Monday, October 31, 2011

Books Out This Week: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2011

Last Breath (Morganville Vampires #11) by Rachel Caine
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town—a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville’s latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn’t merely human. But is he a vampire—or something else entirely?

 Reckoning (Strange Angels #5) by Lili St. Crow
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She’s battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a fullfledged svetocha—rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires—the worst is yet to come. Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she’s ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?
Dru Anderson’s not afraid of the dark.   But she should be.

 Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads: In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

 Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden? 

 Liar's Moon (Thief Errant #2) by Elizabeth Bunce
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  As a pickpocket, Digger expects to spend a night in jail every now and then. But she doesn't expect to find Lord Durrel Decath there as well--or to hear he's soon to be executed for killing his wife.
Durrel once saved Digger's life, and when she goes free, she decides to use her skills as a thief, forger, and spy to return the favor. But each new clue only opens up new mysteries. Durrel's late wife had an illegal business on the wrong side of the civil war raging just outside the city gates. Digger keeps finding forbidden magic in places it has no reason to be.
And for a thief in a town full of liars, sometimes it doesn't pay to know the truth.

 My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  "You know all those stories that claim fairies cry sparkle tears and elves travel by rainbow? They're lies. All lies."—Twelve-year-old Jenny has spent the last two years as an adventurer helping magical kingdoms around the universe. But it's a thankless job, leaving her no time for school or friends. She'd almost rather take a math test than rescue yet another magical creature! When Jenny is sent on yet another mission, she has a tough choice to make: quit and have her normal life back, or fulfill her promise and go into a battle she doesn't think she can win.

  First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci
Release Date:   November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  "We are specks. Pieces of dust in this universe. Big nothings.
"I know what I am."
Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Yet loving the world -- or, at least, an idea of the world.
Then he meets Hooper. Who says he's from another planet. And may be going home very soon.

 The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles #1) by John Flanagan
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills. And courage - which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

 Playground by 50 Cent
Release Date:  November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  This poignant novel from international icon 50 Cent opens with thirteen-year-old Butterball in the office of a therapist named Liz. She is trying to get him to talk about why he assaulted his former best friend on the playground with a sock full of batteries. Butterball doesn’t have much going for him. He’s teased about his weight. He hates the Long Island suburb his mom moved them to, and he wishes he still lived with his dad in the city. Butterball’s dad is meaner to him than he likes to admit, and his mom is constantly working. Now Butterball is stuck in mandatory therapy sessions with Liz, who tries to uncover just what happened that day on the playground.

 Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1)  by Leanna Renee Hieber
Release Date:   November 1, 2011

From Goodreads:The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...
Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox
Publisher:  Hyperion
Publish Date:  April 9, 2003
ISBN:  978-0786888740
Pages:  272

I have been a huge Michael J. Fox fan since he first appeared on American tv.  As Alex P. Keaton he was elitist, smug and arrogant...but at the same time you found yourself rooting for him because he was so darned adorable!  As Marty McFly in the "Back to the Future" trilogy he was the kid that just never got it right...until he did.  My own kids love to watch that series of movies over and over again.

But Michael grew up, did many many more movies and then tv shows and then something happened to him.  Something life changing.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  He didn't announce it publicly until 1998, but he had been dealing with it for quite some time by then.  He was a young man and you always think of Parkinson's as an 'old' persons disease.  I know that all the women I've known with it have been in their 50's or 60's and I haven't known any men with it at all.

When a celebrity writes a book, it's always iffy on whether you'll end up with substance or just name dropping.  Michael puts in some cute stories of famous people he knows, but not in a 'hey, guess who I know way', but in a 'this is what happened and oh yeah, my friend X was there too'.  He comes across as charming and friendly, the kind of guy he's famous for playing.

The book showcases his relationships with family members, both his family growing up and his own family now.  The strength of family they show makes me quite jealous.  His family loved and trusted him enough that when he became a Canadian high school dropout, they took him to California, USA to give acting a shot. We all know what happened then.  He became famous, got married, had kids...and was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.

He is painfully honest about Parkinson's: the disease, the symptoms it causes in him, his reactions and feelings.  I think this is a fantastic book for everyone to read because at the core of it is a lesson for all of us.  He worked through the fact that he has PD and has turned it into something to help himself and others with PD.  I'm sure he has periods of 'why me?', but he doesn't let them overwhelm him, he just keeps going because, as he says, he is a lucky man. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1) by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1) by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith
Publisher:  Pyr
Publish Date:  November 18, 2010
ISBN:  978-1616142476
Pages:  301

I received this book from the authors' publicist for a review.

This book combines alternate world history, steampunk and vampires.  In short, it's awesome!  I really loved the characters, they were all drawn strongly and had their own personalities.  The main characters are:
Princess Adele, The Greyfriar, Senator Clarke, Colonel Anholt, Lord Kelvin, Mamoru, Flay and Prince Cesare.

The story goes that vampires rose up in The Great Killing of 1870 and began killing all the humans.  Now it's 2020, is it the humans turn to do the same?

The vampires can't stand the heart, so most of the surviving humans have their kingdoms around the equator now, while the vampires take places around Europe (mostly).  The vampires can fly by changing their body density, so they're very dangerous.  However, they hate to fly over water - what if they change density, fall and drown?!  They do fly airships, but they use 'bloodmen' for that.  'Bloodmen' are the humans that serve them willingly, in hopes that eventually they'll be turned into vampires.

There are 2 vampire princes:
              -1 wishes to live in peace with the humans and is kind and thoughtful
              -1 wants to kill all humans, rule the world and uses humans to advance his cause

Both want Princess Adele, but for very different reasons.

Princess Adele of the southern European states is promised to marry Senator Clarke of America (which has decidely moved southward). She isn't really interested, but is willing to do her duty for her country. On a political trip her airship is attacked by vampires and she's rescued by the mysterious man known as The Greyfriar.  He's a legend and no one thought he really existed.  The Princess ends up as a pawn between the human and vampire worlds.  Prince Gareth (vampire prince #1) and The Greyfriar are trying to help Princess Adele, while Prince Cesare (vampire prince #2) wants to use her in their political battles.

 The vampires come across first as animals-like and savage, but behind that you see all their families, political structure, logic, and strangely, a limited dexterity of their hands - which causes some jealousy of humans.

Adele is tough and strong-willed, and sometimes uncertain and fearful, but at the same time decisive.  She's pretty real and how you would think a vampire-fighting princess should be.  There's some romance, to be sure, but mostly it's innocent and sweet.

Ahh, Senator Clarke.  Imagine on old west cowboy on a steampunk airship with the arrogance of a spoiled rich boy.  Got it?  How could you NOT hate him?!  I hated him instantly and delighted in it!  I had to marvel at the way he handled things, even when I was hoping he was being beaten.  What a great character!

This book was a real surprise for me, I agreed to read this one and the second one for reviews; but I didn't expect to like it this much.  I recommend that you read this one, it was definitely overlooked this year! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Author Guest Post! Angela Kulig "Skeleton Lake"

Irrational Fears (Make the Best Books)
Halloween props aren’t scary. Plastic bats and fluffy webs that resemble Santa’s beard don’t do it for kids anymore.
 Irrational fears make the best books.
For those of you who don’t suffer from irrational fears let me elaborate for you. If you have an irrational fear of spiders, you aren’t afraid of felt little things from the Halloween isle at Walgreens. You are afraid of giant eight legged creatures, with hairy feet, and a lust for human flesh. If you are afraid of zombies, those shuffling moaning D rate horror flick zombies aren’t going to do it for you; because you are really afraid of every person you have ever loved coming back to eat your brains. You are also afraid of having to put them out of their misery with your trusty shot gun.
If you are afraid of Skeletons pulling you into the deep, Skeleton Lake is probably not the best book for you. Really, I think it might just be me.
Skeleton Lake is not a horror book by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a book about love that will occasionally terrify you into thinking otherwise, but you will blink and it will drag you into something else. A different over powering emotion.
 For me the worst part of any fear is the anxiety of.
You know something is going to happen, you know it’s going to scare you and sometimes you will even like it. In the world of the paranormal that can happen any time, in the world of Skeleton Lake it can be on every page or with any lover or murderer.  Everyone at the lake is almost equally terrible and lovely at the same time. The bests of the lake would scare you with every breath if they weren’t so unequivocally human. If you your heart didn’t break for them, if you didn’t have to know what would happen next—even if it’s scary, even if it might kill you to know.
And that is all irrational fears really are, anxiety with a heart pounding, sweat inducing intensity that tells you something horrible could happen. Something unlikely but just as real. That’s why I look for, books that make me irrational, it’s not the fear of something imaginary that makes for a good book—it’s the fear that something unreal could be.  Even though your mind may tell you that mythical beasts do not exist, it’s always best when your body tells you otherwise.

You can find the ebook of "Skeleton Lake" here:

Books Out This Week: Oct. 24 - 30, 2011

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? 

 Mastiff: The Legend of Beka Cooper #4 by Tamora Pierce
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

 Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

 Amplified by Tara Kelly
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. .

 Nightshade (Poison Diaries #2) by Maryrose Wood, the Duchess of Northumberland
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  Our heroine, Jessamine, has lost her faith in the men she loved, and her innocence as well. She turns to the dark side and plots to kill her father, using his own poisons, before becoming an assassin, a poisoner for hire. Can she recover from her heartache and reunite with her true love, Weed? Find out in this thrilling story where poisons, darkness and horror are a part of everyday life, and love is the only cure.

 Phantom (The Vampire Hunters: The Hunters #1) by L.J. Smith
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  The past is never far. . . .
Elena Gilbert and her friends saved Fell’s Church from evil spirits bent on destroying it, but the town’s freedom came at a price: Damon Salvatore’s life.
Damon’s death changes everything. He and his vampire brother, Stefan, had been locked in a vicious battle for Elena’s heart. Now that he’s gone, Elena and Stefan can finally be together. So why can’t Elena stop dreaming of Damon? As Elena’s feelings for Damon grow, a new darkness is brewing in Fell’s Church. Elena has been to hell and back, but this demon is like nothing she’s ever seen. Its only goal is to kill Elena and everyone she loves.

 Destined (House of Night #9) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.
But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

 Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads: Perry Stormaire is a normal high school senior– he is busy applying to college and rehearsing with his band –until he agrees to go to the prom with the Lithuanian exchange student who is staying with his family. It turns out that Gobi Zaksauskas is not the mousy teenager that she seems but rather an attractive, confident trained assassin. Instead of going to the prom, Perry finds himself on a wild ride through the streets of New York City as Gobi commandeers the Jaguar his father lent him for the prom in order to take out her targets. Perry learns a lot about himself – and ends up with some amazing material for his college application essays.

 Caleb's Wars by David L. Dudley
Release Date:  October 24, 2011

From Goodreads:  A "colored" area in rural Georgia during World War II is the setting for the story of 15-year-old Caleb, whose brother, Randall, is in the army, waiting to be shipped overseas. This brings the war home to Caleb, as does the arrival of German POWs in the community. Torn between his loyalty to Randall and his discovery that a German can hate the Nazis as much as he does, Caleb is also fighting his own personal wars, against whites, against his domineering, angry father, and even--in a way--against God. Newly baptized to please his devout mother, Caleb has heard a voice he comes to believe is God's because he can't account for it any other way, and to his own astonishment he is able, twice, to heal afflicted people through prayer. In an era before the civil rights movement as we know it was born, Caleb lives with segregation, bullying, humiliation, and helplessness. Difficult as it is to put on humility and stay out of trouble, it's even harder to imagine that he is, somehow, special.

 The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

 Crave by Melissa Darnell
Release Date:  October 25, 2011

From Goodreads:  Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Bronze and the Brimstone - Lory Kaufman

The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman
Publisher:  The Fiction Studio
Publish Date:  June 7, 2011
ISBN: 978-1936558
Pages:  336

The second book in the Verona Trilogy finds our heroes settled into life in 14th century Verona.  The boys work making 'discs for the eyes', while Shamira is a kitchen girl.

The historical detail is wonderful - the clothes, everyday living, the deceit and deception!

This book deals mainly with Hansum, or as he is known, Romero.  It does feature Lincoln and Shamira, but mostly as asides.  I hope we see more of them in detail in book 3.

Hansum (Romero) has come to the attention of the nobles by 'inventing' lookers (telescopes) with the help of their genie and now has introduced cannons and black powder.  It's the age-old time travel questions - How does introducing technology, before it happens naturally, work out? The answer, as always, is IT DOESN'T!  Before Hansum knows what's going on, he's living with the nobles and being offered the hand of a beautiful girl.  The biggest problem is that he's already secretly married to his old Master's daughter, Guilietta.  He can't tell the nobles, he's seen what they do to people that displease them.  So he tells them he loves Guilietta and wants to marry her and believes that they are trying to help him achieve that.  Meanwhile, Guilietta doesn't feel so great...

By the end of the book, the genie is smashed and worthless, Black Death is sweeping through the town and Hansum fears all is lost.  As did I.  The end is very exciting and I can't wait to read more!

If you'd like some fun, go check out while waiting for the next book!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do you see what I see?

I changed it up just a tad this week!  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week!

Vampire Empire: Book 2 of The Rift Walker by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2012 Releases!!! January 1 - 7, 2012

                              For all the 2012 Releases that I can find, please visit our Facebook page!  Absolute Forest of Words on Facebook   

What Boys Really Want by Pete Hautman
Release Date:  January 1, 2012

From Goodreads: Lita is the writer. Adam is the entrepreneur. They are JUST FRIENDS.   So Adam would never sell copies of a self-help book before he'd even written it. And Lita would never try to break up Adam's relationship with Blair, the skankiest girl at school. They'd never sabotage their friends Emily and Dennis. Lita would never date a guy related to a girl she can't stand. They'd never steal each other's blog posts. And Adam would never end up in a fist fight with Lita's boyfriend. Nope, never.
Adam and Lita might never agree on what happened, but in this hilarious story from Pete Hautman, they manage to give the world a little more insight into what boys and girls are really looking for.

 Scattering Like Light by S.C. Ransom
Release Date:  January 1, 2012

From Goodreads:  Alex knows there's a way that she and Callum can be together. Catherine holds the key to unlocking the secret but she's disappeared. Olivia has answers, too, but they're hidden deep inside her troubled mind and won't be found. It seems impossible but Alex can't give up. The question is, how much will she risk to be with the one she loves? Could it be everything?

 The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
Release Date:  January 1, 2011

From Goodreads:  Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

 The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Release Date: January 2, 2012

From Goodreads: 
Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would preferred to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."
Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.

 Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) by Cate Tiernan
Release Date:  January 2, 2011

From Goodreads:  Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite som drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.</br></br> She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?

 The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer L. Smith
Release Date:  January 2, 2012

From Goodreads:  Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A. Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

 Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 

 Dreaming Awake (Falling Under #2) by Gwen Hayes
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.
Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.
And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

 Tempest (Tempest #1) by Julie Cross
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Charmfall (Dark Elite #3) by Chloe Neill
Release Date: January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  High school can be a battlefield, but for Lily Parker, surviving at St. Sophia’s School for Girls is a matter of life and death...

Protecting Chicago from the dark side can be an exhausting job, especially when you’re a junior. So when the girls of St. Sophia’s start gearing up for Sneak, their fall formal, Lily decides to join in on some good, old-fashioned party prep—even if it means not giving demons, vampires and the twisted magic users known as Reapers her undivided attention.
But when a Reaper infiltrates the school, Lily doesn’t forget what she’s sworn to protect. She reaches deep into herself to draw out her magic—and finds that it’s gone. And it turns out she’s not alone. A magical blackout has slammed through paranormal Chicago, and no one knows what—or who—caused it. But Lily knows getting back her magic is worth the risk of going behind enemy lines...

 Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads: 

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

 Fracture by Megan Miranda
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine
-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

 Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

 Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala
Release Date: January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  Joy Delamere is suffocating...
From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From dangerous Ashlyn, who is smothering her from the inside out.
Joy can take her cruel words until the night they go too far.
Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.
Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the hurt of bullying, family strength and endurance, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

 Under the Never Sky Book #1 by Veronica Rossi
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  Exiled from her comfortable home in the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. In Reverie, she spent time with her friends roaming virtual environments called Realms. But in The Death Shop, even the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage. He’s also her only hope for survival.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry sees Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he also needs Aria’s help; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, they come together reluctantly, and embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by cannibals and wolves. Their unlikely alliance will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY. 

 Winterling (Winterling #1) by Sarah Prineas
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  With her boundless curiosity and wild spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn’t belong. Not when the forest is calling to her, when the rush of wind through branches feels more real than school or the quiet farms near her house. Then she saves an injured creature—he looks like a boy, but he’s really something else. He knows who Fer truly is, and invites her through the Way, a passage to a strange, dangerous land.
Fer feels an instant attachment to this realm, where magic is real and oaths forge bonds stronger than iron. But a powerful huntress named the Mor rules here, and Fer can sense that the land is perilously out of balance. Fer must unlock the secrets about the parents she never knew and claim her true place before the worlds on both sides of the Way descend into endless winter. 

 Cracked by K.M. Walton
Release Date:  January 3, 2012

From Goodreads:  Sometimes there's no easy way out.
Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.
Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.
When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better

  A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Release Date:  January 5, 2012

From Goodreads:  Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain. 

 Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Release Date:  January 5, 2012

From Goodreads:  Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.
Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood. 

 Love?Maybe by Heather Hepler
Release Date:  January 5, 2012

From Goodreads:  Just because Piper’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day does not mean she’s a romantic. In fact, after watching her father and then her stepfather leave, she’s pretty sure she doesn’t believe in love at all. Then her friends concoct a plan to find them all Valentine’s dates, and somehow Piper finds herself with the most popular guy in school. But true love never follows a plan, and a string of heartfelt gifts from a secret admirer has Piper wondering if she might be with the wrong guy.

 Run (A Subject Seven Novel) by James A. Moore
Release Date:  January 5, 2012

From Goodreads:  In this sexy, action-packed follow-up to Subject Seven, the Failures are on the road and heading toward Evelyn Hope. According to Joe Bronx, Evelyn is the only one with the answers that can save them.
Meanwhile, the Successes are preparing for attack. And this time, they won't stop until they annihilate the Failures. But the Failures have another enemy: themselves. They're physically destroying their human alter egos each time they mutate. There can be only one group of survivors in this epic battle - and the humans don't seem to stand a chance.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Wicked and The Just by J. Anderson Coates

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coates
Publisher: Harcourt
Publish Date:  April 17, 2012
ISBN:  978-0547688374
Pages:  352

I received this ARC as an e-book from

I know what you're all thinking - 'Seriously, this book isn't out until APRIL?!'  Seriously.  BUT I believe that this book is good enough that you need to pre-order it NOW.  You'll thank me in April.

The story is told from the point of view of two very different girls.  There's Cecily who's English and Gwenhwyfar (Gwinny) who's Welsh.  It's set during the time that the English tried to rule Wales, so about 1293 (I believe).

Cecily's father was once the lord of Edgely Manor.  But that has come to an end and now his brother has taken his rightful place and his wife has died, so he needs to make his fortune elsewhere.  So he moves himself and Cecily to Caernarvon, Wales; where just by moving there to keep down the horrid Welsh, he can have a house and be a respected member of the community...within the walls anyway.  Cecily hates it and wants to go home...and if she can't go home, she wants to be the lady of the house.  But neither is happening.

The house is run by a Welsh woman who understands the society they're living in, within and without the walls of the city.  She also oversees Gwinny who is the maid.  Gwinny was to be the lady of the house.  The same house that Cecily now lives in.  Gwinny's forced to wait on Cecily, who she refers to as 'The Brat'. 

The English believe that the Welsh are like animals and speak a nonsense language, just because they don't understand their customs or language.  Sound familiar?  The Welsh aren't taking being trampled very well.  Few Welsh are allowed inside the city walls, mostly only for work.  They aren't paid well and are chosen more frequently and quickly if they have enough money to bribe the officials.  Gwinny's beloved and her brother are both always looking for work.  At one point Gwinny's brother begins working for Cecily's father.  Unfortunately, Cecily feels he has been inappropriately looking at her and begins to give him trouble.  Inside and outside the city walls, tensions are rising and plans are afoot.

Cecily and Gwinny are, by turns, almost friends and bitter enemies.  There are times when Gwinny thinks that The Brat might turn out alright, but then Cecily will do something high-handed and end that thought.

Then one day the Welsh revolt.  The two girls and their families clash and the tables are suddenly turned.  The only thing that saves Cecily is a kindness she did for Gwinny's brother, Griffith, that no one but him knows about.

I do love historical fiction and this is a series of events that I knew nothing about, so it was wonderful to read about.  Ms. Coates doesn't sugarcoat the nastiness that the English and Welsh do to one another or how nasty the girls can be...which is often as bad as the men of the time.  I think that Ms. Coates has a winner on her hands and I can't wait for all of you to read it!  In the meantime, go check out the author at

Monday, October 17, 2011

Books Out This Week: October 17 - 23, 2011

Swear (Swoon #2) by Nina Malkin
Release Date: October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  A promise broken. A bond betrayed.
It’s been six months since ghost-turned golem Sinclair Youngblood Powers confessed his love, stole Dice's heart, and disappeared from Swoon, perhaps from existence. Despite the hurt, Dice has been moving steadily toward ordinary. Dreams of Sin still plague and pleasure her sleep, and the mark of Sin's love remains on her skin, still sore. But Dice has been throwing herself into music, finding solace in song and sometimes even in the arms of her band mate, Tosh. Life seems almost…normal. The last thing Dice wants is to mess with anything remotely supernatural. But when her best friend’s boyfriend goes missing, Dice has no choice but to become very much involved. She knows that his disappearance was no accident, and it somehow has everything to do with Sin. Because Dice can feel it: Sin is back. And the promises and deceptions he left in his wake have returned to haunt him.
What do you do when an oath of devotion threatens to destroy the one you love?

 Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

 Seizure (Virals #2) by Kathy Reichs
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they've turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack. But now the very place that brought them together - the Loggerhead Island Research Institute - is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it.
So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can't believe her luck - buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren't the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals' special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble . . .

 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?

Mandy Kalinowski knows what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too?

 Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

 Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads: 
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

 Maya's Choice (Keysha & Friends Novel) by Earl Sewell
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads:  Maya's summer is shaping up to be unforgettable—in both good and bad ways. First she's sent to stay with her grandmother for a month. Living in the city, Maya is too far from her friend Keysha and her boyfriend, Misalo—and too near her rebellious cousin Viviana. When Maya finally comes home, her parents drop a bombshell—Viviana is moving in with them.
Her cousin has barely unpacked before she's creating chaos. Truth is, Maya kind of likes the way life is a whole lot less predictable with Viviana around. But her motives are up for debate—especially when it comes to Misalo. And as Maya's little sister, Anna, grows more fascinated with her cool older cousin, Maya begins to see that following where Viviana leads has its price. And it could cost Maya her reputation, her relationship…and maybe even her future….

 Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date:  October 18, 2011

From Goodreads: 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.

 On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker
Release Date:  October 19, 2011

From Goodreads: Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she's still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn't helping.
Neither is thinking she sees Daniel's face in murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.
As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them have to decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.