Friday, 31 January 2014

Tour Stop & Book Review: The Conduit (Gryphon #1) by Stacey Rourke

Series: Gryphon #1
Publisher: Anchor Group
Publication Date: 01 November 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Humor
Source: AToMR Tours (In exchange for an honest Review)

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.

While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shape shifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn't have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

My Review:
I have been looking forward to this book since I signed up for the tour. 

This was quite a nice read. It had different paranormal angles and kept me intrigued. I actually liked that there was no direct heritage link when it came to the siblings inheriting their powers (The Gran or mom didn't know about it - it dates back a few centuries). What was happening was all new for all of them.

Characters: 3/5
Stacey creates great likable characters. There is room for development and depth, but it is good work for the first book. They have the potential to be something even more special and spectacular later on. The sibling bond between then is great! I could picture the banter and teasing easily, and laughed out loud a few times. I loved the humor between them. I enjoyed the story line with all three of them being important, and they balanced each other out perfectly.

Celeste - Celeste is easy to like and connect with. She is strong and the centre of the family but I don't understand how she mastered the empathy power so quickly (This applies to all the siblings powers actually). I would have liked to know a bit more about that - the development and control of the powers. I love Celeste's quirkiness and sense of humor and enjoyed her referencing to super heroes.

Gabe - Gabe is the typical older brother. By the end of the book he was my favourite character. I really just loved the roughness of his character. In my opinion he grew and developed the most out of all three in this book.  

Kendall - Kendall is Celeste's younger sister and a complete lovable being of love. She is so sweet and fun. She is who she is and you cannot help loving her. I wish I had a younger sister like her.

Alec - (Celeste's love interest) I loved his sense of humor and gentlemanlike manners. He played a smaller role in this book, but I think he is going to be quite something in the next one. 

Aliana - (Their spirit guide) Aliana is wise and angelic. I loved her graceful commitment to the siblings and enjoyed her character role in this book. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style 3/5
Stacey has a great  writing style. The flow of the story is quick and easy. At some points I think the pace is a little bit too quick - it would have been nice to slow it down and expand at some parts. Stacey really brings a great sense of humor throughout the book. Her witty quotes had me giggling in so many parts. The chapters are nice and easy reading lengths. The ending was amazing! Wow - I really cannot wait to see what happens in the next book. 

Cover talk: 5/5
I love it. The green eyes contrast to her red hair. The wings are beautiful. The symbols are magical. It is just awesome.

Final Thoughts: I am so glad I started this series and cannot wait to continue it. 

My Rating

Books in the series:

~ Favourite Quotes ~

"We'll be fine. And if we do run into any animals, Gabe is with us. So we have nothing to worry about."

Gabe's expanded chest in full meat head bravado. "That's right ladies, the G-Man will protect you."

"Actually, I meant that any carnivorous animals would much rather eat you, in all your meatiness, than us." Gabe scowled. But I got a giggle out of Kendall. 


Apparently being evil also means you have the IQ of a zipper. 

 If this were a movie, we'd be mid-battle right now, I thought to myself as I watched the number tick by on the gas pump. Movies never showed the superhero stopping for gas. It went inspirational speech - or in my case paltry excuse for one - then epic battle. Never did they show the Batmobile at the Gas-N-Go. 


Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That's the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, "Bring it."

Author Bio (From her blogger profile):
There is nothing worse than being put on the spot and asked to talk about yourself. For me it brings back that inevitable moment in a new school when the teacher would ask me to stand up, introduce myself and tell the class something about myself. I was always worried I would blurt out something stupid that I would get teased for. Something like, "My name's Stacey and I like pickles!" Then for the rest of the school year I'd be known as the Pickle Girl and let's be honest, no one wants that. So to avoid such a faux pas I will simply say that I love to write. It allows me to get my crazy out just enough that I can function as a normal member of society.

Author Links: Goodreads l Twitter l Blog



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

MWYA Random Ramblings ~ Cover Conflict

Hey Everyone

Welcome back to another Random Ramblings post where I get to talk about stuff that grabs my attention bookish or non-bookish. This post has been on my mind for a while... It all started when I saw the cover of a book I absolutely loved. I basically read the book because of the cover and it was a good read! See my review here

I looked up the series on Goodreads and fell in love with all the covers! 

Every day / week I receive freebie emails about books that are on promotion - I love looking at the covers and grabbing the great deals from Amazon or Smashwords. In my opinion, the cover of a book is just as important as the story. 

I couldn't believe it when I saw the same girl, with the same pose and the same background on another cover! All that had changed on the cover was the title, author and the font. I actually saw this girl with the same post on a third book (but with a different background), but couldn't find the it when I went to go an look for it. 

Here are the covers I feel in love with:

These covers my attention immediately as I love the effect with the girl in the black dress - it has such a beautiful paranormal feel to it. 

Here is the other set of covers I discovered:

I was quite disappointed when I saw this. A cover that stood out to me so completely and beautifully was duplicated. I cannot even explain why I had this emotional reaction. In the end I will associate the covers with the first author and story I discovered. I just found it a bit silly that there are so many options out there and maybe these authors don't even know that they have identical covers.

What are your thoughts on this ramble? I'd love to hear from you! 



Monday, 27 January 2014

Book Review: Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch #1) by Ally Shields

Series: Guardian Witch #1
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: 14 September 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Chelsea's Author Promotions & the Author (In exchange for an honest Review)

Goodreads Synopsis:
Arianna Calin has sworn to keep the peace in Riverdale. Most of the Otherworlders prefer to haunt the Olde Town district--partying at vampire strip clubs, dining in elegant supper clubs, and inhabiting the cliffside caverns along the Mississippi. Being a cop is a tough job, but someone's gotta do it, and Ari's got her derringer, a sharp stiletto, and a few handy charms against things that hunt in the night. She's also a fire witch--a pedigree that comes in handy, since her partner's only human.

When a virtual reality drug hits the streets, people start to die, and an elusive pack of werewolves threatens the status quo. Ari and Ryan are drawn into a web of murder and evil that will lead sworn enemies to a confrontation. While the city simmers around them, Ari struggles to prevent an all-out supernatural war..

My Review:
This is the second time reading Awakening the Fire. On a special note this was the first book I ever reviewed and you could say indirectly that it helped me on my path to starting a blog! 
It really is amazing how much you don't pick up the first time you read a book, and it's so great how much more you notice the next time you read it. The book starts off with an intense and intriguing scene with Ari out on patrol as the Guardian of Olde Town. 

Characters 3/5
Ally creates well rounded and likable characters. There is some room for development but good grounding was formed in this book.

Ari - Ari is feisty and you can connect with her easily. I find it amazing that she survives on so little sleep! She is a great heroine - she holds her own ground and doesn't swoon and fall over when she meets the  hero of the book. I was very intrigued by her powers that are developing, and are yet to develop.

Andreas - Andreas is smooth and charming. Even in the book he doesn't fit the stereotype of your typical vampire. He plays a low key role for the first half of the book and a much bigger role in second half. He is an intriguing and interesting character. I liked this character and am eager to see how he develops further in the series.

Steffan - Steffan is your fun, friendly, fun to be around, nice guy/werewolf. He was my favourite character in the book. If Ari doesn't end up with Andreas, I hope she gives it a shot with Steffan!

Plot, Pace & Writing Style 4/5
You definitely ease into the story easily. Ally has a great easy writing style - the pace is great, the story has a very nice flow and the story has good world building. 

Cover talk 3/5 - I like the cover - It's got a nice paranormal feel to it and I love the purple flames!

Final Thoughts: I will definitely continue with this series and have high hopes for it.

My Rating:

Books in the series:

~ Favourite Quotes ~

"What was he last song you sang?"

"An Italian love song. Did you enjoy it?"

He turned to look at her. "It was, or I was?" His voice invited a broader interpretation.
She smiled. "Both," she said, not bothering to hedge. "But who is fishing for compliments now?"


"You keep forgetting I can take care of myself."

"So you've said before. But it would be better to stay out of situations where you might have to prove it."


Spring was only a winter away.

Author Bio:
I write urban fantasy/supernatural mysteries. The first three novels in the series have been released and Blood and Fire is scheduled for the fall of 2013. I am currently working hard on book 5. When not writing, I read multiple genres--urban fantasy, thrillers, mysteries, romance, and I love to travel--anywhere, anytime. I live in the Midwest with my miniature pinscher Ranger within driving distance of the Mississippi River that is the setting for my books.

Author Links:Goodreads l Twitterwebsite



Saturday, 25 January 2014

Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway ~ January 2014

January Kindle

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)


Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX 

(US Only - $229 Value)

Or $229 Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

January Sponsors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
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  4. Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
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  13. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
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  15. Author Donna Fasano
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Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7".

Ends 2/9/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Book Review: Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Series: Covenant #1
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: 18 October 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Discovery: Goodreads YA Gang series read of the month

Goodreads Synopsis:
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Previous reviews of series:
Daimon (#0.5 Covenant)

My Review:
I have heard many good things about Jennifer's writing and her other series (Lux series). Just like with Clockwork Angel, I grabbed the opportunity read this series!

I like that it opens with some pronunciations. Sometimes I read a word and have no clue how to read let alone pronounce it. Half-Blood picks up right where Daimon ends. The scene and feeling has been set for the book perfectly. 
The beginning of this book feels very similar to vampire academy. (And I am not the only blogger to comment on this) This aspect disappointed me initially but when the book started taking it's own turns I was a bit more relieved. Although some of the twists were a little predictable, it was not necessarily a bad aspect of the book. 

Characters: 4/5
Lexie - Lexie is a likable character from the start. She is a bit stubborn and her arrogance annoyed me a little bit - Its her biggest weakness. Otherwise her wittiness and wilder side is great in the book. I was happy that she didn't always behave recklessly. Sometimes she followed the advice given to her and considered others and how they would be affected by her actions. 

Aiden - Aiden initially comes across as guarded. I was so happy when he did slip up and some of his fun side came out with out with Lexie. She brings out a great side of him and I can see them breaking all the rules if their relationship ever develops further in the books. He is a great sweet and awesome character

Caleb - Caleb is Lexie's best friend. He is friendly, accepting and supportive. Someone Lexie can completely trust and the type of friend that will be there through thick and thin. He really brings a great aspect to the story. I hope he sticks around for a while. 

Seth/Apollyon - Straight up Seth is my favourite character in this series! Jennifer only introduces him about half way through the book. He has a brilliant sense of humor and come backs when bantering with Lexie. He definitely has a strong presence. I think he and Lexie would be an awesome explosive couple. Seth probably made the book for me and it's the reason I will keep on with this series. 

Seth & Aiden are great characters and Lexie would be great with both but I am totally #TeamSeth. I am hoping some big things come from their bond. Aiden is awesome and sweet and a great character, but my heart belongs to Seth. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 3/5
Jennifer has a great writing style. Although the plot was initially a bit the same as VA, she picks up the pace and makes it her own about half way through the book. 

Cover talk: 5/5 
I love the cover of this book! I actually love all the covers... no contest here, simplicity can sometimes take the cake. 

Final Thoughts:  A good read and I will be continuing with this series. 

My Rating:

Books in the series:

~ Favourite Quotes ~

You need to know about love. The things people will do for love. All truths come down to love, do they not? One way or another, they do. 


Then there is need and fate. That is a different type. Need covers itself with love, but need ... need is never love. Always beware of the one who needs you. There is always a want behind a need, you see. 

I glanced back at the wall of weapons. I wasn't even allowed to touch them, and now he was going to let me actually practice with them. It was like graduating kindergarden. hell, it was like Christmas Eve. 
People do the damndest thing when they're in love, Alex. Look at what your mother did. It's a different kind of love, but she left everything because she loved you.

Author Bio:
All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. 

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen. 

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Author LinksGoodreads l Twitter l Website



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Topic of Light: The Five Levels of Attachment: Chapter 1 ~ An exploration of perception and potential (Part 2)

Hello lovelies

Welcome back to another topic of light. I split up last week's chapter as there was so much to cover and I did not want the post to even be too long, but cutting out certain aspects would take away from the meaning of the message. Yesterday I received a rude comment on one of my previous posts and initially it upset me a bit, but taking a few deep breathes I let it go and focused on not taking it personally. Maybe it wasn't rude but I perceived it as harsh criticism. After I put it in perspective I let it go and am grateful I have been working through these books, which is helping me on more levels than I realise and I hope it brings something to your life as well. 

This incident reminded me that if we look for harshness in the world, we will find it - the same goes for beauty. Even if harshness does come knocking at your door, you do not have to answer or lower yourself to that level. Life will test us, how we deal with it is up to us. 

Another lesson I remembered from a previous post was that the more we re-tell and talk about the negative or gossip, the more power we give it over us in our lives. It is like a negative poison, let it go. Be happy, be positive and live a better life. Day by day and action by action. 

The Toltec wisdom stays with me and I chose to live my life this way. I connect with the simplicity and basis of these teachings.  

Please remember, this is only my personal interpretation. If you enjoy the parts I cover I do encourage you to purchase this book to get a more clear and thorough picture of the Toltec Teachings

Don't mistake perfection for imperfection
"I was attached to my belief that perfection is something to be attained through hard work and dedication - and I still had a long way to go. How could I be perfect? I hadn't yet accomplished my goals: I wasn't what I wanted to be." ~ The Five Levels of attachment

Have you ever felt this way? I have, quite a few times. Awareness of a situation or mindset is always to first step to change, along with willingness. How much happier would you be if you realised it is OK to just be you. People will still love you if you are just you. If they don't, then they don't deserve you in their life. 

We are our own worst critiques. We judge our imperfections and then punish ourselves because we don't meeting these standards we set for ourselves. 

"We eventually acquire a definition of perfection that has nothing to do with actual perfection: 'being free from all flaws or defects'." ~ The Five Levels of Attachment

This is a difficult concept - It is tougher to implement it that it is to talk about. This all becomes one big viscous circle. We set standards, our self-love becomes conditional, we don't meet standards =  we punish ourselves or we do meet standards = we move the goal post. 
"When you understand that you are perfect just the way you are, you will see that everything is perfect just the way it is."~ The Five Levels of Attachment
We don't just wake up and believe we are perfect and all is well. It takes desire, willingness and commitment. 
"In order to learn this lesson, I needed to stop judging myself for not meeting my own expectation and accept myself for who I am at this very moment. I began at the beginning, learning to love myself and giving gratitude every morning for being alive." ~ The Five Levels of Attachment.
We are a work in progress, an master piece that is never ending and continually improving. We grow, we develop and we learn. 

Once you start removing your belief filters, you will be amazed at what you find and what you see. Instead of creating a story you want to believe but will never achieve, invest in who you are right now and grow from there. When our actions come from a place of love, they are so much more fulfilling. 

"I spent many years trying to live up to those images I created of myself before discovering that this is who I am - no story needed. It's really me. I am perfect at this very moment, and that is all I need to enjoy my life."
"I have always been perfect, and so have you. When we can't perceive this, it's because we are too busy judging everything for not being something other than what it is."
~ The Five Levels of Attachment

A better definition of perfection is: "I am because I am at this moment."

Freedom is the ability to enjoy life exactly as you are with suppressing any beliefs or judgments. Just be. Be who you are and mean who you are. 

If we try change before we have accepted who we are, we are only creating more illusions and false images of ourselves. If we want to change after we have accepted who we are, this comes from a place of love and we change because we want to and not because we have to. 
"Love is no longer the condition for change, it is the starting point for change. This is the true meaning of unconditional love." ~ The Five  Levels of Attachment
What a wonderful teaching. My wish for you this week is to love who you are and and make love your starting point. 



Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #10 ~ Things on my reading wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, where bloggers get together and list the top ten things related to that week's topic.

This week our list is if you could make authors write about these things you would. character, issue, time period, plot ect...

Wow what a tough one this week... here it goes!

1 - I would love it if Stephenie Meyer to finish Midnight Sun!

2 - I would love it if Lauren Kate wrote a fallen novel from Daniel or Cam's POV.

3 - I'd love some more Infernal Devices from Cassandra Clare, I know she finished the series perfectly but I could never get enough of Jem!!

4 - I'd really enjoy a story about or from his Nick from Lust, Money & Murder by Mike Wells. Whether it be a future story with Elaine or about his past up until he met her. 

5 - For eBooks to be more reasonably priced - I don't understand why they are just as expensive as paperbacks! (Ok yes this item was inspired by Pamela @ Reading is fun again)

Ok so my list might be a little short as I still have so many books I am yet to read or finish the series... and I think a lot of what I want is yet to come when I do finish the books!

What is on your top ten wishlist??



Monday, 20 January 2014

Mini Book Review: Daimon (#0.5 Covenant) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Series: The Covenant Series #0.5 (Novella)
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: 10 May 2011
Genre: Paranormal
Discovery: Goodreads YA Series of the month

Goodreads Synopsis:
"Love in my world usually ended up with someone hearing 'I smite thee ' as she was cursed to be some lame flower for the rest of her life." For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals--pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty. According to her mother, that's a good thing.But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return-the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death... because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill. The daimons have found her.

My Review:
I chose to start this series as it was the recommended series for one of the bookclub groups I belong to on Goodreads. This was a very short prequel Novella to what sounds like an interesting start to a great series. I have heard great things about Jennifer L Armentrout's other series - The Lux Series. This year I decided to try and fit in at least 1 book from the group's recommended reading!

Characters: 3/5
I am not familiar with any of the characters in this series so starting with this prequel was a clean fresh start. You are only introduced to two characters really, Lexi & her Mom, other than the Daimons that are chasing Lexie. 

Lexie - is likable and has got some spunk. I was a bit confused initially as to why she was running from these Daimon's she has been trained to kill onsite but I put it down to the shock of seeing her mom dead and being away from the training for 3 years. 

Lexie's Mom - has such a warm loving feel to her. The fact that she was running to keep her and daughter safe from who know's what - shows she will do anything to keep her daughter safe, give a chance as a better / free life and loves her immensely. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 3/5
The story does leave me with a lot of intrigue as to why the Daimon's are chasing her specifically, when she was taught that they didn't really bother with half-bloods. The pace is quick and the writing style is easy to follow. Daimon ends exactly where half-blood begins (I had a sneak peak at chapter 1 at the end of this book). I cannot really comment on the plot as it was too short to really have one, it more just explains and sets the scene for the first book in this series. 

Cover talk : 5/5 - I love this cover. the theme across all the covers is beautiful. 
Final Thoughts: Its a short, sweet prequel and I have a lot of hope for this series. 

My Rating: 3 / 5

Books in the series:

~ Favourite quotes ~

My bitch switch was flipped and, well, 

my sense of self preservation went right out the window. 

Author Bio:
All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. 

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen. 

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Author LinksGoodreads l Twitter l Website