Sunday, May 30, 2010

In My Mailbox: May 24 - 30, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where bloggers can share what books they've received (for review, bought, from the library, won, etc) in the past week. The purpose is to encourage interaction amongst bloggers and to get new books on the radar, as well as to share what we're going to be reading! 

I'm really excited about my new books this week!

Bought:

Yay!! Finally!
From the back cover:

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined...

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school... or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

My name is Meghan Chase.

In less than twenty-four hours I'll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

I don't think it will be that way for me.

 I've been dying to read this book and now I've finally started it! The main appeal for me was the fact that it features the fairies from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, but I've also read a lot of great reviews that made it sound amazing and so far I haven't been disappointed! This is my first ever Fey novel and it could be the start of a new obsession (as if I need another one).



Won:

I won two great books from the lovely blog For What It's Worth! Thanks!!


From Goodreads:

Late-night radio you can sink your teeth into....

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, 60s psychedelia, 80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers how the DJs maintain their cred: they're vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned.

Ciara's first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WMMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station--and the link it provides to their original Life Times--the vampires would "fade," becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover becomes a matter of life and un-death.

To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as "WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll." In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs' vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around--next to Ciara's complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the "gimmick" enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren't so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher--and the perils graver--than any con game Ciara's ever played....


From Goodreads:

Turn On. Tune In. Drop Dead.

If you’re just joining us, welcome to radio station WVMP, “The Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll.” Con-artist-turned-station-owner Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs—including her new boyfriend Shane McAllister—who really sink their teeth into the music of their ‘Life Time” (the era in which they became vampires). It’s Ciara’s job to keep the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive—without missing a beat.

For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash sure to raise the dead. They’ve got cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails—what could go wrong? Well, for starters, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station’s midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciara tracks down the illegal transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded by what appears to be…a canine vampire? And behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and are willing to stake their lives on it).

Now Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own murky relationship issues, her best friend’s unlikely romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year’s in one piece, she’ll need to learn a few new tricks.…

Well, those are the books from my mailbox this week (that I know of - I've been away from my mailbox for a few days)! What exciting new reads have you picked up?

Coming soon: I'm going to be participating in an exciting book blog event during the month of June. Come back on June 1st to find out all the details! I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: May 26, 2010

I've decided to do my first ever Waiting on Wednesday post because there are several upcoming June releases that have caught my eye!

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting!


I'm sure the first book has been on many people's radar for a while, but as Monsters in May comes to a close, I feel it's only right to highlight the upcoming release of a new Twilight novella: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. 

COMING JUNE 5, 2010


Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.







I know many people are wondering what on earth Stephenie Meyer is thinking - why isn't she finishing the gospel of the Twilight fandom, Midnight Sun, instead of telling the story of a character so minor that we didn't know her last name until this book was announced? Well, while I would probably die from glee if Stephenie answered our prayers and desperate pleas and finished Midnight Sun (Please, Steph? Please?), I'm still ecstatic about this new installment! I've missed that world, and the experience of reading the series for the first time (re-reading them an inordinate number of times is fun, but it's never quite the same as the first time around. Sigh.) Plus, from Bree's point-of-view, we'll get to see a lot more of the action! From Bella's sheltered perspective, we miss A LOT.

Two other great things about this novella are:
1. It will be FREE to read online from noon on June 7th until July 5th, 2010!
2. "One dollar of each book purchased in the US from the first printing will be donated to the American Red Cross for their relief efforts in Haiti and Chile and other parts of the world where people are in great need. We're going to have an option online as well, so you can choose to make a donation if you want when you read the story online." (From stepheniemeyer.com)

How amazing is that?


COMING JUNE 1, 2010


Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....


This Iron Fey series novella is set between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter and will be FREE for download on June 1, 2010! Many of you know that I have been absolutely DYING to read The Iron King from the moment I first heard about it. It FINALLY came in the mail yesterday, and I'm using all of my willpower to save it for this weekend and finish my current read before devouring it. I'm convinced I'm going to love it and, as a result, am already psyched for this novella! Isn't the cover gorgeous? Wow.

You can read an excerpt here.


And, finally, a NON-novella....

COMING JUNE 8, 2010

From www.megcabot.com:

Get Smart. Get Sexy. Get Staked.

A modern sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula.

There's a killer loose in Manhattan. He's leaving young women drained of all their blood. Some are starting to whisper he may not even be human...

Meena Harper is a dialogue writer for Insatiable, the highest rated soap on television...at least until LustInsatiable's main competitor—launches its new vampire romance storyline.

Now Lust is breaking every daytime rating on record, and all Meena hears from her bosses is: Give the female leads of Insatiable hot vampire love interests.

But Meena's tired of the monster misogyny rampant in the entertainment business, and refuses. Too bad this causes her to lose the promotion she's always wanted.

Work is the least of Meena's worries, however: her brother Jon has lost his high paying investment banking job and joined the ranks of the city's numerous unemployed...just like the husband of Meena's best friend Leisha, who happens to be seven months pregnant and is giving Meena — who has a special psychic gift — anxious twinges. Meena's always kept hidden the fact that she knows how everyone she meets is going to die...so what does that mean about Leisha?

And what's Meena supposed to do about her neighbor, "the Contessa," who wants to set Meena up with her cousin Lucien, visiting from Romania for reasons as mysterious as he is?

But when vampire-mania works itself to a fever pitch in Manhattan, fueled by the dueling plotlines on Lust and Insatiable, as well as the city's mounting deaths, Meena is astounded to discover that the creatures she's always despised as the sexist stuff of fantasy might actually be real...

...and that thanks to her "gift", Meena herself could be in danger of turning into one...unless a vigilante band of vampire slayers, one of whom has shown up at her door and is holding her hostage, can put a stop to it.

But does Meena, drawn as she finds herself to Lucien—who might just be the Prince of Darkness himself—really want them to?

Yes, more vampires - but, in my opinion, I think this sounds like a different kind of vampire novel. I really love the line: "But Meena's tired of the monster misogyny rampant in the entertainment business..." There are way too many damsels in distress running around in the supernatural world these days and I think Insatiable promises to be an intriguing commentary on the issue. Plus, Meena's "psychic twinge" could get very interesting...


So what about you? What upcoming releases have you pacing the floors?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Of Witches & Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford


The Mullins family has a secret, and on her 16th birthday Portia Mullins is abruptly sucked into the dangerous and mystical world that is her inheritance. When her grandmother reveals the unbelievable truth, Portia's initial skepticism is forced to give way in the face of overwhelming evidence. Portia is a witch, destined to empower her family's coven by becoming its thirteenth member. That is only part of her fate, however - the rest lies in the form of her leather-clad classmate, Vance Mangum. Vance is haunted by his past and has spent years running for his life before finding refuge within the protection of Portia's powerful coven. The undeniable chemistry between them is clouded from the start by the constant threat of past evils rearing their ugly heads in Vance's new life. As the danger looms closer, Portia finds her life and love endangered and her nascent powers tested. When the final shoe drops and the plot takes a startling twist, the dynamic duo are forced to face their worst fears and hope against hope that they come out alive (and human) on the other side.

Lacey Weatherford's debut novel, Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells, is a charming tale of magic and romance, as well as dark and deadly danger. Portia is a sweet but spunky heroine who immediately comes to life for the reader, while Vance's initial bad boy persona is intriguing and his troubled past only heightens his appeal. Unfortunately, the lovesick puppy he becomes after falling for Portia quickly crumbles the alluring mystique, rather than allowing the reader to gradually decipher his inscrutable but tantalizing dark side. Vance and Portia experience the kind of bizarrely fast and strong bond that has become the norm in YA paranormal romance, but thankfully Weatherford does readers the service of providing a magical explanation for the phenomenon. The unusual magical link their bond produces puts an imaginative spin on the romance and adds a new layer to their relationship. Despite her overwhelming commitment to Vance, Portia is no damsel in distress. Their relationship is refreshingly balanced, with both characters coming to the other's rescue more than once, a welcome change from the usually unequal power distribution in otherworldly romances.

One of the most vivid and endearing characters in the novel is Portia's grandmother and high priestess of the coven, Milly. The quirky and powerful matriarch has a special bond with the young heroine, and their relationship is the most engaging in the novel. Portia's first foray into her magical inheritance, guided by her grandmother, is an entertaining introduction to Weatherford's enchanted world, and her undisguised glee at her new-found powers is infectious. Readers will cheer her on as she tests her capabilities, and will wish for magical powers of their own. A more detailed portrait of this magical world would add greatly to the story - the taste readers are given is just enough to whet their appetite. However, the haunting backstory sprinkled throughout the beginning of the novel deftly blends the warlock myth with something much more sinister to produce a chilling new kind of demon. Once the action starts and the plot picks up speed, readers will find themselves swept up in a heart-pounding and hair-raising journey alongside Vance and Portia as they come face to face with death, or worse.

Rating:
Premise: 4/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Writing: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

This book can be purchased as a paperback or in E-Book format. The UK distributor of this novel is Susan K. Mann.
 
*Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this novel from the author. This did not affect my review in any way. You can read my complete review policy here.



UPDATE!

The author, Lacey Weatherford, has kindly agreed to do an interview with The Bookish Type! Please submit any reader questions you would like me to include in the interview via email by midnight EST on May 28.

Monsters in May & Twilight Swag Giveaways: And the winners are...


The time has come to announce the Monsters in May and Twilight Swag Giveaway winners! Thank you so much to everyone who entered! Winners will be picked using random.org.

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It has been a great month of monsters here on The Bookish Type - I've really enjoyed hearing your thoughts and sharing my own about one of my favorite series! With the release of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner just around the corner and the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse little more than a month away, the time has come to announce the winner of Stephenie Meyer's adult sci-fi novel The Host! This is a great read and I hope that the winner enjoys it as much as I did! Without further ado, I give you the winner...

Stella (Ex Libris)!!

Congratulations Stella! I've contacted you via email - please respond with your mailing address within 48 hours!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for enabling me to host this giveaway!

Didn't win but dying to read this novel? Buy it here!

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It's also time to announce the winner of the Twilight Swag Giveaway #2 that was posted with my Breaking Dawn review! Thank you to everyone who left such thoughtful comments on the post!

The winner is...

Commenter #3 - "Lisa :)"

Congratulations Lisa :)! I've contacted you via email - please respond with your mailing address within 48 hours!

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Thanks again to everyone who entered my giveaways & welcome to my new followers!

I'll be reviewing The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner sometime after its release on June 5th!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox: May 17 - May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where bloggers can share what books they've received (for review, bought, from the library, won, etc) in the past week. The purpose is to encourage interaction amongst bloggers and to get new books on the radar, as well as to share what we're going to be reading! This is my first week participating in this great meme!

I received one book this past week that I won: Long Time Listener, First Time Werewolf by Carrie Vaughn! I won this book from the wonderful blog Reading Angel!


From Goodreads:
Contains the first three Kitty Norville books: Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty Goes to Washington, and Kitty Takes a Holiday, as well as a short story "Kitty Meets the Band".

DJ Kitty Norville never much liked doing the nightshift at K-NOB, Denver's alternative radio station - that is, until the attack that made her a werewolf. Now her habits have become decidedly more nocturnal, not to mention reckless. One night, in a fit of boredom, she ditches the stations dull '90s format in favor of posing a question to her listeners: Do you believe in vampires? The startling answer: Yes. Suddenly calls from anguished, alienated, self-proclaimed vampires, werewolves and witches begin pouring in, with Kitty dispensing on-air advice with unexpected aplomb. And all at once The Midnight Hour - late night radio's scariest, most surreal talk show - is born.

But not everyone's thrilled with Kitty's newfound success. Carl, the alpha-male leader of Kitty's werewolf pack, takes her on-air bravado as a challenge to his authority. And Arturo, head of Denver's vampire families, is terrified she may let loose some privileged information that will be fatal to his kin. Either way, both honchos want her to quit. Then a deranged bounty hunter specializing in lycanthropes threatens to kill her on-air, forcing her to take werewolf form right in the studio... causing the most privileged information of all to go public: her own secret identity.

Ahh, but it'll take more than coming out as a werewolf to keep Kitty Norville sidelined. And here are her first three other-worldly adventures: In addition to Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty Goes to Washington, where she is invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of all supernaturals... by a paranoid, bible thumping senator determined to expose her a monster; and Kitty Takes a Holiday, but her longed-for Colorado vacation gets cut short when nearby livestock turn up mutilated... with evidence of black magic afoot.

I received two books for review this week - Of Witches & Warlocks and The Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford! I've finished and enjoyed Of Witches & Warlocks already - the review will be posted soon, along with an interview with the author! I can't wait to start the sequel, The Demon Kiss!

From Goodreads:
Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant from a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school's handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance's checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life.

 From Goodreads:
Can someone else's past come back to bite you? After being drained of nearly all the blood in her body, novice witch, Portia Mullins, wakes up to find that her warlock boyfriend, Vance Mangum, has fled in search of his demon father. Determined to keep him from facing the evil alone Portia follows after him, unknowingly setting herself on the path of a new adventure that will take her, Vance, and their coven over international borders, into a foreign place where they will discover that the black magic which awaits them is far worse than they ever imagined. Portia finds herself tangled up in a web of lies and deceit in another's quest for demonic power in the excitingly romantic second paranormal novel in the Of Witches and Warlocks Series, The Demon Kiss.


Finally, I picked up one book at the library for my book club: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott! I'm about to start this one now - it's been on my TBR list for ages!

From Goodreads:
He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects; the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

Well, those are the new reads I came across last week! Look out for the reviews coming soon! What new books have you picked up?

Happy reading!

PS - Don't forget that it's the last day to enter my Monsters in May Giveaway of The Host by Stephenie Meyer and Twilight Swag Giveaway #2!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monsters in May Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (& Twilight Swag Giveaway)


Giveaway details at the bottom of the post.


Bella Swan has made her choice – the choice between life and death, Jacob and Edward. Unfortunately, with her decision she sets off an unforeseeable chain of events that has the potential to destroy everyone and everything she loves. Bella thought choosing between her soulmate and her destiny was the hardest decision she would ever make, but she quickly finds out she was terribly mistaken. Now, Bella must decide whether to risk her life to save the one she loves, even though they could be the means of her demise. Unfortunately, everyone around her is determined to make that choice for her – and she finds herself forced to join forces with a former foe to protect her beloved from her own friends and family. Bella’s choice is tearing her world apart, and the ramifications of following through might just kill them all.

Breaking Dawn will certainly surprise fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga – the final installment of Bella’s story has a very different feel than the rest of the series. The characters undergo many significant changes over the course of the novel, some of which have the potential to make them less relatable for some readers (they did for me). As Bella makes her final choice, readers’ feelings will probably differ based on their team preferences. Regardless of teams, however, every reader will be shocked at the turn of events. The impossible will become reality and the already complex relationships will become even more complicated, leaving readers with their mouths gaping. Breaking Dawn is an emotional roller coaster ride – the anticipation, elation, shock, horror, disgust, fear, satisfaction and intrigue all combine to make Breaking Dawn a memorable read. Meyer’s choice to use a different narrator for a portion of the book is brilliant. The change keeps the reader in the midst of the action and shields them from some horrific scenes no one should ever witness. It also gives readers insight into a character whom many may have underestimated, as well as creating some wonderfully snarky comic relief in the midst of the novel’s immense tension and turmoil. Unfortunately, the ultimate face-off is a bit anticlimactic, especially after the suspense and chaos that precede it, and it can be a little confusing the first time one reads it. However, though the resolution of several plotlines is questionable (and in one case creepy), it is still a joy to once again be among familiar characters and to see how the trio’s story ends.

Rating: 
Premise: 4/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Setting: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.7/5

Note: Parts of this novel may be too gory and graphic for young readers.





Also check out my reviews of the first three novels in the Saga: Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.

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TWILIGHT SWAG GIVEAWAY #2 [Closed]

One random commenter will win a Twilight-themed swag item from HotTopic! (Possible items are in the picture on the left; however the exact prize cannot be guaranteed.)

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! I'll announce the winner at the same time as The Host winner - May 25! I will contact the winner via email - so don't forget to include your email address in your comment! ***Please note that your comment must contribute something thoughtful,*** not just say "great review" or something equally generic (though "great review" is greatly appreciated ;-))

Good luck!!

***This is also the LAST CALL to enter the Monsters in May Giveaway of THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer (the new edition with bonus chapters). Giveaway ends Midnight EST on May 24!***

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer


Gabriella Moretti is not typical by any standard. A brilliant scientist who graduated with her Ph.D. from Yale at the incredibly young age of 19, Gabriella is introverted and academic. However, the most unusual thing about the young Einstein is her job. Gabriella is a paranormal scientist, investigating all things weird to determine whether they are fact or fiction. So far, everything she has examined turned out to be nothing more than overactive imaginations run amok, but all that changes the day she receives a shipment of three ancient corpses dug up in Italy. Even though the bodies date from 100 B.C., they look as fresh as daisies when Gabriella opens their ancient caskets. Already unnerved, she reaches a state of utter bewilderment and alarm when one of the bodies’ skin regenerates immediately after she retrieves a sample. Of course, the ever-meddling FBI step in and fly Gabriella and the bizarre bodies to Washington D.C. for more closely-supervised examination. Their intervention has its perks, though - Gabriella immediately connects with the warm and charming Agent Joseph Carter, but he soon finds that he already has some surprising competition. When disaster strikes en route, the mystery of the unearthly bodies and the inexplicable draw they hold for Gabriella multiplies exponentially. Gabriella is forced to embark on a harrowing journey of heartbreak, hope and personal revelation unlike anything she could have possibly imagined.

Laura Kreitzer is a debut novelist with immense potential. In Shadow of the Sun, Kreitzer spins an enthralling tale of supernatural suspense. Her varied cast of characters are charming, and her heroine is strong and relatable – readers will feel like they’ve known Gabriella their whole lives. Her intelligence and dry wit are entertaining and her unusual career is intriguing. As the enigma of the un-aging bodies develops, readers will find themselves caught up in fast-paced adventure, equal parts mystery and action. This novel does not waste time on tedious details, but jumps straight into the story without losing any essential background information. While the author's writing style is still developing, it is the imaginative storyline that predominates in Shadow of the Sun. There is something for everyone in this supernatural story – action, adventure, mystery, and romance (Team Andrew!). Kreitzer sets up an exciting love triangle amongst Gabriella and her two dashing heroes - Joseph and Andrew - each of whom brings something unique to the table. However, the strong-willed, independent, brilliant and powerful heroine is the biggest draw - a  refreshing sight and a joy to read. Readers will find themselves anxiously awaiting Soul Stalker, the next installment in The Timeless Series, with bated breath.

Rating:
Premise: 4.5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Setting: 3.5/5
Overall: 4.1/5


Read an excerpt of Shadow of the Sun here. 

Purchase a signed copy of this novel here.

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this novel from the author. This did not affect my review in any way. You can read my complete review policy here.

Exciting Update!

The author, Laura Kreitzer, has kindly agreed to do an interview with The Bookish Type! Please submit any reader questions you would like me to include in the interview via email by midnight EST on May 22.

Monday, May 17, 2010

111 Follower Giveaway: And the winner is...



Congratulations to Angie D!!!

You win a personalized copy of Charline Ratcliff's debut fantasy novel The Curse of Nefertiti!

Per the contest rules, I will email you immediately and you will then have 7 days to respond with your mailing address or a new winner will be selected.

*This is an adult novel. The Bookish Type takes no responsibility for the age of the winner.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my first giveaway and welcome to all my new followers!!

 You can check out my review of The Curse of Nefertiti here and my interview with the author Charline Ratcliff here.
 Didn't win but still dying to read this novel? Purchase your own personalized copy here!

Thank you again to Ms. Ratcliff for generously providing a personalized copy to the winner!


PS - Never fear! There's still plenty of time to enter my Monsters in May Giveaway!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Monsters in May Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (& Swag Winner!)


 Winner announced at the end of the post!

With her high school graduation fast approaching, Bella should be anticipating the milestone with the same nervous excitement that is consuming her classmates. Unfortunately, things are never quite that simple in the shadowy and dangerous supernatural world she inhabits. Perhaps the least frightening of Bella's problems is her profound bond with Jacob – a bond that became infinitely more complicated the day Edward returned to Forks. By virtue of an ancient treaty, the Cullens cannot set foot in La Push, the Quileute reservation where Jacob lives; nor is the enmity one-sided: the Cullens are wary of Jacob and his pack of protectors, especially when it comes to their beloved and fragile human. Bella finds herself caught in the middle of the mythical monsters’ stand-off, torn between loyalty to the friend who held her together in her darkest hour and the all-consuming love she thought she’d lost forever. However, when the serial killer running rampant in nearby Seattle turns out to be something far more horrifying and deadly, Jacob and Edward are forced to put their rivalry aside in order to protect the human girl they both love. In the middle of the chaos, as graduation looms on the horizon, Bella and Edward find themselves faced with a much more monumental – and permanent – deadline: the tangled compromise that will give them both what they want most, but at what cost?

Eclipse is truly the climax of Stephenie Meyer’s four-part Twilight Saga. As the paranormal love triangle reaches its cresendo, Bella must make her final, crucial choice between Jacob and the natural life he represents or Edward and the unknown. The two vivid heroes are both impossibly loveable, and Bella has some tantalizing scenes with each. Team lines are reinforced amongst readers at the same time that they (temporarily) dissolve in Meyer’s fictional world. The ancient enemies must come together in a tenuous treaty to protect the mere mortal girl at the heart of the series – no mean feat, considering the wild and bloodthirsty enemies they face. When the tension finally comes to a head and the novel's mysteries coalesce into a horrifying realization, an unexpected twist produces some of the best action scenes in the series, which will leave readers on the edge of their seats, hearts pounding. While Eclipse still has its over-the-top sappy moments, they are counteracted more than ever by the twisting and turning plotline of revenge and romance. The dark and captivating histories of several of the saga’s most inscrutable characters are recounted over the course of the novel and give depth to previously misunderstood characters, who may not be as menacing as they seem. The way Meyer’s characters see themselves is often quite distinct from the way they appear to the rest of the world, and these complex psychologies reinforce the character-centric writing style that drives the series and makes Meyer’s tale of paranormal teen romance so surprisingly engrossing. The captivating cliffhanger at the end of Eclipse will send readers rushing to the bookstore to find out what shocking surprises Meyer still has up her sleeve in the final installment of Bella and Edward’s fateful tale, Breaking Dawn.

Rating:
Premise: 4/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Setting: 4/5
Overall: 4.3/5




(Don't miss my reviews of Twilight and New Moon!)

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And the winner of Twilight Swag Giveaway #1 is.....

*drumroll*

Kate (aka YzhaBella)!!!

Congratulations! I've contacted you via email!

(winner picked via Random.org)

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Thanks so much to everyone who commented and entered! There will be one more random giveaway on next week's Breaking Dawn review, so keep an eye out! Don't forget to enter the big Monsters in May Giveaway of The Host by Stephenie Meyer with bonus chapters (extended to 5/24!!)!

My 111 Follower Giveaway also ends at midnight EST TOMORROW! Be sure to enter for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Charline Ratcliff's debut fantasy novel The Curse of Nefertiti!

I'll also be interviewing Laura Kreitzer, the debut author of Shadow of the Sun! Please email me with any questions you'd like me to ask Ms. Kreitzer! Review coming soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Guest Post: Author Kelly A. Harmon

Kelly A. Harmon used to write truthful, honest stories about authors and thespians, senators and statesmen, movie stars and murderers. Now she writes lies, which is infinitely more satisfying, but lacks the convenience of doorstep delivery, especially on rainy days.

Bio courtesy of her website. 


The Appeal of the Fantasy Genre

I like to read fantasy for the escapism. I enjoy being transported to a different time period or a different world each time I open a book. There’s something appealing to me about the possibility of magic and the likelihood of meeting some fantastic creature, like a dragon or satyr, between the pages of a good book. Fantasy is bedtime stories for adults…

And why shouldn’t we have our bedtime stories?

We grow up believing in fairy tales. We make wishes on stars and birthday candles. We wait for the tooth fairy to show up. It’s not until we’re older that we realize the truth.

It’s for this reason I think that fantasy is on the rise, and science fiction is on the wane. Science fiction used to be fantastic fiction. In its infancy, it was about rocket ships and men from Mars, and later on became psychological. Always, it was about computers and gadgets. Except for the men from Mars, these things are common place these days. Where’s the fun in that?

I’m exaggerating, of course. But there’s a grain of truth there, I’m certain.

Mark Chadbourn writes, “The more rational the world gets, with super-science all around us, the more we demand the irrational in our fiction.”

What’s nice about fantasy is that “irrational” bit isn’t “one size fits all.”

These fantastic tales may have started with Lord Dunsany and proceeded to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, but fantasy has grown so far outside those boundaries of dwarfs and dragons and swords that even its sub-genres have sub-genres. And what this means is there is a slice of fantasy out there that appeals to just about anyone.

If dwarves don’t rock your world, maybe steam punk will, ala Alan Campbell’s Deepgate Codex where the world is built on chains suspended over a tremendous chasm, and angels fight for supremacy.

A lot of people enjoy their fantasy set in modern times and modern places, like Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series about the witch, Rachel Morgan. Her stories take place in an alternate “now” in Cincinnati where witches cast spells with visual results, vampires run casinos and pixies winter over inside rather than hibernate.

Fantasy is so appealing that even the romance are publishers jumping on the bandwagon, with great success, as readers of fantasy try new authors, and romance writers, such as Mary Jo Putney, known for her fabulous historical romances, delve into the fantastical, albeit while continuing to write romance. Paranormal romance, with were-cat, wolf, whatever and vampire heros, is a hot market.

Fantasy has even crossed over to literary (much to the horror of more than a few literary authors, I’m certain) with stories such as Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norvell.

At the heart of it, fantasy is still about escaping. It’s about ignoring Facebook and email and turning off the cell phone. It’s about exploring new ideas (or old ones) and maybe discovering a little about yourself.

Young adult author T.A. Barron says, “Fantasy opens the door to experiencing the magic that is in the world around us and more importantly the magic in ourselves. As a genre, fantasy is about moving from our world into the world of experiences beyond. By tapping into those experiences we come to know more about ourselves.”

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Ms. Harmon is on tour promoting her dark fantasy novella Blood Soup. Click "Read More" below for more info and excerpts from Blood Soup!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monsters in May Review: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (and Twilight Swag Giveaway!)



Giveaway details at the bottom of the post.

After a horrific Spring Break spent running from a sadistic vampire bent on her torturous demise, Bella Swan enjoyed a blissful summer with her vampire boyfriend, Edward, and his quirky sister Alice. Unfortunately, when you're a mere mortal trying to keep pace with the supernatural, it's only a matter of time before disaster strikes yet again, this time disturbingly close to home. After Bella's eventful 18th birthday party, Edward makes a choice that will unfortunately have far-reaching ramifications he could have never anticipated. As Bella tries to pull herself together in the aftermath, she finds her only release in dangerous, daredevil stunts. In her never-ending search for a new adrenaline rush, Bella buys some broken down motorbikes - a purchase that leads her to La Push and her old friend Jacob Black. Jacob is special; for Bella, he's the only one who can hold her together while everything is falling apart. Their connection defies all logic and Jacob sometimes seems to know Bella better than she knows herself. As their bond grows deeper and Bella begins to think she might eventually sleep through the night without screaming herself into consciousness, her neverending bad luck intervenes yet again - this time in the form of disappearing hikers, a creepy cult and some old enemies.

Each installment of Stephenie Meyer's powerhouse saga has a unique feel and tone. New Moon is a dark and heartbreaking tale full of startling twists and turns that will surprise readers until the very end. Meyer does a magnificent job of pulling on her readers' heartstrings, as well as keeping them on the edge of their seats. Jacob and his La Push friends bring some much-needed levity to the emotional tale, and are lovable as well as entertaining. However, they also come with their own dangerous secrets, which prevent the enthralling supernatural suspense that hangs over the series from being dispelled completely. New Moon is full of fast-paced action, thanks in part to Bella's new-found affinity for extreme sports, and the unexpected revelations set up perfectly for the rest of the saga. When the story ultimately takes a tragic turn that results in a life-threatening showdown, readers will meet some of Meyer's creepiest characters yet, as well as be reunited with some familiar favorites. New Moon is a wonderful blend of the horrific and hilarious, the breathtaking and gut-wrenching. Meyer knows her characters inside and out, and while readers may be initially stunned, by the end of the novel it is clear that New Moon is the natural continuation of Bella's unusual story, flowing seamlessly from the unlikely romance that started it all.

Rating:
Premise: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Setting: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.2/5




(You can read my review of the first novel in the series, Twilight, here.) 

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TWILIGHT SWAG GIVEAWAY #1 [CLOSED]

One random commenter will win a Twilight-themed swag item from HotTopic! (Possible items are in the picture on the left; however the exact prize cannot be guaranteed until I've gone to the store.)

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! I'll announce the winner in next week's Monsters in May post (May 15) and contact them via email - so don't forget to include your email address in your comment! Please note that your comment must contribute something relevant, not just say "great review" or something equally generic.

Good luck!!

Don't forget to enter my Monsters in May Giveaway of THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer (the new edition with bonus chapters)! UPDATE: Contest has been extended until Midnight EST on May 24!

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Author Kelly A. Harmon will be stopping by on her book tour for her dark fantasy novel, Blood Soup, on May 12th for a guest post! Comment on her tour stops for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble giftcard!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (& a New Release Newsflash!)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Thanks to finals, I haven't been able to start a new book (yet) this week, so in the spirit of Monsters in May my teaser comes from New Moon by Stephenie Meyer!



"That's when I heard the noise that must have wakened me in the first place. Something sharp scraped along the length of my window with a high-pitched squeal, like fingernails against the glass." ~Chapter 11

That sentence gives me chills every time. *Shiver*. Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of New Moon this weekend and don't forget to enter my Monsters in May giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The Host by Stephenie Meyer and other great Twilight prizes!

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In other exciting book news:


The Red Pyramid, the first book in Rick Riordan's newest Camp Half-Blood series entitled The Kane Chronicles, hits bookstores today! I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on this one! I am a HUGE fan of Riordan's first Half-Blood series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (read my review of The Lightning Thief here).

Here's the synopsis of The Red Pyramid from Goodreads:

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

I'll definitely be reading this one soon and I hope you will too!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monsters in May Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (& The Host Giveaway!)



Welcome to the first installment of Monsters in May!
(Giveaway details are at the end of the post!)

Bella Swan expects her typical teenage life to become even more average when she moves to the rainy small town of Forks, Washington to live with her dad. All that changes, though, on her first day at Forks High when she spies the pale and graceful Cullens across the cafeteria. Bella is drawn to the entire beautiful family, but especially to the youngest, Edward. However, her initial excitement upon discovering he is her lab partner quickly turns to fear when he levels a menacing glare at her as she takes her seat beside him. After an entire class of strained and inexplicable silence, Bella is relieved the next day when Edward doesn’t appear at school. After a week, however, her curiosity is piqued and she can’t help but wonder what happened to the bizarre, beautiful boy. When Edward finally returns, he is surprisingly civil, and Bella begins to wonder if she imagined the whole incident. After a near-death experience that she hopes will bring them closer actually has the opposite effect, though, Bella is once again left hurt and confused by Edward’s Jekyll and Hyde behavior. After months of cold silence that Bella tries her best to ignore, Edward seems to experience yet another mood swing and is suddenly much more than polite to the bewildered heroine. As their odd relationship progresses, his cryptic comments and thinly veiled warnings leave Bella frustrated and determined to find answers. A fateful trip to a nearby reservation and a strange conversation with an old friend reveals the truth at last, but it’s almost too bizarre to believe. However, Edward’s unearthly speed and grace, as well as his apparent ability to read minds, don’t leave much room for doubt and Bella is finally forced to accept the impossible truth – a truth that irreversibly splits her future into two distinct paths and leaves her to face a choice she never dreamed she would have to make. Unfortunately, that’s only the beginning of Bella’s problems; the average girl from Arizona soon finds herself caught up in a dark and dangerous world, trying to outrun forces that far surpass her mortal strength.

Stephenie Meyer weaves a mesmerizing tale of dark romance in her debut novel, Twilight. While there are plenty of mysteries and an action-packed climax, the cast of characters transcends the plot itself. The unfathomable psychological motivations of the mystifying hero will leave readers puzzled, eagerly trying to unravel Edward's inscrutable thoughts.  Bella is a completely relatable YA heroine - bookish, a bit of a loner, always feeling out of place. More than anything, it is this intense characterization that has won over millions of readers. The relationship that develops between Bella and Edward is as engaging as it is impossible, and their tightrope walk between destiny and disaster is captivating. This unusual story is charming and will deposit readers in the rainy green wilderness of Forks, right in the midst of the mystery and intrigue. While Meyer's writing style may not earn her a Pulitzer, her storytelling more than makes up the difference. The one-liners and quips sprinkled frequently throughout the novel keep the dark story from turning too horrific, making Twilight an entertaining and consuming read. As long as readers can handle a little cheesiness, they won't regret delving into this enchanting and exciting supernatural romance that has entranced millions and spawned an international phenomenon.

Rating:
Premise: 4/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 3/5
Setting: 4/5
Overall: 3.9/5

This novel can be purchased here.

Go here for the Monsters in May details. If any other reviewers would like to participate, simply post a Twilight review, add the image and link back to this page on your blog, then let me know and I will link back to your review! (If a lot of people are interested, I'll probably add a Mr. Linky to simplify things.) Hopefully we can get some good Twilight discussions going! 

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GIVEAWAY


***UPDATE! The Host Giveaway has been extended until midnight EST on May 24!***


Thanks to Hatchette Book Group, I will be giving away one copy of the new edition of The Host by Stephenie Meyer with BONUS CHAPTERS to one lucky reader! All you have to do to enter is (1) Follow this blog using Google Friend Connect (left-hand sidebar) and (2) Comment on at least one Monsters in May Review! You can also get extra entries by tweeting, etc. Just go to THIS FORM to enter! Go here to read the book description and an excerpt!

There will also be random small Twilight prize giveaways for commenters! All you have to do is comment on a Monsters in May review post and you're automatically entered. Prizes may include bookmarks, keychains, door hangers, posters, bumper stickers, or magnets (it depends on what I can find - exact item cannot be guaranteed). Winners will be announced in a Monsters in May post and contacted immediately via email. They will have 48 hours to reply with their shipping address or a new winner will be selected.

I will add ANOTHER BOOK (Monsters in May themed, of course) for every 100 new followers during this contest (from the current number of 128)!

The contest will run from today (May 1) to May 24 at midnight EST. I will be posting weekly, but I'll post my last review a little early to give people time to comment and enter. Winners will be selected using a randomizer. I will contact the winners immediately and they will have 48 hours to respond with their shipping address or a new winner will be selected.

*The Bookish Type accepts no responsibility for lost or damaged books.
**Books added later in the contest will probably be from Book Depository, so winners will be limited to countries where this site ships. This does not apply to The Host, which is open internationally.

PS - Don't forget to enter my 111 Follower Giveaway for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of The Curse of Nefertiti by Charline Ratcliff.

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