a high-stakes game in Hell. If they win, they release Ronnie’s soul as well as their own from eternal damnation. If they lose, they are stuck in Hell forever. Choosing to play, they face nightmare after nightmare as each level escalates in intensity and forces them to face the seven deadly sins.

Inspired by the legends of the Gateway to Hell in Stull, Kansas, Hell’s Game explores the cruelty that teenagers can inflict upon each other as well as the horrors that exist amongst mankind. It is a dark, action-packed young adult novel that will both scare its readers and make them question the true meaning of evil.

Indian Maidens Bust Loose
by Vidya Samson
Click on cover for more author info

Summary provided by author:

East and West may meet, but sometimes they shouldn't.  That's what Nisha Desai's conservative Hindu family thinks when a black-sheep American aunt and her trouble-magnet teenage daughters come to visit them in India.  The guests are seen as an invading force, equipped with weapons of mass corruption.

But to Nisha, the rich aunt looks like a one-woman foreign aid program and a way to escape the horrible suitors her father keeps foisting on her. She makes every effort to charm the visitors. This is not an easy task, for the aunt is a New Age space case, and the cousins’ appetite for disasters threatens to level the city of Ahmedabad. In short order, the demented cousins instigate an elopement, a public protest, and a riot that gets Nisha thrown in jail.

It's only when Nisha's father adopts a pet cow and convinces half the city it's the reincarnation of a Hindu deity that the two families are united in a common goal: to bilk thousands. The result is Madison Avenue's idea of a religious experience, which is not a controllable situation.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot Buy: Any Love But Mine From Author Debbie Davies

This cover is definitely a head turner but please do not let it mislead you as a reader. After being contacted by author Debbie Davies I looked up the book, saw the cover and said, “Oh!” But then when I read more about the summary included below I had to read it. Any Love But Mine is a book that could easily stand with popular teen titles of today. This was a very quick read and Davies managed to pack in great backstories involving Greek mythology for all of her characters. It’s a great book for teens that has a lot of playful and confident flirtation from Acacia and Josh, the two lead characters, nothing too descriptive that would shock readers—or their parents. 
Summary from Goodreads:
The gods forbade her to love, but love is a powerful force. Acacia has been created purely for Eros' pleasure but discovers within moments of being summoned into his presence that he has no interest in her whatsoever.
Rejected, she is banished to Earth to serve as Eros' minion with the task of promoting the blissful state of love among all those around her, a state she must never indulge in with a human being herself on pain of immediate destruction.
And then comes Josh, someone whose power of attraction over Acacia is so intense she will find it utterly impossible to resist him.
But is he human? Is he a god? Or is he a trick of the gods?
And what would happen should they kiss?

Okay, Acacia has some serious drama that she was created into by the gods. I felt bad for her because she’s just a teen girl who finds a boy that she’s really into and can’t have him. She is beautiful because she was created by the god Prometheus, under the order of Zeus, but maintains wallflower characteristics. Since she was created for Eros she has to invoke love between others around her. The book starts off immediately when Acacia is created and at first I was confused, but after finishing the book I feel it was a perfect way to start Acacia’s story. She has a lot to find out about the drama between the gods and she never plays off as being na├»ve but an innocent that I think readers will be protective of.

Josh is a very confident leading man that teen girls will enjoy reading. He’s the popular guy in school who doesn’t seem to care about high school politics. He just enjoys life and being himself and people just seem to be drawn to that honesty. He is very flirtatious with Acacia but when reading you get the feeling she actually makes him nervous. To him Acacia is this unattainable beauty in school that remains a mystery. He even makes a comment that if classmates see him in her car, that they’ll wonder how he managed a ride, from her. He isn’t a complete mystery until the very end of the book. His character is one that is going to really explode on the pages of the sequel. I will not spoil anything but I was pleased to see where Davies went with his story.

My favorite part of this book was Josh and Acacia. Davies really does know how to set up great drama and love story. And then when Luca was introduced I was floored because—wait, no spoilers! I’ll just say you think you know what is going to happen but then Davies gives you a whiplash of an ending that was brilliant. So many characters and so much sacrifice is involved.

Because Greek mythology is involved, sometimes the gods make an appearance in the human world. Some people could be jolted out of the story line a bit and say it’s unrealistic but I think it sits well in the story. Sorry but anything Greek these days gets compared to the Percy Jackson series. So if you are a girl who followed that series and ready for a romance, than Any Love But Mine is the next step.

I think anyone who likes to read paranormal or a good love story would enjoy Debbie Davies’ book. It looks like it’s going to be an intense indie series to follow and right now it’s available for the Kindle for only .99 cents! So take advantage of this Hot Buy, and take a chance on Debbie Davies’ Any Love But Mine.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rapture, the final installment of the Fallen series....egh.

I have followed this series merely so I could read how Luc and Daniel’s story ends. After reading Passions the third book in the Fallen series I was eagerly awaiting the final installment. I will admit I liked the series but wasn’t drop dead in love with it. I only got into it after Lauren Kate’s impressive book Passion, which is still a favorite of mine but with Rapture I was half disappointed and yet somewhat satisfied.

So we left Luc and Daniel at the hands of Lucifer, who had been posing as Bill, a guide through her past lives. Now Luc and Daniel have to figure out the location of where the angels fell to earth in order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past and starting over again. In doing this Luc will come face to face with absolute sacrifice and will come to find that Daniel may not have been her first love.

So Luc is still the same for me in Rapture. She’s strong and comes to her own conclusions patiently. She is faced with a lot of challenges that will push her to her very edge, and I as a reader enjoyed her revelations that happen in the book. I did see the ending coming but not in the talented way that Lauren Kate tied it up in a perfect bow. I could see that maybe she knew Luc’s ending from the very beginning.

Daniel was so good in Passions and even in the first book Fallen but in Rapture little things made a big impact in tearing his character down a bit. He always seemed to know what Luc’s real story was and after the ending I could see how this tore his character up emotionally but he seemed a bit too romantic at times with Luc. Yes I know he finally had Luc after chasing her through time but sometimes he was just too gooey for me. I know this might be deemed unnatural of me but there was a scene that could have been played off as cute, but when he came rowing up in a gondola while in Venice wearing one of those straw top hats with a ribbon around it I could not take him seriously anymore, especially when he was described wearing a black t-shirt with a red scarf around his neck in the middle of August. This is the same Daniel who flipped off Luc when they first saw each other. I don’t think that type of guy would be caught dead doing this.  

What I loved about the book was the tracking of the relics in order to locate the place of the angel’s fall and the final ritual that has a heart-wrenching turn of events. I enjoy when books can take you places of historical importance. What I feel failed in the book where the many characters that had to be involved in the story. Again I’m not a cult follower of the series but because of Passions I was taken out of Sword and Cross Reform School and forgot some of the characters. I would recommend reading the second book if you’re not an endearing follower as a refresher.

I do feel that in the past books Luc and Daniel seemed to fight a bit more for their cause. There was just a lot of angry talk in this book and even though the story ended nicely; the final, final story (don’t want to spoil anything) fell flat and was a bit to simple for this epic of a story. But if you have been questioning reading Rapture you may just do so simply because I mentioned it now.

Serious romantics would love this book and all of its whimsical angelic flights with Daniel through the clouded skies and across the seas. If you are rolling your eyes right now, Rapture isn’t your next read. It was a bit too romantic and not enough Paranormal, and feel any romantic cynics may want to take a step back from Rapture. If you can look past that and enjoy the history of the fallen angels then this could be for you too. So you decide for yourselves.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

David Morgan’s Boo Hag will have your flesh crawl…in a good way.

“Lenny Petrakas is worried about her skin. Not the way you’re thinking. Not like that at all. While most people spend time concerned about dirt and elasticity, temperature and moisture, Lenny has a more pressing problem. Something is after her. Something evil that won’t stop until it has peeled every last inch of skin from the teen’s body. And then, it may end her misery quickly, or it may dump her body in the woods. Let infection and dehydration run its course.”

Uh…yeah, why wouldn’t I read this! I was contacted with this summary by author David Morgan inviting me to read his debut novel, The Boo Hag. I have never heard of a Boo Hag and I am very glad I hadn’t until now. I’m a bit of a scaredy cat and wouldn’t have been able to sleep very well knowing of this mythical legend. But the campy characters in The Boo Hag made it easier to get through. I use campy as a compliment, especially when you have a character like Katie the cheerleader or Brian the jock. The book had this constant Buffy the Vampire feel when it came to the characters and setting. It took me awhile to get into the beginning of the book but when I finished, I was left checking the page numbers to make sure no pages were left out of my copy, only because I was left with a simple ending that created a major cliffhanger, and a lot of questions.

The first standout character was Lenny of course. She is a very smart girl who is definitely following a straight path. I like that author Morgan never dumbed her down in the face of the Boo Hag. She doesn’t run but fights for her life head on, and for her friends. There is always this mystery about her throughout the story that I hope gets more attention in the second book.

Brian is just fun to read. He is always willing to impress a girl and of course that causes him to be caught between two girls. But the girls will have to compete with his first love, football. Throughout the book I sensed that Brian never felt he was that great at anything but football, but he is the one that always seems to have a plan in catching the Boo Hag. His dialogue is honestly funny for a teenager and he is a great friend to Lenny when she needs him and hilarious to read when he chases after Katie.

The final character that I loved to hate was in fact the cheerleader, Katie. She is so superficial and the ultimate queen bee however, I enjoyed how Morgan weaved her into the story. She is someone that you want to see get what she deserves and winds up being in the entire story. She didn’t make me want to close my book so I guess that’s a good thing. My mouth would drop at the incentive things she would say to Lenny or Anna during there life and death scenarios. I will be looking forward to her story in the next book.

The Boo hag was an entertaining escape and probably a good pick for a summer read. It does have a bit too much description at times that could be left to the imagination of the reader but it thins out greatly towards the end. I was hoping for a bit more Boo Hag in the book but have faith in the sequel for more to be revealed. The scenes that she is in are awesomely gross, and detailed in such a gruesome way that you wouldn’t want to be in the same room with her either. I mean she sucks your breath from you in your sleep. I kept flashing to one of my childhood fears from the movie Cat’s Eye.

The Boo Hag by David Morgan is a book that goes against the teen book outline. The lead character doesn’t have a crush on a boy—but her friend does and the queen bee that usually has there day doesn’t. It’s a very different book that a group of readers who like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural or Evil Dead could appreciate.  

Click on The Boo Hag cover to check out author David Morgan's blog. It's Hilarious!

Friday, June 1, 2012

You Should Be Reading: Partials by Dan Wells

Finally finished Dan Wells Partials and I can confidently say that anyone can read this book. You don’t have to be a teen or lover of teen books to be entertained. An adult could easily pick up a copy of Partials, man or woman, and walk away completely shocked. Dan Well’s dystopian novel is a stand out book that takes itself seriously. It’s not about matching up couples, or being cured of love. It engulfs the reader into a world of humans as an endangered species that face the true meaning of sacrifice everyday. Partials is a fantastic science fiction novel that seems to intentionally steer away from the common love triangle, and I liked it. When I finished reading the book I closed it and glanced at the cover noticing the simple headline above the title, The only hope for humanity isn’t human, and thought, Whoa! 

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.
Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

I was honestly able to identify with lead character Kira Walker. She is constantly struggling with what is right and wrong with her government and whether she has the power to change it. That’s something that everyone feels at anytime in there life. I LOVED that Dan Wells had already given her a strong relationship with boyfriend Marcus. No mushy love intro and no longing looks, only the bones of a strong relationship that is never tampered with by anyone. Kira is incredibly smart and believable when she is conducting her work in her lab or out in the field dodging bullets. You never have to second-guess that she can’t do these things at sixteen. The world she lives in is a lot younger looking because of the crippling population; she is always seen as an adult. I think this is great for a reader to experience only because you can’t help but see her as a child sometimes and wonder if the world where to suffer this type of future, could you do what she has to, or you can’t help but think of your own children living as she?

There are a lot of medical details that are in the book that I could have done without that seemed repetitive but maybe some readers won’t feel the same way, also a lot of historical detail that you really have to pay attention to because it involves three different societies fighting for survival. I actually enjoyed the military description because it had me on the edge of my seat. Plus the discussions of the senate were similar to watching a tennis match. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page because someone else’s fate was in someone else’s hands. When the senate has a discussion there are so many opinions to factor into a decision when you govern the last survivors of humanity. I was able to see how far humanity could be pushed into a decision that was desperately trying to populate and secure a dying breed.

This is not a quick read. It is something that may take a bit of time to get into but it’s well worth it. As soon as author Dan Wells gets a hold of you as a reader he doesn’t let go. You will be pulled into this story not wanting to put it down. ANYONE could read this! It’s not a typical teen book. It stands with a firm foot outside the genre and tempts a wide variety of readers. As I read Partials, movies like Terminator and Children of Men kept running in my head. I only hope that they make this into a movie because it would be epically cool!