Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Telesa by Lani Wendt Young

Book: Telesa: The Covenant Keeper
By: Lani Wendt Young
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: August 18, 2012

Description: When Leila moves to Samoa, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth's elemental guardians - what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel - stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper? 

A thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness of Pacific mythology into a contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.
My Thoughts: Wow! Thats really all I have to say about this book. I loved it with every fiber of my being and the author is an absolute genius.

Not since twilight have I felt this way after reading a book. Just as I have this feeling that I MUST visit Forks, Washington, I now MUST go to Samoa. That's not to say this book can be compared to twilight. No! It's just that, I must say, I have finally found a book to join the ranks of Twilight, Hunger Games, andThe Mortal Instruments. One I will want to read over and over and never tire of. So much culture and legend and myth. I love it all. This book made me feel great for being brown! I felt that I fit with this book in so many ways. That's not to say I'm Samoan, no I dont think I am, honestly I'm never completely sure what I am so I just claim African American because it's the easiest and the most dominant race in my mish mash gene pool. I just love Samoa (from what I read) and I must see it for myself.

Okay, well enough with that, I must say that this book was great!!! I loved it. I loved Leila because she reminded me of myself in her inner thoughts, and because she was everything I wish I could be on the outside. Oh and Daniel? Talk about gorgeous. I am in love!!! Jason? Oh Jason...I know Leila didn't really want you but I'm always here. *sigh*

This book had my heart racing and my feelings on edge. I read so much in one sitting that my eyes began to hurt and when I finally looked away from the words, black lines from the words danced in my vision. (please tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this) I found myself counting down the time until I could get back to this book. Hating my dog for having to go outside to do his business. Didn't he know I had reading to do! The story line was amazing. I was tempted to go to Lani's blog site to ask her why on earth she hadn't told me this was such an amazing book. I would have read it sooner! I needed this book in my life. When on when will the next book come out??? I need it now!!!!

So here again I leave you with a blog post that probably makes no sense because I have no idea how to put into words what I'm actually feeling inside. There's only one thing I can say. If you've been pondering giving this book a try, just give in.......and if you havent been thinking about it at all, do yourself a favor and still buy it. I'll have you know...I just paid money for the print version of this book. I wanted to hold it in my hands because I just love it that much!!! You wont regret it. 5 SUPER LARGE stars!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Book: Legend
By: Marie Lu
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Description: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

My Thoughts: I loved Legend so very much. If only it were longer so I could stay in this world a bit longer (sigh)

Okay, you know when I'm lost for words when my review is as short as this one will be. Let me start off with the things I didnt like. Like I said in my intro, I wanted it to be a bit longer, but I'm just selfish that way. I also wanted a bit more romance, but at least the rest of the story made up for that. Oh yea. I hated the ending. Okay, I didnt really hate it. I just wanted like a branch out to the next story. Maybe a title or a little breif thing that said what to expect, but nope. The good? Everything else. No really. Everything else about this book was great. The Suspense was crazy and I (secretly) flipped to the end to make sure everyone didnt die in some catastrophic death that ruined all remaining lives on the earth, including me (because yea. I'm in this book too. Didn't you know? Okay I'm not, but really, thats how involved I felt). Luckily that didnt happen, I think.*wink* Any who, I loved, loved, loved, loved LOVED THIS BOOK. Go out and get it right now. Like right now. Why are you still reading this post? You should be leaving. Oh, you're waiting on a rating. Sorry, here it is. I give it 4.5 stars because it was great, but didnt have that extra thing to put it over the top (I needed the extra romance and more pages)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Lying Season by Karina Halle

Book: Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4)
By: Karina Halle
Publication Date: December 12, 2011
Publisher: Self Published

Description: Ama­teur ghost hunter Perry Palomino has bat­tled ghosts, fought off skin­walk­ers and skirted the fine line between life and death. But can she sur­vive bunk­ing down in Seat­tle for a week with her partner (and man she secretly loves) Dex and his perfect girl­friend, Jennifer? And can she do so while being tor­mented by a mali­cious spirit from Dex’s increas­ingly shady past? With love and life in the bal­ance, Perry must dis­cover the truth among the lies or risk los­ing every­thing she's ever cared about.

My Thoughts: I loved, loved, loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <--(extra exclamation points for extra love!!) Hehe. I love that Perry''s always my age so I can really connect with her. It was so freaking amazing that I cant really even figure out what to say so I'll just throw out random thoughts or feelings and hope you understand the awesomeness of this book:
  • I love it, I hate it, i love it!!! Ahhh!!!
  • Dex!!!!! How could you!!! I hate you (call me?)
  • Perry...I love you so much!!! Be my best friend??? Please??? We're the same age...We do similar things...You're just like me...I know you're a little crazy, but so am I. You're the bestest most amazing, most kickass person I know...call me?
  • OH........MY...................GOSH..............(hyperventilates...heart stops...restarts....hyperventilates again...places book down...turns away...glances over shoulder...turns back...picks book back up and apologizes for being mean...finishes reading book...)
Does that make sense? I hope so. This book was like super, duper, fantastic, amazingness all wrapped in a bow. With a side of jack daniels. Right when you think something happy is about to happen, the book drops you right off a cliff...with jagged daggers at the bottom...and sharks with pointy teeth (no water, just sharks)...and then you escape...and your wounds are fixed to as good as new.....only for the book to pick you back up and drop you off the cliff again. It was great. I got a few answers, which brought up even more questions for the future. This series just keeps getting better and better. As for my rating...you guessed it....5 LARGE stars!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guest Post: Research and Intuition by Resa Nelson

Hello Everyone!

So you all know I am focused on school right now, which is why I havent posted a lot; however, I must stick to my committments. I promised this author that I would participate in her blog tour, and participate I shall. Lets welcome Resa Nelson, author of The Dragonslayer's Sword (Dragon Slayer Series #1) and The Iron Maiden (Dragon Slayer Series #2).

"When writing my 4-book Dragonslayer series, I finished most of my research before and while I wrote Book 1, and I drew upon all the research I'd already done while writing the other three books.  However, my writing is tied very closely to my intuition, which guides me a lot when I'm doing research.

My intuition convinced me to take a trip to England to attend a weapons seminar while I was writing Book 1 (The Dragonslayer's Sword).  So many things happened at the seminar that it ended up being a huge influence on Book 1 and the entire series.  I got the idea for the book's ending at the seminar.  As I've written about earlier during this blog tour, I also had an experience at the seminar that helped me figure out exactly how a dragonslayer in my fantasy world kills a dragon.  And bits and pieces of research I'd already done came crashing together in my head when I was attending the seminar – I think the environment turned out to be precisely what I needed to pull all the puzzle pieces in my head together and make sense of them.

Typically, my intuition whispers softly in my ear.  It speaks gently and very quietly to me.  This happened on a regular basis while I wrote Books 1, 2, and 3 – except for the when my intuition wanted me to go to England for the weapons seminar, and then it shouted at me for days until I gave in.  Of course, my intuition was 100% right.  But several months ago, while writing Book 4 in my Dragonslayer series, my intuition shouted at me again.

Writing Book 4 turned out to be much more difficult than I'd anticipated for very odd reasons.  I dragged my feet when it came to sitting down and writing it, which is extremely unusual for me – I love the act of writing and get cranky if I don't do it often enough.  Ultimately, I realized I didn't want to end the series because it meant having to let go of my characters.  Once I had that realization, I convinced myself it was OK to let go and that I could visit my characters any time I wanted by reading my own novels!

But something else felt off-kilter, and I didn't know what it was.  I began thinking about all the research I did years ago, including traveling to places where Vikings had once lived and traveled.  I realized I've never been to Sweden or Denmark or the east coast of Norway.  My intuition whispered in my ear:  “There's something waiting for you in Scandinavia.  Something you need to write Book 4.”

When my intuition speaks that clearly to me, I know it's time not only to listen but to take action.  I decided to take a trip with the intent of finding what was waiting for me in Scandinavia.  I went on the Internet to figure out where I wanted to go and what to do once I got there.  I worked with a travel agent to design a trip to meet my needs.

And then I traveled on my own to countries where I don't speak the language.  No tour.  Just me roaming around Scandinavia and exploring.

I didn't worry too much about what my intuition promised I'd find.  I had no idea what it might turn out to be, what country I'd find it in, or exactly where or how I would find it.

What I can tell you is this:  I had one moment on my trip where I had chills.  All of a sudden, I stood completely still.  I turned slowly in place, making a complete circle while I took in everything surrounding me.  I thought, “This is it.  This is what my intuition told me was waiting for me.  This is what I need to write Book 4.”  Even thinking about it now, I still get chills thinking about it.

As I write this guest post, I'm also writing the final chapters of Book 4, the final novel in the Dragonslayer series.  I've laid the groundwork for what I found waiting for me when I went to Scandinavia, and I'll soon be using everything I learned from that experience to bring the story to its conclusion.

I don't know exactly what intuition is or how or why it works.  But I've learned the hard way that the smartest thing I can do is say, “Yes, Ma'am” whenever my intuition speaks to me.  Especially when it shouts.  And especially when it tells me there's something waiting for me somewhere.

During this blog tour I’m telling lots of stories about the research I’ve done for my Dragonslayer series.  You can find out where I’ve been and where I’m going next by checking my website (http://www.resanelson.com), my Facebook page (Resa Nelson & The Dragonslayer’s Sword), or following me on Twitter (ResaNelson).

If you’d like to sample my work for free, you can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at http://www.resanelson.com/files.  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  If you do, you can enter to win a copy of the first two books in my series, which I’ll give away at the end of this tour on Feb. 14.  To enter, just send email to ResaBonusGifts@aol.com.  (I won’t keep your email address – this just makes it easier for me to keep track of entries.)  I’m also doing a book giveaway on GoodReads, so you can enter to win there at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/19270-the-dragonslayer-s-sword"

What a wonderful post! I'd love to travel around the world like she did some day. As for the books, the details are in my intro. Thanks for stopping by Resa!!!

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy. It was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in a 4-book series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was recently published. Book 3 is scheduled for publication in Summer 2012.
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
In real life, Resa is a fan of chocolate, travel, summer, museums, ballet, movies, and Broadway musicals (her favorites are Les Miserables and Wicked).  She lives in Massachusetts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Iron Maiden by Resa Nelson

Hello Everyone! So I am halfway through my class and you know what that means? I am bored out of my mind and need to focus on anything else before I lose it! I have been doing quite a bit of reading in the past few days and wrote absolutely no reviews. Therefore, I am going to stockpile some posts to have something to do right now and sporadically release them so it seems like I'm really blogging when In fact I'm pulling my hair out from the roots as I stare blankly at a sentence in a textbook that I've read 32 33 times and still haven't gotten. Here's review #1:
Book: The Iron Maiden
By: Resa Nelson
Publication Date: December 21, 2011
Publisher: Mundania Press

Description: Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it’s her duty.  She’d rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors.  Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmith shop.  Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer’s sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan.  Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner.  Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men.  All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn’t a decision she can make just once.  It’s a decision she must make every day.

My Thoughts: This book thoroughly emphasizes self growth and the power and strength even the smallest people have. It was a fantastical, unreal and wonderful addition to the first book and I definitely enjoyed it.

This story continues Astrid's journey as a Dragonslayer/blacksmith. I love how strong willed and set in her belief's she is. It makes her stubborn, but a little stubbornness is sometimes necessary to grow. One of the main themes I gathered from this book involved the position of women in the world. This book seems to be set in a medieval era, thus women were expected to be meek, docile, feminine and ladylike at all times, to follow their men and accept any fate presented to them. Astrid takes those ideals and buries them in the ground. She fights, makes weapons, dresses like men, and has shortened hair (all illegal events in some territories). She stands up for her rights and the rights or other women. Astrid is a true hero. This book takes us on her journey to retrieve her most prized possession, and along the way, teaches her (and us) the value of choices and change.

I loved this story and there were a few things I wish were done better. I hate shifts in narrator, thus, this book became a bit annoying as I had to determine who was the narrator for each section. I also didn't care much for the flow of the plot. At some times, the plot would move from one event to another smoothly, but later, it would seem to jump and I wouldn't be sure exactly why we are where we are. Finally, the conversations seemed very full on and immediate. There were rarely any fun or lighthearted conversations teasing or bickering someone or just relaxing. It all seemed so serious. I wanted a few jokes.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it for people who, like the first book, enjoy fantasy a lot. I give it 3 Stars.

Friday, February 3, 2012

School Sucks

 Two things:

School Sucks and I hate it! 

Okay now that that's out of the way, HELLOOOOO OUT THERE!!!! I've been gone over 2 weeks because school has been...well...sucky. So much work. I get home from work, and have to work for school, and by the time I'm sortofkindofinaway finished, I pass out on the couch. My poor puppy probably hates me. He spends his days doing this:
Then when I begin falling alseep, he gets mad and starts barking, of forcibly rubbing his back onto me in an attempt to be petted. Finally, he walks away, and no coaxing from me works (unless I have a treat in my hands) *sad face*

I am so ready to come back to blogging, but it seems the more I want to come back, the more everything else becomes overwhelming. Anywho, I thought I'd give you all some explanations about my absense. I promise I'll be back!