Apr 28, 2013

Showcase Sunday #2

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.
~Vicky @ Books Biscuits and Tea

Welcome to my second Showcase Sunday post. This week I  traveled back to my hometown for Easter (yes, it just started here) and so I didn't think I'd get any books, but I had 6 hours on the airport waiting between flights so I couldn't resist buying a book. And then there was a freebie alert and a review book. So the three of them made it a quite good week for me.

Raven Boys: I can't wait to read this one. It seems pretty unique and interesting, plus, I love Maggie's writing.

Memory's Wake: I am a big fan of Selina's other series, the Empath Chronicles, so when I saw that this book was free on amazon I had to get it.

For Review
Beautifully Broken: This seems like my kind of book, mystery, ghosts and magic. Can't wait to read it. I will be hosting a guest post with the author tomorrow with a giveaway, so don't forget to visit me again.

Apr 25, 2013

Interview & Giveaway: Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu

The Book
Publish date: 4th December 2012
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: paranormal/light romance/light horror.

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

The Interview
1. Describe your book in three words. 
Suspense, passion, karmic retribution. 

2. What inspired you to write Shadows of the Past? 
It was an article about a haunted mountain in England. The souls of two sinners, a nun and a priest who break their vows and elope, can’t find their rest. The tourists visiting the haunted area sometimes hear agonizing moans during the night. That was all. The moment I put down the newspaper I experienced a strong urge to write about them. This is how The Ballad of the Priest and the Nun came to life, first. Later, I thought it was not enough. I considered that Genevieve’s story must be told in detail. And thus Shadows of the Past came to life.

3. Where do you usually write?

During summer holidays I retreat to my “writing room” and loose myself in the imaginary realm of my characters and plots. Being a teacher, I have this period free, so after taking care of our four-legged friends - several cats and a dog, I re-read what I wrote the previous day, make changes or edits and then continue my story. I tried to set a daily writing goal but, to tell you the truth, I realized I write better without one. I don't like patterns and being forced to follow a pre-defined one. You can get a glimpse of my "writing-room" in the photo.

4. What is the one thing you always have by your side while writing? 
A large cup with black, strong coffee. And I like to have everything handy: paper, pencils, markers, ballpoint pens as I write longhand first.

5. Which are you top 3 favorite series/books of all time? 
I love series books. I feel like the characters become friends to me. The only thing that makes me sad is when a series I enjoy comes to the end. 

Here are three of my favorite series.
  1. My favorite literary stories of all time are Agatha Christie's novels having the unflappable and much beloved female detective, Miss Jane Marple. There are twelve novels having her as main lead investigator. I loved each and every one of these books. 
  2. Then I should mention A. Dumas's The D'Artagnan Romances including The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, Vicomte de Bragelonne, Ten Years Later, Louise de La Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask. Everything in them - pacing, plot and character development is excellent. 
  3. And the third is Robert Ludlum's trilogy: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. One of the best espionage/thriller books written by Ludlum. The books are well plotted and with complex characters. 
6. Your favorite movies or TV shows? 
Movies - Ghost with Patrick Swayze is one of my favorite films. It is romantic and touching. It shows the love that transcends even death. I believe in ghosts, reincarnation, karmic retribution, past lives. Another favorite is Philadelphia Experiment- a dream for conspiracy theorists, based on an "actual event" that took place in 1943. I also enjoy comedies with Louis de Funes. 

TV shows I greatly enjoy - Downton Abbey - absolutely one of the most rewarding and richly satisfying shows from Great Britain that have come along in recent years; The Event - tackling a theme so dear to me - extraterrestrial life; 24 in which Jack Bauer, Director of Counter-Terrorist Unit of Los Angeles, races against the clock to subvert terrorist plots and save his nation from ultimate disaster. Squadra Antimafia - the title speaks for itself.

7. What should we expect from you in the future? 
Dracula's Mistress -linked to Vlad the Impaler’s life. Another paranormal. A historical one. The Middle Ages again, this time the setting is Walachia, present-day Romania. My submission was accepted by the publisher I'd sent it to, and I already signed the contract. Dracula's Mistress goes “against the grain”; it is the first novel to present the prince as a real human being - with his good parts and his faults - not as the infamous vampire. However it's not bare history, the story is packed with mystery, love, twists and turns and... You'll see it soon. 

Thank you, Veronica, for having hosted me today. It was a pleasure.

The Author
Find Carmen on:

Trailer for Shadows of the Past:

Buy Links:

The Giveaway
Two of you will win a pdf copy of Shadows of the Past
Open Internationally
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 24, 2013

Call of the Vampire (The Vanderlind Castle Series, #1) by Gayla Twist

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am not a big fan of vampires but after giving a shot to A Shade of Vampire and ending up loving it I decided that maybe some new vampires books are worth reading. This is the case with Call of the Vampire. It is one of those books that you just wish were longer.

Call of the Vampire introduces us to Aurora and the mystery that surrounds the Vanderlind Castle and one of its residents Jessie Vanderlind. Aurora and her friend Blossom were always curious about the Castle, never been inside but dying to and finally, when a mysterious party is about to take place there they decide to sneak in. The girls manage to get inside unnoticed but one terrifying thing happens after the other and Aurora discovers the big secret of the Vanderlind Castle. The people living there are all vampires. Aurora is saved by Jessie and a bound is starting to form between the two of them. But her past, that she has yet to discover is somehow already connected with his. And not everyone enjoys the human company.

I really enjoyed this book and especially the main character Aurora, she had her bad moments, fixating over Jessie, but when it came down to a crisis and things that meant something she had a great attitude and tried her best to be a good friend and still keep Jessie's secret. I also enjoyed how by visiting her great-grandmother she learns stuff about her great-aunt that somehow seem to be connected to both her and Jessie.

And then there is Jessie, the best way to describe him is cute and sad. He never gave me the creeps or even scared me. He was always protective of Aurora and learning his heartbreaking past just made me like him even more.

I also loved the action scenes in this book and everything that took place inside the Castle, what I didn't seem to care much about was the alone Jessie-Aurora time in her room's window. I did want to learn more about the vampires and Aurora's great aunt but I think that those moments could have been so much more.

Still, I can't wait to read more of Aurora's story and get lost deeper into the Vanderlind Castle's history and residents.

Apr 23, 2013

Tell Me Something Tuesday: What to review

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. It is a chance to talk about all topics and a way to get to know your fellow bloggers. Participate as often as you like. Grab the question, answer it on your blog and add your link!

This week's question:
How do you decide on which books to read and review?

My answer:
I used to burry myself in review books, especially after I found out about Netgalley, when I first start blogging. I would go and request whatever seemed even remotely intersting and then I ended up not liking half of it. But even without Netgalley, when I first started accepting review requests, it was really hard for me to say no to the authors so I accepted pretty much everything. Not a good idea! 

After months of reading like crazy to catch up to the reviews and ignoring all my non-review books I decided I needed to change my system. First off I decided not to use Netgalley again, if I really want a book I will wait till it's released and go get it. I am also very picky about what I accept from authors. Especially if I haven't read a book by the same author before. If that's the case then the blurb needs to catch my attention, still I would go ahead and read a few good and a few bad reviews just to make sure. It also helps if the books is small, cause even if I don't like it at least I won't spend a lot of time reading it. Some of the chances I took with books like that and I turned out loving them:

I usually stick to the people I already know. Authors like Cambria Hebert, Janelle Stalder, Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckels can ask me to review pretty much anything and I will. 

Still I try to keep the review pile down to 4 or 5 for each month, otherwise there will be no time for my non-review books and I am already terribly behind of those.

Apr 21, 2013

Showcase Sunday #1

Yes, I finally decided to join in Vicky's Showcase Sunday weekly meme. Unpack This felt a bit lonely...

I know I haven't been around much lately, it's been more than 2 weeks since my last post, but I have been going a bit crazy with school and my best friend visiting me and my dog and guitar lessons, yes, life has been a crazy for me lately. Goods news? I have quite a few books that I got these last weeks.

I bought all these used for 3 euro each. How awesome is that? 
And Then There Were None: This is one of the most highly rated Agatha Christie books and I decided it was time for me to read it. A while ago I read TEN which is a reteling of this one and loved it. I just hope there is still mystery and I won't figure out everything too soon.
In The Woods: I wanted this book ever since reading Vicky's review on it. It seemes pretty amazing.
Married With Zombies: This look like a lot of fun and I can't wait to read it.
Dark Inside: Finally got this one, can't wait to start it.
Heist Society: I really enjoye Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series and this one has thiefs in it so it seems pretty cool.

For Review:
A Shade of Vampire: Can't say how excited I am about this one. I loved loved loved A Shade of Vampire and now I can finally read what happens next.
Renegade: This is the final book to the Heven and Hell series. I wonder what will happen in the end.
Witch Hearts: Liz Long somehow always combines two things I love in her book. In Gifted she wrote about a firestarter and a circus. In Witch Hearts there are witches and a serial killer. Can't wait.

The Game: I have to be honest I haven't heard much about this book and didn't even bother to read the reviews all that much. I just love this cover and the blurb really got my attention. And well it was for free.

Have you read any of this books? Do you want to read some of them? Any other thoughts?

Apr 3, 2013

EDEN-SOUTH Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

I am really excited to be today's stop on the EDEN-SOUTH tour. This whole series is a pack of amazing and I am a huge fan of it and Janelle's writing. And Janelle is general cause she is pretty amazing too. 
Anyways, here is my review. Don't forget to scroll down for the giveaway.

This book is definitely the most amazing and addictive book of the year. Couldn't think Janelle was able to best the two previous books, but this one is by far my favorite.

In the third book of the EDEN series the story picks up exactly where it stopped on the second one, and I mean exactly, like at the same moment. Aiden is back with his friends, hooray to that and they are getting ready to face Callum's army in the South. In the meantime Rain is starting her new life with Aziz, the mad sorcerer.

This book had it all. Dozens of moments that just made me swoon and smile.

Hot, steamy scenes.

And of course there is the war.

There were also a few surprises in Aziz lair. One of them being Elex, who I adored. And then there is this whole history of Aziz and Aiden seems to be tied with him too. Now, that was awesome. There is also Rain. I am not ashamed to say I hated the girl in the previous book but now she is my second favorite female of the story, after Elisa. I understand her need to try and make her own destiny, not wanted to be shadowed by the men of her clan, her need for power and knowledge. She is pretty amazing after all. And I can see that she is realising that Aziz is crazy and dangerous and not who she thought her was. I can totally see her turning good in the end.

This book also focused a lot on Wolf and Elisa, my favorite couple. I am really glad that their romance finally blossomed. I loved them when they fought and I love them even more when they don't. Oh, Wolf, you are my favorite boy of the whole story!

But it wasn't just them. Everyone got a spotlight in this book and some things were resolved. The war between Jameson and Callum finally came to an end. And let me tell you it was the perfect end. I saw it coming but it still made very happy. Now if they can just kill Aziz I could die happy.

Oh, and that ending. OMG Janelle do you want me to stalk you down for more answers. Aziz's plans never seize to amaze me.

All in all, excellent book, with an amazing storyline and beautiful writing. The world of Eden has become one my favorites and I don't know how I could bare to read the last book, I don't want this journey to be over.

I think this girl says is all.

I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio
Janelle Stalder was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. At an early age she developed a love for literature. Her debut novel, Eden, was the first book in a series of four, released in September of 2011. The second book, Eden-West, was released in July of 2012, and the third book, Eden-South was released in March of 2013. The fourth book of the Eden Series, Eden-East, will be release at the end of 2013. She is a strong supporter of other indie authors, and loves to interact with her readers. When she’s not writing, Janelle is at home with her husband, two children, Aiden and Elora, and her two furry children, Alice and Lily. She now resides in the small town in Ontario in her old, possibly haunted, century home.

You can find Janelle at:
Tumblr | Facebook | Twitter @jmstalder | Goodreads

Buying Links for EDEN
Buying Links for EDEN-WEST
Buying Links for EDEN-SOUTH

This is a Tour Wide Giveaway.

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive: 
1 personalized and signed paperback copy of Eden, Eden-West, and Eden-South by Janelle Stalder 
1 Custom Bookmark Inspired by The Eden Series 
1 Limited Edition Map 

5 Winners will receive: 
1 digital copy of Eden-South by Janelle Stalder 
1 "Paper Punch" Bracelet Inspired by The Eden Series and signed by Janelle Stalder 

10 Winners will receive: 
1 digital copy of Eden by Janelle Stalder

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: Renegade (Heven and Hell, #4) by Cambria Hebert

Today I am very excited to present to you the cover of the final book in the Heven and Hell series.
It's Heven and Sam together. So cute. I can't wait to read it. Although I am kind of sad that the series is coming to an end.

Book Info
Renegade (Heven and Hell #4) by Cambria Hebert
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Formats: Ebook and Print
Add on Goodreads

I’ve been beautiful. I’ve been ugly. I’ve died. I’ve been brought back. I’ve had abilities awakened within me. My strength has been tested. My beliefs have been tested.

Yet I stand.

What’s next when you’ve pretty much experienced it all?

The end.

Sam and I are picking up the pieces. We’re trying to come to terms with all we’ve lost. And as much as I would like to hide my head, ignore the reality I live every day, there is no forgetting.

Riley is in hell—I’m still not sure of his agenda. My mother’s past haunts me. And Kimber… Kimber is being herself. Cole sneaks glances at Gemma and she returns them when she thinks I don’t see.

But I do.

When Beelzebub escapes he brings his war to places I never thought he would. Earth. Maine. Home. Now everyone and everything is at risk. This has become bigger than my circle of friends. This has become bigger than me. I have to finish this. I have to find a way to stop him, to finish this war.

I just pray we will all be left standing in the end.
Book Trailer

Want more of the Heven and Hell series? Check out all the previous books.

Author Bio
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and the Death Escorts series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com