Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Vaempire: White Christmas by Thomas Winship

Hello everyone!
Today we are showcasing Thomas Winship. The Bewitching Book Tour is actually for Vaempires: Revolution, but we reviewed that one last last Friday (click here to see that review) to prepare you guys for this one! And be sure to comment because we are giving away a copy of Vaempires: Revolution today!!
It’s almost Christmas. With the global holiday days away, the people of the world should be turning their attention toward celebrating peace and goodwill, but tension between humans, vampires, and væmpires is at an all-time high. Desperate for solutions, King Brant schedules a secret summit deep in North America’s Northern Forest. Along with Queen Anne, Princess Cassandra, Daniel’s family, and the human president and First Lady, the vampire leader seeks to reaffirm the ties between humans and vampires, while brainstorming ways to respond to the growing hostility among væmpires.

Meanwhile, Daniel and Cassie’s relationship is at an all-time low. The princess is still reeling from her breakup with Vielyn, and Daniel doesn’t know what he should or shouldn’t do to help. Little does he know that the summit will be flooded with surprises—guests, allegations, accusations, proposals, and even Christmas Eve revelations—but not all of the surprises will be pleasant.

Vaempire: White Christmas is the prequel to Vaempire Revolution.  It takes place the Christmas before the revolution and Daniel and Cassandra have traveled to Washington, the capital from North America that the humans ran for a top secret meeting.  Daniel only wants one thing more than to finally see a white Christmas and that is to be with Cassie.  But Cassie has been heartbroken ever since she and Vielyn had to break things off because he had become a vaempire.  And now he and Cassie were her in Washington together, the only young people, and now might be his chance to really reconnect with her.  But when a group of vaempires show up in Washington demanding to join things begin to tense up  What are the blood thirsty vaempires doing there and how did they even find out about this super secret meeting?  Vaempies White Christmas is one prequel you don’t want to miss out on.

My rating for this book:

I really like that there was a prequel to the first book because gave more insight into what had been happening that had led up to the revolution.  In the first book it was just bam here’s a war and you kind of  get an idea why but with this one it shows you what was happening before hand.
I also like that we got to see more of Daniel and Cassie even if they weren’t together in this one.  In the first book you saw their love for each other but you didn’t really get to see them together as a couple, you saw them as separate individuals.
Lastly, I liked that it was based around Christmas time.  I have yet to come across another fantasy/sci-fi book that was based around Christmas.  I may read it again in December in light of the holiday spirit regardless of how spirit-y it is.
Thomas Winship is the author of the Vaempire series.  He lives in New York.   He went to college at St. Aquinas where he received a MBA.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Deceived by Stephanie Nelson

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read Craved by Stephanie Nelson, you may want to hold off on reading this review.

The vampire drug, brew, nearly ruined Gwen Sparks’ life. Just when things started to get back to normal between her and Aiden, she is summoned by the North American Witches Council to their central city of Moon. A war is imminent between vampires and witches, and Gwen’s experiences with brew are being used to fuel the fire. She is about to discover just how powerful she is with the help of the ruggedly handsome Angel of Death and just how far some people will go to get what they want. Gwen is going to learn exactly what it means to be Deceived.
Ian is back and making the worlds most frightening appearance, but what is he really up to? With the war "brewing" (haha, get it?) over vampires addicted to witches blood, everyone seems a bit tense. And while all Gwen wants is to be left alone to watch over her magic shop, she finds herself smack dab in the middle. When Dorian, the Angel of Death steps in to help tone her connection with death, will Gwen be able to keep her hands to herself? After all, she's still with Aiden, the sexy vampire a bit on the dark side.

I cannot express how much I loved this book. As you know from my review of Craved, I was a bit torn up over what to to rate it. I swayed from a 3 to a 4, finally deciding on a 4 due to how things built up and exploded in the end. Just as I was hoping, Stephanie takes everything Craved was and expanded.

I loved how we specifically found the title throughout the book. The explanations of different people being deceived, the secrets that lie behind the shadows and how the people we thought we could trust, may not be so trustworthy after all. This definitely helped to keep the theme throughout the book.

I also should note that there is a bit of sex and sexual violence in Deceived. Everything was completely tactful and went along well with the storyline.

Overall, this book was a fantastic read with everything you look for: action, romance, awkward tensions and connections to the spirit world. I cannot wait for Taming the Wolf.

My Rating for this book:

 Stephanie Nelson is a writer from Illinois. Inspired by Stephanie Myers' Twilight series, she realized how possible it was to fall in love with a book. So began the inspiration to create her own stories. When she isn't writing, she loves to play around on Facebook, watch movies, reading and being around her family. She considers herself to be "a very down to earth girl who just happens to be living her dream." To hear more about Stephanie visit her website at

To see an excerpt of Deceived, click here.

Deceived by Stephanie Nelson Excerpt

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book! So to prove to you just how awesome it was, I asked Stephanie for an excerpt. If this doesn't convince you to go out and by this book right now, I'm not sure what will. Oh! And check out my review too. :)

When I came around the corner, soft purple light glowed from the ball room. Couples slow danced to a peaceful symphony. It had to be close to two in the morning, but the Midnight Magical was still in full swing. My feet hesitated on the steps as I watched my fellow witches and warlocks enjoying themselves. None of them seemed too upset about Holly’s plans and had gone about their business as if they wouldn’t be going to battle in a week.
“You should not envy them.” A male voice spoke behind me. I peeked over my shoulder to see Dorian Hade standing close to me.
“I don’t,” I protested. It was a lie of course, I envied how easy their lives were and how they could express their love without repercussions.
“They are simple witches, Gwen. You hold a power they could never possess, and when I’m done teaching you, you’ll be the one who’s envied.” Dorian walked so that he was facing me. I studied his eyes. Dark cloud-like grayness rolled within them and reminded me of a coming storm. There was only gray, no pupil to break up the churning gloominess. Long chocolate locks brushed his shoulders. His t-shirt clung tautly to his body and the black leather coat fit like a glove. There was something very bad boyish about him.
I realized I was staring entirely too long when my eyes fell to his lips and saw the smirk on them. Blood rushed to my cheeks and warmed my face. “I don’t want to be envied. All I want is to be left alone.” I said with frustration and then headed up to my bedroom.
“Gwen?” Dorian called from the bottom of the steps. I turned around and stared at his mischievous smirk with annoyance, “What?”
“Sweet Dreams.” He winked and then walked away.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mainstream Monday: LOTS of Cassandra Clare news!!

Happy Mainstream Monday!!  Today is all about Cassandra Clare.  I’ve got two big things to tell you all about and one small that you all probably already know. 

We’ll start with the small.  It is less than two months until City of Lost Souls comes out!  I don’t know about all of you guys but I’ve been counting down since I read City of Fallen Angels.

Secondly, Cassadra Clare has signed a book agreement with Margeret K. McElderry books to publish her third shadow hunter’s series, set to come out in 2015.  The story picks up in L.A. after the events of The Mortal Insturments are over where we’ll follow shadow hunter Emma Carstairs, “most skilled shadow hunter since Jace Wayland”, and her shadowhunter friends.  This time around there will be no new, nonshadowhunters discovering the shadow world.  We’ll also get a glimpse of what the surving TMI characters are doing in their 20s. I’m really happy that after The Mortal Insturments and Infernal Devices there will be another series of shadow hunter book for me to emerse myself into because frankly, they are my favorite fantasy world to dive into and I’d have to reread TMI and ID over and over to satisfy that need.  

Lastly, as you may know, the City of Bones movie was put on hold for a bit due to the original director leaving the project.  Since then the movie rights have been moved from Screen Gem to Constantin and things are starting to move forward again. Marlene King, writer for abc family’s hit series Pretty Little Liars, is still the writer City of Bones and Lilly Collins is still playing the part of Clary Fray, which I’m excited about because I think she is so stinkin’ cute! Not only is she still one board but she gets a say so in who will be playing Jace and Simon.  Jamie Campbell Bower was originally supposed to play Jace and from my understanding, while Lily has already valched for him it’s not for certain.  Lastly, they are in the process of hiring a casting director and start shooting August 15 of this year!! I am soo PUMPED!  I’ll keep you guys updated on all of the details.
Note: all information for this posted was from Cassandra Clares own blog.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Vampires Revolution by Thomas Winship

"It is the morning of Princess Cassandra’s sixteenth birthday. Everyone’s attention is focused on the heir to the vampire throne. World leaders, the rich and famous, and VIPs from every corner of the globe have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the momentous event...
The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons: a new breed of væmpire that is far deadlier than any ever seen before.
What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, and walk through walls?"
It’s finally happened. The vaempires, an evolved vampire with an extra thumb, beating heart, with more powers, strength, and speed, and that feed on vampires, have finally rebelled. But they don’t just want more power or freedoms or a synthetic vampire blood to feed on like the vampires have, they want to take over, kill all of the humans, and enslave the vampires. Of all days to do so it’s Cassie’s sweet sixteen. Daniel is just thankful that Cassie isn’t anywhere near the city during all of this has he begins to fight his way to the royal grounds. But she’s not. Cassie makes it back to her home to find that everyone there, including her parents and Daniel’s parents have been not only killed but mutilated. With Cassie missing, Daniel becomes the active king. His first order of business will be to set out to find Cassie before it’s too late. Vaempire: Revolution is an interesting new take on the ever so popular vampires filled with action, love, and friendship that manage to rise up despite the turmoil.
My rating for this book:

One of the things I really enjoyed about this particular vampire story was that it could be look at in more than one way.  As someone that has been immersed in biology classes for the first few years of college, I saw it not only from an imaginary stand point but I scientific stand point.  As we all know, rather it’s in your beliefs or not, a main part of biology is evolution so I have had to read about the theory so many times I could talk about it in my sleep.  But it also makes a really good idea for a fantasy story as well I had just never thought about it that way until now.  Vampires could be considered more advanced humans.  They become the number one predator.  Then, vaempires become more advanced vampires.

I also found this vampire story much more relatable than say the Twilight series or The Vampire Diaries books.  We live in a world today where quite frankly way could be upon us at any given time.  While war is something that we do not live on a daily basis, it’s not as farfetched as sparkling vampires.  By adding real life aspects to this story I found it to be much more relatable than some of the other vampire books out there.
I also really liked the fact that we got to see the view points of both Daniel and Cassie and the fact that it was vampires’ meets dystopian, which isn’t something that you find every day.  Plus the ending was killer!  I cannot wait to find out what happens in the next installment.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.”

The third and final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy picks up immediately where its predecessor, Catching Fire, ends. Katniss has managed to make it through the Hunger Games for a second time by once again outwitting the Capitol and its Gamemakers. And they’re not any happier about it than they were the first time around. But before they get the chance to punish her, Katniss is scooped up by members of the resistance movement in Panem. She soon finds out that those behind the resistance are the citizens of District 13 – the district that the Capitol claimed to have destroyed 75 years earlier. More secrets are revealed and soon Katniss becomes the face of the rebellion against the Capitol. Can she become the leader that the districts so desperately need to break the Capitol’s hold on them? Mockingjay keeps your interest from beginning to end, just as both of the other books in the trilogy.

I rate this book: 

As with the other two books, I completely devoured Mockingjay and was genuinely sad to see it end. The ending was something that I didn’t really see coming (I won’t spoil it for you guys), but that was also something that I really enjoyed about the book. Suzanne Collins has a way of keeping her readers guessing about what will happen next, especially in this series of books. And that sense of surprise is something that I find refreshing, since I seldom see it in a lot of the books that I read. When reading these books, I also developed a sort of friendship with the characters. So, when I came to the end of the book, I felt like I was saying goodbye to some good friends. However, I still definitely recommend Mockingjay to any and everyone. It’s an amazing read and tied the series together really well. If you’ve already read the first two books, then you absolutely must pick up Mockingjay – and if you haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy at all, then you are definitely missing out.

Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Katniss survived the games and is back in district 12.  But it’s not what it used to be.  Her family has been moved to a new home.  Gale is now old enough to work in the mines to take care of his family and doesn’t have as much time for hunting with Katniss and since Katniss confessed that her “love” for Peeta was all an act for the games to help them survive he hasn’t been around.  There is also rumor of rebellion that has brought capital troops to the districts.  President Snow is angry and he wants revenge, which means that Katniss and Peeta are going back into the games.  Catching Fire is the action packed sequel to The Hunger Games. 
I Rate this Book a:
What I didn’t care for about the book is that they were going back into the games.  After all of that working and fighting and surviving it was frustrating for me, as a reader, to watch them go back. 
One of my favorite parts about the book was that we got to go see the different districts when Katniss and Peeta went on the tour as champions.  It made them seem more real and give an insight into the other tributes, such as Rue’s, lives.  When Katniss and Peeta went to the other districts you also saw how completely divided the country actually was.  When you read about it, you really see why they have never really been able to rise up against the capitol for so long.
My other favorite part, in one word, or should I say name, Finnick.  In Catching Fire and Mockingjay Finnick completely takes over my heart as my favorite non-main character.  When they first introduce him I wasn’t sure about this guy.  But as you get further into the plot you find that he is a deep and loving man that will do anything in his power to protect the women he loves, who isn’t quite right, from those who could hurt her, even cooperate and go back in the games.  Forget Team Peeta or Team Gale. 

Suzanne Collins is the author of the best selling series The Hunger Games, which is now being made into a major motion picture.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

In a world where all 12 districts are ruled by the controlling and ever-oppressive government known as the Capitol, children are forced to fight to the death until one person remains in the annual Hunger Games for the amusement of the Capitol’s citizens. Katniss Everdeen becomes the next female tribute from District 12 for the 74th annual Hunger Games when she volunteers to take the place of her younger sister, Prim. Afterward, she and her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, are whisked off to the Capitol, where they are primped and prepped for the televised appearances that precede the Game itself. All too soon, the two teens are thrust into the arena determined to make it back home to District 12 and the families that they left behind – all while the entire world watches their every move. The Hunger Games is a book that immediately grabs your interest and doesn’t let go until the very last page. Readers will laugh, cry, and fight along with Katniss and Peeta as they attempt to show the Capitol that they are people, not merely pawns to be used in their Games for the sole entertainment of the privileged of Panem.

I rate this book:

I started reading this book because of a good friend’s persistent recommendation and I’d already been hearing about it because of the movie that comes out later this week. Regardless, I picked it up and I don’t regret doing so for one second. I absolutely loved this book. From the plot to the characters, everything about The Hunger Games is incredibly brilliant. With this book, Suzanne Collins has managed to create a world filled with people and events that readers can easily relate to, fall in love with, and follow along throughout the entire story. That’s what I loved about this book – the characters are so real that you feel like you are actually living out the story of The Hunger Games with them. I was hooked from the first few pages and literally could not put this book down – I even finished it in one day! If you like action, suspense, and an incredible storyline, then you should definitely pick up The Hunger Games. I promise you won’t be sorry that you did. The Hunger Games will leave you wanting more – which is a good thing, since it’s the first book in a trilogy.

Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mainstream Monday: The Hunger Games!

“& May the odds be ever in your favor”

Hey, hey mainstream Monday readers! 
As we all know and have been anticipating, The Hunger Games comes out Friday and I thought I would be fun to do a movie post for today.  People are saying this is going to be the next Twilight.  I for one think that it’s going to blow Twilight out of the water because its about more than a stupid love triangle.  (Which I am soooo over.)  But less about the book, more about the movie.  For those of you who haven’t read the book check out today’s review on the first book and stay tuned this week for the reviews on all three.
Fellow Kentuckian Jennifer Lawrance will  be playing our badass heroine, Katniss Everdean aka the girl on fire who steps up as the District 12 female tribute after her sister is drawn oringinally.  Jen’s career took off last year after she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Winter’s Bone.  She also played Mystique in Xmen: First Class. Josh Hutcherson, another fellow Kentuckian, it’s to have people out there showing that yes we do wear shoes when need be, will be playing Peeta, the male tribute from District 12.  He’s been around for a while and you may recognize him for his role in Journey and Journey 2 with Shawn Johnson, better known as The Rock.  The hunky Aussie, Liam Hemsworth, younger brother of Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and dating Miley Cyrus, who was also in The Last Song, will be playing Gale, Kitniss’s best friend and hunting partner (and if we’re picking teams, I’m team Gale).  Woody Harelson, who I am very pumped about, Cheers fan anyone?, will be playing Haymitch, the drunken district 12 champion and Katniss and Peeta’s only hope in winning the games.  Lenny Kravitz will be playing my favorite character from the book, and personally I don’t think they could have picked anyone better, Cinna, Katniss’s stylist and, eventually, friend.  Lenny is mostly known for his booming music career in the 90s, along with his fabulous dreads, and his daughter Zoey, who he had with fellow 90s hippie, Lisa Bonet.   Elizabeth Banks will be playing the beloved Effie, who is also in charge of Katniss and Peeta.   Lastly,  Amandla Stenberg will be playing Rue, who Katniss teams up with in the games because she reminds her of her little sister, Prim.  Amandla also played the younger version of the main character in Columbiana.

In the book, Katniss can run for miles, sneak in and out of her district, shoot a bow and arrow perfectly, throw a knife fairly well, and is the provider for her family.  So what kind of training does it take to be Katniss?   Besides constant running, which apparently, is what the casted tributes did for the whole part of filming in the games, but yoga and being trained by an Olympian in archery, which sounds pretty exciting if I do say so myself.

Speaking of Hunger Games training, there is now a work out based off the movie called “Train Like a Tribute”, which will be opening to the public, or those that live in New York and can Afford it, Friday.  The workout consists of sprints, fake bow and arrows, “grappling of supplies”, climbing TRX bands, and a bit of friendly competition.  You have to keep other “tributes” out of the spot you have claimed in the gym.  The workout consists of high intensity cardio and weight training.
And speaking of games there is also an interactive Facebook game of “The Hunger Games” that if is not available now, I imagine will be before long.  Any Facebook gamers hear about this and have more information?  Let us know!  

When they first casted the roles for the movie, not only was I little skeptical about Jennifer as Katniss (I totally saw Camilla Belle as her, anyone else?) and Josh as Peeta, although since, my thoughts have changed, I also wondered how everyone would get along because there seemed to be a great age difference in a lot of the cast.  But I seemed to have forgotten about all of the other tributes and prim, but apparently everyone on the set got along great.  Obviously, Laim, Jen, and Josh are pretty close now since they are the main roles.  But the girls had girl nights and they all played pranks and checked out Trader Joe’s vegan cookies (yup :]).   So far, no creepy cat fights about so and so is getting more money and attention than me like you hear about all the time in these big book goes movie projects.

The movie was filmed in Ashland, North Carolina, which, according to the cast was a really nice to shoot at because it was a quiet hippie town where people were really nice to them.  I would imagine it was very different from filming in a big city where people have constant access to the set although I doubt it will be as quiet when they film the second movie.    

Are you guys going to see the movie this Friday?   Or Thursday at midnight?  I know I’m going!  How many of you have read the books? What do you all think of the casting?  Let us know and get pumped for March 23!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Bound to Remember by Lola James

"Vampires and Witches and Myths, oh my!
Toni is a young doctor with a past she can't remember and a deadly reason for forgetting it.
Ben is a nurse who has his own tragic past and transfers hospitals after an act of heroism forces his secluded life public.
Ben can’t believe his eyes when he meets Toni, she has an uncanny resemblance to an old friend of his, and Toni can’t help but find Ben irresistible.
Enter Kevin, Toni’s sexy but arrogant Ex. Kevin’s jealousy of Ben blinds him from his main objective, Toni.
A dangerous secret is revealed and a magic spell seems to be a quick remedy, but the witch that helps has a little more than magic up her sleeve…"

If you follow Lola James on Facebook or her blog you know of the sweet, hilarious character she herself is. Her book is no different. Seeming more like a short story than a novel, this was a very fast paced read, with an adorable cover. 

Toni, the main character has more to her than meets the eye. And unexpectingly, there might just be more to the people around her as well. So when Ben comes in, a sexy new doctor with a mysterious nature, things begin to unravel and Toni finds herself on a path she never saw coming.

My rating for this book:

To be honest, I fought with myself on a rating (tottering back and forth from 3 to 4) most of the way through the book. There a was a chunk of this book that made me feel like I was watching Being Human's Aiden or any vampire book that we've read many times before. But there was that breakthrough about halfway through that had me hooked, with a riveting ending that left me not only craving, but needing more.

To see my guest post with Lola James, click here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Cycle by Lois Brown

“She remembers things that never happened.
She's a stranger in her own home. 
She always knew she was different.
She just didn't know why.
Until now. 
Renee Beaumont is about to die . . . again.”

How would you explain having memories of things that never happened to you? What would you do if you felt like an outsider among your own family members? After a fall from a horse nearly kills her, Renee has to answer these questions, and many more, about herself. And all of those answers end up fitting together like pieces to the puzzle of just who she is. Renee finds out that she is the result of a rare phenomenon – a Cycler. Born in the middle of an eclipse during the Saros Cycle, Renee is forced to be reborn after a certain point in her current life, something she’s done before that has left her with memories from her past lives. Renee is special, but that isn’t always a good thing. In this case, there are people who want to study her in order to make a profit from her condition. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep them from using her as a lab rat. Cycles is a mystery that, while interesting, reads at a rather slow pace.
I rate this book:

I thought Cycles had a really interesting plot behind it. However, it was incredibly hard for me to get into the story. I felt like the story jumped around too much for me to really follow what was going on. The answer to the mystery behind the entire plot didn’t surface until towards the end of the book. Cycles is a book that combines science and mystery in a new and interesting way, but it requires a lot more effort on the reader’s part to stay focused on the story itself than most books do.

Lois Brown received her bachelor's degree in journalism and worked as a news correspondent in Washington, D.C. She later completed a Master's degree in communications and started her own freelance business. She has written nearly fifty articles and books, many of which are about nutrition and the use of natural food supplements. She worked as the chief editor to former New York Times best-selling author Dr. Neil Solomon, and she co-wrote a book on time management with former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes. Two years ago she turned her interests to writing fiction for all ages.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking

“When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…
She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.”
This second installment of the Trylle trilogy, Torn, picks up immediately where the last book left off. After being attacked by the Vittra on the night that she is to be presented to Trylle society, Wendy is more than overwhelmed with the duties she’s expected to carry out as a princess. She uses her newfound abilities to persuade Rhys, the human boy with whom she was switched at birth, to take her home to her host family. However, she soon finds out that she isn’t as safe among her human family as she originally thought she’d be. Her decision to leave Förening leads to her, Rhys, and her host brother, Matt, getting captured by the Vittra.
In the Vittra capital of Ondarike, Wendy meets the king of the Vittra and learns some interesting things about herself. Secrets are revealed and lies are exposed before Wendy is able to escape back to Förening to sort through what she’s been told. One of the biggest things that she has to deal with is the fact that Oren, the Vittra king, is her father, which makes her not only the princess of the Trylle, but the Vittra princess as well. Now, Wendy will have to choose which kingdom to rule. Should she stay with her mother, who is cold and critical of her every move? Or should she join her father, a man who she knows nothing about – except that he is cruel and ruthless – as a way to bring peace to the Trylle and Vittra?
I rate this book:

This book was absolutely amazing. There were so many things that happened in it that I couldn’t fit it all into this review without giving away the entire story. The story went a lot faster than it did in the first book and there was so much action in the book that I really could not put it down. There were more than a few plot twists in this book that definitely contributed to keeping my interest while I was reading. I couldn’t get over how much Wendy’s character seems to come into her own throughout the course of the story. She is definitely the most interesting character that I’ve seen in a while and I really enjoyed reading through everything she had to face in this book. Also, as with the first book in this series, the new, republished edition of Torn contains its own never-before-published bonus story called, “One Day: Three Ways.” You won’t want to miss out on Torn, especially if you’ve read the first book in the trilogy. Torn is a very satisfying read and will definitely leave you wanting to know what happens next in the Trylle trilogy.

Amanda Hocking is the USA Today bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and six additional self-published novels. After selling more than a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she is widely considered the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age. She lives in Minnesota, where she’s at work on her next book. Visit her at or

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mainstream Monday: The Hobbit

“You’ll have a tale or two to tell when you get back”
“Can you promise that I will come back?”
“No, and if you do, you will not be the same”

Happy Mainstream Monday all!  I, like many of you I presume, was a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I remember staying up all night watching all three of them in a role when I was in middle school; something that I’ll need to do again soon because this December The Hobbit by JRR Tolken is hitting theaters just in time for the holidays.  Today, I’m going to tell you some things you need to know about what is bound to be a box office hit.
For starters, from what I can tell from the internet it’s going to be in two parts, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which is set to come out in December 2013 although that will probably change.
We will also be seeing some familiar faces from the Lord of the Rings.  Elijah Wood, who played Frodo, will make an appearance although this time, its not his story.  Ian McKellen will be taking his position as Gandalf again.  He was also in the first three Xmen movies.  NO HE IS NOT DUMBLEDORE!  Although, yes, they do look a lot alike with the beard and robes.  Orlando Bloom will be returning as Legolas.  Andy Serkis will be back as the creepy little Gollum (ugh hate that thing).  Ian Holm will be resuming his spot as the Old Bilbo Baggins.  Cate Blanchlett will be returning as Galadriel.  Some other big names that will be in this movie are Evangline Lilly from Lost and Luke Evans from Clash of the Titians, Immortals, and Robbin Hood.
The Hobbit is the story of Bilbo Baggin’s journey to Lonely Mountain accompanied by dwarfs to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.  Along the way they have the adventure of a life time.  
The Hobbit began filming the New Zealand, where the three Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, in October 2010 and has moved between there and England.  While it says that both films are in production on IMDB, they will both be wrapping up sometime within the month of March.

Are you guys pumped to see this movie or what!!!???  I know I am.  I will definitely have to read all of the books this summer to get prepared.  I’m think Lord of the Rings movie marathon party to celebrate, what do you guys think?  Let us know how you feel about this movie, I’d love to chat about it with you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

“When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.  She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her.  Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit.  But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth:  Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.   
Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening.  And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…”
What would you do if you found out that the people you’ve spent your entire life with aren’t your real family? What if you were actually switched at birth by your real mother in order to ensure that you’d have a comfortable life? You’d be pretty shocked, right? That’s exactly what Wendy Everly feels when she finds out that her brother and aunt aren’t really her family members. But it’s a bit more complicated for Wendy. It turns out that, not only is she a changeling who was switched at birth, she’s also royalty.

Wendy is a Trylle princess, heir to the kingdom of Förening. Within days of learning this, she is forced to leave her home with the only family she’s ever known, and travels to a new world to meet her birth mother, the queen. Switched is a story that immediately captures your interest with its fast-paced plot and endearing characters.

I Rate This Book:

I really enjoyed the concept behind the story of Switched. The story of a girl who has been switched at birth is one that is incredibly engaging. Add in the underlying element of magic that is present in the mystical world of Förening and you have a book that is particularly difficult to stop reading. Another really neat thing about this book is that, while it was first published solely as an eBook, Amanda Hocking has republished it so that it is available in hard copy as well. Included in this new publication is a gift for readers – a never-before-published bonus story entitled, “The Vittra Attacks.” If you’re looking for a new series to read (and you want to find out what that bonus story is about), then you should definitely pick up Switched, the first book of the Trylle trilogy. You won’t regret the decision.

Amanda Hocking is the USA Today bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and six additional self-published novels. After selling more than a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she is widely considered the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age. She lives in Minnesota, where she’s at work on her next book. Visit her at or