On My Wishlist #18

Hosted by Book Chick City Cosy Books.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

Goodreads

I’ve had this one on my radar since Angelya’s review, however, I hadn’t really looked into it since as I just haven’t had the time or inclination for epic fantasy. I will have to admit that it was the cover that peeked my interest again, so bravo to the publishers for that! I like how simple, yet gorgeous it is and the rest of Tad Williams books are equally as gorgeous looking with these shiny new covers.

Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

Goodreads

This one has been on my wishlist for a little while now but I picked up The Dead Ways the other day and now I have to read the rest of Christopher Edge’s stuff! I’m not usually into middle grade fiction but he writes it so well that it’s most definitely enjoyable for all.

[Review] My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

This review may well contain spoilers for the Soul Screamers series up to book 2.

[rating:4.5]
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series:
 Soul Screamers #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk
Pages: 362
Published: 2011 (UK)
Source: Personal copy
Goodreads | Amazon (UK/US) | Book Depository

First sentence:

Addison Page had the world at her feet.
Blurb

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…

Thoughts

My Soul to Save continues almost two months after where My Soul to Take left off and I found it even more unputdownable. I’m not sure exactly why. Perhaps it’s because we now know Kaylee and Nash, we’ve been through Kaylee’s discovery of her bean sidhe powers, and now we’re able to follow the stories and properly connect with the characters. You don’t just want to know what happens next, you need to know.

We find out a little more about the Netherworld and even see a little of it. This is something I’d been looking forward to and was not disappointed. It’s chilling and entirely nightmarish, and I fell a little bit in love with it. The creatures within are creepy, the landscape is like something from a Salvador Dali painting, and even the plant life is scary! It is not a place to venture into lightly.

There are more interesting characters in My Soul to Save, as well. We met a few in My Soul to Take, such as Tod, but they are built upon further in this book. Tod we know to be Nash’s dead bean sidhe brother, but we start to see his human side which didn’t really show so much before. He becomes a more solid part of the Soul Screamers series as opposed to simply a side character and I really like that. His personality is fun to read as he continually causes mischief to keep himself entertained. We also meet Addy, Tod’s ex girlfriend who happens to have sold her soul for fame and fortune, unknowingly condemning herself to eternal damnation by demand of Dekker media. The thing I loved the most about this particular storyline was how big a pop at Disney it was! It really made me giggle until it was revealed exactly how dark it really was. Libby the 3,000 year old reaper was also pretty awesome. Despite not meeting her too much, she still made quite an impact on me which is definitely something worth mentioning. And I still like Nash.

Considering how difficult it was for me to put this series down for just a little while during March, I am very much looking forward to picking back up with My Soul to Keep!

The Soul Screamers series:

0.5. My Soul to Lose
1. My Soul to Take
2. My Soul to Save
3. My Soul to Keep
3.5. Reaper
4. My Soul to Steal
5. If I Die
5.5. Never to Sleep
6. Before I Wake
7. With All My Soul

Looking For An Associate Reviewer!

Heya. I know every man and his dog are currently seeming to be looking for an associate reviewer but with me starting a new job, getting over a major reading slump, and being so busy with this that and the other I’m getting pretty desperate for some help around here and would love a friendly speculative fiction lover to join me on Once Upon A Time.

What I’m Looking For:
  • A reasonably likeminded individual with a love for speculative fiction of any age group or genre. Some outside genres also welcome.
  • You would need to be willing and able to write at least 1 review every two weeks. As it will be the two of us, this basically gives us both a little leeway to take our time reading what we most enjoy and writing quality reviews for our readers. More would be better but that is the minimum. At the moment I manage 1 review a week.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t think you’d make a very good reviewer. I can help you out with a few tips and you’ll have it down in no time. So long as you have a decent grasp of the English language and a passion for books, I’m happy. I like Once Upon A Time to have a little bit of personality and treat its’ readers more as friends than nameless, faceless numbers.
  • Yes, I’m happy for you to read what you’re in the mood for and review books that I may have already reviewed because at the end of the day we’ll have different viewpoints and writing styles so it’s all good. My readers are varied and I like to give a bit of variety back!
What I’m Not Looking For:
  • Somebody who can’t commit. If you tell me that you can help me out with 1 review every two weeks and I don’t hear from you in three months then I’m going to be a little upset. I’m not asking for you to treat this like a full time job but it would be nice if you could at least treat it seriously.
  • A person who is pretty much after free books. You will need to read your own books. I might be able to send out the odd physical book I don’t have time for if you’re in the UK, I may be happy to forward indie authors to you if their book seems appropriate for my blog, but this is not the point in book blogging. Read your own books, make good use of the library, enter as many giveaways as you can, sign up for NetGalley, whatever you like but please don’t expect this to be a ticket to free books.
  • A book snob. I’m happy for you to prefer one thing over another, but never look down on something else just because you don’t like it.
  • Bad attitude in general. This is a hobby and it is supposed to be fun! Please keep that in mind.
What You’ll Be Able To Do:
  • I would like to read through your reviews and such before they go out just to double check them but I will give you the access you need to write up posts and save draft and format them.
  • Write reviews. These should be fun, constructively critical, and informative. We shall discuss more if you join me, but so long as you stick to a few basic rules, i.e. no tearing a book or author to shreds, I’m pretty easy on reviews.
  • Write posts. Any posts. Have an opinion or enjoy a particular topic? Have an idea for a regular feature? Go for it! I’m happy for you to be a part of this blog which leads on to..
  • Join in with any memes I do. At the moment I only do In My Mailbox regularly, but when the mood takes me I might do On My Wishlist, Follow Friday and the GReads one, and Top Ten Tuesdays. I don’t do all of those in one week because I do not want to overladen my blog with memes, but I’d love you to join in too unless you really don’t want to.
  • Share your ideas with me. If you have an idea for something or think that something could be done better, tell me! I’ll definitely consider it.

Basically, you won’t just be treated as just a guest reviewer but a part of Once Upon A Time. You’ll have a section in the about page, a signature for your posts, and anything you can bring will be a big help. We’ll ease into everything to just see how we feel with reviews and what you want to do. Basically, just have some fun, that’s all I ask! Interacting with readers and book bloggers is a lot of fun and I’d love you to be a part of that.

If you are interested, please please get in touch. I’ve put together a Google form to make it easy for you! If you need or want to email me for any reason, just head over to my contact page. :)

If you could please help me by spreading the word, I will love you to bits!

In My Mailbox #56

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

I’m a little early with IMM this week because I’m working Sunday morning so I figured I may as well post it now. No harm in that! And a great week for me. :D

Books

Squee. Squee. Squee. Yet again! And Dark Parties is signed (see below)! I won that from Book Chick City and can’t wait to read it. *claps* Honestly.. I squeeled when all of these arrived this week, except for The Goddess Test which I already have on my shelf. I am entirely befuddled by this one! I didn’t order it, it didn’t come with a note or any hint towards who may have sent it, it just.. appeared! So I may have to swap that one soon. I love the UK cover for The Iron Duke and so so excited to have a copy and Burn Mark sounds absolutely awesome! Thank you to the publishers who sent these over this week!

Ebooks

Freebies

  • Chosen By Sin by Virna DePaul | Goodreads
  • Night Marchers by Rebecca Gober & Courtney Nuckels  | Goodreads
  • Across The Galaxy by Heather Hildenbrand | Goodreads
  • Descended By Blood by Angeline Kace | Goodreads
  • Illumine Alivia Anders | Goodreads
  • Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles | Goodreads

Some really great freebies this week!! Chosen By Sin I grabbed because of both Kelly and Amanda and then realised it was book three. *mutters* But that’s a pretty yummy cover. I’ll have to get hold of the first two sometime. And Descended By Blood had me metaphorically bouncing around the flat with glee. I’ve wanted to get hold of a copy for soo long but never did because I didn’t know when I’d have time to read it but maybe now I might actually get around to it. Yay! The rest I hadn’t heard of previously but they sound great as well.

What did you get this week? Have you read any of these? Did anything pique your interest? I love to read your comments!

As The World Dies Untold Tales Blog Tour Guest Post by Rhiannon Frater: Recommended Zombie Reads

Hey guys. Today is Once Upon A Time’s stop for Rhiannon Frater’s Untold Tales book tour and we have a real treat for you. Rhiannon has compiled a list of must read zombie fiction for the beginner zombie reader, or anybody else for that matter.

Recommended Zombie Reads by Rhiannon Frater

I’ve been asked over and over again by fans of the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy (THE FIRST DAYS, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, SIEGE) to recommend another zombie series just like mine.  Honestly, I don’t know of any zombie novels that are in the same vein as ATWD.  I suspect that is why it’s popular, but I do have a list of books I can recommend for the zombie fan.

IF YOU LIKE A DASH OF HUMOR

BREATHERS from S.G. Brown was not only funny, but a story with a great plot, sympathetic characters, and a nice dose of social commentary.  It was so clever and well-written.

THE ZOMBIE-WILSON DIARIES by Timothy W. Long is just all sorts of wrong.  It’s just wrong!  When I read the original online serial, I busted out laughing too many times to count.  Timothy Long does a great job making the obscene, macabre, and profane incredibly funny.

IF YOU LIKE NONSTOP ACTION

DEAD CITY by Joe McKinney is non-stop action.  Literally. I remember staying up all night flipping pages as fast as I could.  Our poor hero didn’t get a break to take a breath, and neither did I.  I plowed through to the end of the book in record time.  Seriously, the book never lets up.

LAKEWOOD MEMORIAL by Robert R. Best is a return to the slow shambling zombies of the Romero films, but it is fast-paced and full of action.  The story revolves around a single mother, a nurse at the local hospital, and her two kids on the night the zombies rise from their graves.  The kids are home with the sitter since their mom is at work and a good chunk of the story is about the children trying to reach their mother. I stayed up a good chunk of the night reading this book in one fell swoop.  I could not put it down.

HOLLOWLAND & HOLLOWMEN by Amanda Hocking have some really great action sequences. I would say they are the highlight of the books. Remy, the lead character, is a rather unlikable and a bit too much of a badass to be realistic, but the books are a fun read.

IF YOU LIKE DYSTOPIAN FUTURISTIC NOVELS

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan is a unique take on the zombie genre.  It takes place a hundred years after the dead took over the world and our young heroine Mary, lives in a fenced in village controlled by a religious order.  The world building in this novel is incredible and I loved the fenced in pathways and villages that inhabit it.  The idea of walking down a long path with zombies on either side of the fence trying to get to you is just terrifying.  The prose is lyrically beautiful at times, but the zombie action is excellent.  The two sequels are also very good reads, building on the foundation of the first.  The third book in the series, THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES, is my favorite of the three.

ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre takes place long after the zombies have risen after some sort of terrible event and humans have retreated to the world below.  A good chunk of the beginning of the book takes place in the tunnels under a major city as pockets of humans struggle to survive against very fast, very scary zombies.  This is the first book in Aguirre’s RAZORLAND series, so it does have that cliffhanger feel to it, but it was definitely a good solid read with lots of action.

Both of these books are Young Adult, but it’s definitely fare adults can enjoy.

IF YOU LIKE SUPERNATURAL ELEMENTS

EMPIRE is a very different read, but awesome in every way.  Born online (just like my series) Empire was later acquired by Permuted Press (and later reissued by Simon and Schuster). The character of Death is a major character in the novel and it’s full of truly terrifying sequences. I’m not going to lie. David Dunwoody is one of my absolute favorite authors.  He’s amazing.  Every time I read his work, I wish I had written it.  He’s just so good.

IF YOU LIKE STEAMPUNK
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest is a fun read. The strange thing about this novel is that you don’t even need the zombies to make this a great book.  They end up like a bonus to an already awesome premise. Just the idea of a toxic gas rising up out of the ground and killing people is terrifying.  So is the concept of the city being encircled by a wall to keep that gas contained.  Add in a woman looking for her teenage son who has gone into that contaminated city to discover the truth about his father, and you have a killer plot to being with.  Add in zombies and the story just gets epic. Cherie Priest does a killer job with this novel and I loved the entire premise.  I’m not a big steampunk person, but she really sold me on this world.

IF YOU LIKE NON-TRADITIONAL ZOMBIES

AUTMN the CITY by David Moody is definitely a different take on the zombie apocalypse. This is the second book in the AUTUMN series, but my favorite so far.  The tension, action, and character development are better than the first book.  There are some genuinely unique scenes in this book that gave me the shivers.  The zombies in David Moody’s novels are not traditional Romero zombies.  In fact, they don’t even eat their victims.  They just really, really, really hate the living.  I like how the humans’ greatest enemy is any sound they make, because it will inevitably bring the zombies down on them.

Since I’ve been working on my zombie novels for almost 7 years on and off, I haven’t read as many zombie books as people might assume.  I tend not to read in the genre in which I am writing at the moment.  I usually cram my zombie reading into time periods when I’m writing about other kinds of monsters.  I have a stack of probably twenty or more zombie novels just waiting for me to read them once I’m done with my latest zombie novel.

AT THE TOP OF MY TO READ LIST
ROT & RUIN by Jonathan Maberry
ALLISON HEWITT IS TRAPPED by Madeline Roux
SUNRISE by Kody Boye
THE BECOMING by Jessica Meigs

MY OWN ZOMBIE NOVELS
THE FIRST DAYS (AS THE WORLD DIES BOOK ONE)
FIGHTING TO SURVIVE (AS THE WORLD DIES BOOK TWO)
SIEGE (AS THE WORLD DIES BOOK THREE) publication date April 24, 2012

AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES VOLUME 1
AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES VOLUME 2

THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS

Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other books: the vampire novels PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. The first two books in her zombie trilogy, THE FIRST DAYS and FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, are available now in bookstores. SIEGE will be in bookstores on April 24, 2012.

Get Yours

As The World Dies: Untold Tales Volume 2 is out now! And if you haven’t got hold of volume 1 yet, what are you waiting for? They don’t cost much at all. The details for both are listed below.

THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES introduced Jenni and Katie and their harrowing journey to the makeshift fort in the Texas Hill Country.

But theirs is not the only tale to be told.

In the first volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

Deep in the Texas Hill Country, a man and his little dog takes refuge in a bed and breakfast located in the hills above a doomed town where an infested rescue center might unleash the hungry undead…

On a deserted highway slicing through the desolation of West Texas, a woman struggles to survive as she faces the horrifying aftermath of the rise of the zombies…

And finally, discover what happens on the first day to Katie’s beloved wife, Lydia, as the world dies…

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Smashwords

In the second volume of the AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead.

In a nearby town Ken and Lenore have started their regular routine at Ken’s Beauty Salon. A terrible accident brings the undead plague to their front door and soon the best friends are scrambling to escape their overrun town…

Katarina is just finishing her shift at a roadside café when a badly injured man stumbles through the front door. She quickly realizes that to survive she must learn to kill…

And finally, a trapped family must face the fearsome truth that sometimes zombies are not the worst monster they have to fear as the world dies…

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Smashwords

Don’t miss your chance to win signed copies of both of these books from Rhiannon. Click here for that particular giveaway!

[Review] Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

[rating:3.5]
Author: Deborah Cooke
Series:
 The Dragon Diaries #1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Pages: 380
Published: 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher
Goodreads | Amazon (UK/US) | Book Depository

First sentence:

There was a guy in my bedroom.
Blurb

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she’s been told she’s destined for great things. Zoë’s the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she’s sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.

Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading Flying Blind. I adore dragons and shapeshifters alike so a book about dragon shapeshifters was sure to be a recipe for success. It was a joy to read with such a comfortable writing style and I’m sure that if I had had a little more time in the past couple of weeks to read, it would only have taken me a couple of nights to finish. Ooh and I didn’t realise until I was grabbing the blurb from Goodreads that this is actually a series set a little further on from a previous series (Dragonfire) by Deborah Cooke which is an adult series that focuses on the parents (Quinn and Sara) of one of the characters’ around Zoë’s age, I shall definitely be getting hold of those when I can!

Zoë was a pretty well-rounded character, all in all. She’s your typical 15 year old high school girl. Desperate to start puberty, and whilst she would never tell her best friend Meagan, hoping that puberty will finally bring with it her Wyvern powers. She seems to get crushes on any boy who pays her the slightest bit of attention which can be a little odd but not far-fetched for a hormonal teenage girl. And she’s pretty big on protecting her friends and the people she cares for, which in my eyes makes her a loveable character with appropriate flaws. I also have to give an honourable mention to Jared who I particularly liked. He’s good to Zoë and just a little bit yummy.

While I loved the familiar writing style that felt as though Zoë was talking to you, it also came with a couple of flaws. There were a few instances in which something said didn’t make sense to me. Sometimes I can put this down to my own tiredness but not when there are more than one or two. They didn’t take away from the story as a whole but they were a little jarring as I had to go back to re-read and make sure I knew what was going on. I also found the story became fairly linear towards the end. My favourite novels interweave plotlines and side stories with such intricacy that you feel as though the story is happening to you because they feel real, but Flying Blind didn’t really have that and it took away from my enjoyment a little bit as one plot would be unveiled and dealt with, then another, and another..

However, that being said I still loved reading about the Pyr and following their story throughout Flying Blind. Whilst this is definitely a young adult novel that I might not recommend to folk who are exceedingly picky about their young adult fiction, I would definitely recommend it to everybody else, particularly dragon fans because Flying Blind is, as expected, very juicy on the dragons. Love it!

The Dragon Diaries series:

1. Flying Blind
2. Winging It

Top Ten Tuesday #4

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read List

There are a heck of a lot of books I’d like to read in the next couple of months, a whole bunch that I need to read and a few I’d really like to, so I’ll mix it up a bit.

  1. The Pack by Jason Starr ~ I received this thrilleresque-urban fantasy from Berkley UK with a request to post the review around the publication date. So where I might otherwise have delved right into it because it sounds freaking amazing, I shall read it in April ready to review.
  2. My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent ~ The next Soul Screamers I need to read. I’m loving this series!
  3. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
  4. If I Die by Rachel Vincent ~ This one is actually a review copy as well as a very coveted title so I’ll certainly be getting to this this Spring.
  5. The Dead Ways by Christopher Edge ~ Another book I have had on my shelf for too long. A review copy from Catnip publishing, a lovely little small press publishing house, The Dead Ways sounds absolutely wonderful and I’m determined to read it very soon.
  6. Toxic Treacle by Echo Freer ~ I received this one very recently actually but haven’t yet had time to pick it up. After reading Raimy’s review I really can’t wait!
  7. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin ~ *bounce* I’ve wanted to read this one since I first saw it popping up in people’s mailboxes. A Godfatheresque dystopian? This is how it has been described. So can’t wait to read it!
  8. Fated by Alyson Noël ~ While I’ve never really been interested in her books before, I’m thoroughly intrigued by Fated and really can’t wait to see what it’s like.
  9. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin ~ Ideally wanted to read this before the new series of Game of Thones comes out but alas, I don’t think I’ll have time. It’s a chunker! Would love to though. ‘Bout time I read through this series.
  10. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins ~ I’ve wanted to get onto this and Mockingjay for so so long but I’m buried in review books. *sob* I really, really want to soon though!

AND THEN SOME. I have release deadlines, review copies I’ve had for a little while, books I wanted to read before X, and then the books I just plain want to read right now. If I manage 1-9 by May I’ll be over the moon. My reading pile order changes week after week though so please don’t hold me to it. Haha.

The Day of First Sun Tour: A Guest Post from Sheryl Steines

Please enjoy this guest post by Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

The Strong Female

I am always amazed to hear that, in the year 2012, women are still talking about strong female characters.  It’s funny that we’re always surprised when one comes along.  Even in Hollywood, actresses still can’t find roles to sink their teeth into.  As a reader, I look for characters that I can relate to in some way; a character who is more than a damsel in distress but less than an unfeeling, mean, witch.  I’m putting it gently, but I’m looking for someone, who when facing a problem, doesn’t necessarily need a man to bail her out–a woman who can take care of herself in spite of her vulnerabilities.  Because in reality, women are multi-layered and complex.  We don’t fall to one end of an extreme or the other.

When I was younger, I started reading Danielle Steele, but I couldn’t read her for long. Her female characters were far too needy and always put themselves in a position of requiring a savior. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but wonder why these characters always needed a man to improve their lives.  Why couldn’t they simply take care of themselves?  It seemed as though female characters fell into two camps, and only two. They were either villains, witches, someone to be hated and despised, or they were weak, pathetic, your classic damsels in distress.  Why is fiction lacking real women, women who can simply be human and celebrate all that they are?

As I got older, I found myself drawn to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I saw in Buffy a strong character.  Yes, she could kick ass, kill the vampires and fight the demons.  She also had a brain, could plan, and could save the world each week.  But she wasn’t uni-dimensional. She also has a side that liked clothes, shoes and boys, a side that was feminine, a little vulnerable; a side that, okay, sometimes needed to be saved.  She was a complex female character, real and human, a character with whom I could definitely relate.

The strong female character isn’t a caricature or stereotype.  She’s not a total wimp like Snow White, and she’s not a total monster like the evil queen.  She falls somewhere in the middle.  She’s reactive, emotional, human, sexual, confident and sometimes unsure of herself.

When I originally wrote my character Annie Pearce in The Day of First Sun, I wrote her as a no-nonsense person, strong and smart, the girl who could survive on her own.  But she didn’t feel genuine.  As the story unfolded and changed, I rewrote her, gave her friends and family with whom she could interact.  I gave her feelings, gave her stress.  I let the other characters take charge once in awhile and offer some support.  I melded two halves into one woman–a strong woman, who can take care of herself and ask for help when necessary.  We’re not perfect, so why should our characters be?  Instead, why can’t we make them simply authentic?

Charlize Theron made a really compelling comment regarding her character in the movie Young Adult. She said, “Women are usually either really good prostitutes or really good mothers. Maybe women are finally getting the chance to play more honest characters,” Theron said. “We usually don’t get to play bad hookers or bad mothers — or anything in between.”

Maybe it’s time to be a little more real and a little more honest.

Win!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:

The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to vote for Once Upon A Time to win! You’ll be looking for the dropdown in the second blue box and it’s in alphabetical order so I am near the bottom. I’ll love you to pieces if you vote for me! I’ll need all the clicks I can get.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

In My Mailbox #55

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

I wanted to show you guys this picture I took on my phone while walking to the doctors in the week because I think it’s kinda gorgeous. Entirely unrelated to IMM but..

I love fog.

Books

For Review

  • Fated by Alyson Noël | Goodreads
  • All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin | Goodreads
  • If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent | Goodreads
Squee. Squee. And squee. Fated may be one of the prettiest proofs I’ve seen so far. It has a fold out cover which is awesome. I love it and it sounds amazing. Her other series never really appealed to me too much but I actually can’t wait to read Fated, it sounds really good. All These Things I’ve Done I’ve wanted to read for so long. Godfather meets dystopia? Yes please!! And If I Die goes without saying. I’m loving the Soul Screamers. Thank you Mira and Macmillan!
Won

  • Bitterblue (Seven Kingdoms #3) by Kristin Cashore | Goodreads
  • Halflings by Heather Burch | Goodreads
  • Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver | Goodreads
  • Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr | Goodreads
  • Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer | Goodreads

Eeh! So exciting. I was one of the winners of Karen’s (For What It’s Worth) February Review Link-up challenge! I won with my Bite Club review which went out on the 29th February and I very almost didn’t post and also nearly forgot to link-up. How lucky is that?! And look at that pile! *squee* I really, really, really want to read Graceling because I love fantasy so much! And this series sounds amazing. So having a copy of Bitterblue is awesome and may finally prod me into getting hold of the first two. And Pandemonium! Eeh! I haven’t read Delirium yet but I know I’m going to love it. Just.. eeh! Thank you so much Karen. ♥ I shall also be grabbing the Wicked Lovely series from the library when I get chance to. I have definitely seen them in there.

  • Swag!
Lookie! My first bundle of swag! I love Karen’s bookmarks – I so badly want to have some Once Upon A Time bookmarks. And just.. yay! I love swag.

Ebooks

For Review

  • The Maid and the Queen by Nancy Goldstone | Goodreads
Oh my god I’d completely forgotten I had this request open! I was still in Leicester when I requested this book, which is a historical fiction based on Joan of Arc, which was literally months ago. Yeesh. It sounds pretty amazing but no promises that I’ll have time to read it now.
Freebies

  • Living With the Dead: Year One (#1-2) by Joshua Guess | Goodreads
  • Living With the Dead: The Bitter Seasons (#2) by Joshua Guess | Goodreads
  • Living With the Dead: The Hungry Land (#3) by Joshua Guess | Goodreads
  • A Black Journal by Joseph Forbush | Goodreads
  • Fledgling by Natasha Brown | Goodreads
  • Glamour by Penelope Fletcher | Goodreads
  • Ever Shade by Alexia Purdy | Goodreads
  • Blood’s Voice by Aine Massie | Goodreads

Zombie books! These sound pretty wicked, though I guess I didn’t need to pick up book two as book one comes with it but they were both free so.. and A Black Journal I just couldn’t find on Goodreads but it sounded interesting so that is on my Kindle. Glamour I actually already had but as ‘The Demon Girl’, it has been retitled and recovered and this cover is so so pretty! And Ever Shade sounds pretty wonderful.

What did you get this week? Have you read any of these? Did anything pique your interest? I love to read your comments!

RCC Challenge: Don’t Be Such A Tease

Challenge number three asks us to share a few teaser sentences from our current read. It does mention ‘books that haven’t yet been released’ but… this one has actually been out for a fair few months now. Shhh. Either way, I’m really enjoying Flying Blind and I think you’ll agree it sounds like a fun read! Just to give you a tiny bit of perspective: they’re riding a motorbike.

“Zoë, you’ve got to let me breathe,” Jared said a minute later. I guess he’d been giving me time to adjust, but was now moving on to plan B. “What are you going to do when we get on the highway?”

“Have heart failure.”

“Some Wyvern! You should be bold!” He took a turn with more verve than I felt it deserved. I clenched my teeth, positive that he was trying to scare me.

He didn’t need to know how well it was working.

Really hoping I can finish this one soon and have it reviewed for you guys. I’m loving it so far! Dragons. ♥

[Review] Last Breath by Rachel Caine

This review may well, and probably does, contain spoilers for books in the Morganville series up to 11.

[rating:5]
Author: Rachel Caine
Series:
 The Morganville Vampires #11
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Pages: 479
Published: October 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher
Goodreads | Amazon (UK/US) | Book Depository

First sentence:

Shane’s lips felt like velvet against the nape of her neck, and Claire shivered in delight as his breath warmed the skin there.
Blurb

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?

Thoughts

I’m so happy to have finally caught up with all of the currently available titles in the Morganville series because that was fantastic. Last Breath didn’t feel the same as any of the others, not even when Bishop came along and left everybody feeling as if there was no end in sight, and not when they left town. This was something else and I liked it and I really, honestly could not put it down.

The guy mentioned in the blurb, Magnus, is very creepy. Last Breath has quite a sinister, almost nightmarish feel to it as vampires slowly disappear without a trace and the vampires in general are frightened. More so than when Bishop showed up.

We also see the return of different character perspectives in Last Breath, though unlike Shane’s passages in Bite Club, these didn’t turn me off from the story but in fact added to it immensely. As usual, the main viewpoint is Claire’s but we also get the chance to see inside Eve’s, Shane’s, Michael’s, and even Amelie’s heads and it is fascinating. We see a little more from vampire headquarters that not even the main characters see and from time to time, we know more than the characters do. It’s very odd, but also interesting to see how everybody reacts. Truly.

The parts of Last Breath that really made an impression on me are pretty big spoilers so I won’t discuss them but I do have to say: wow. If you haven’t read Last Breath yet and you are a fan of Morganville, stop what you are doing and pick it up right now.

The Morganville Vampires series:

1. Glass Houses
2. The Dead Girls’ Dance
3. Midnight Alley
4. Feast of Fools
5. Lord of Misrule
6. Carpe Corpus
7. Fade Out
8. Kiss Of Death
9. Ghost Town
10. Bite Club
11. Last Breath
12. Black Dawn
13. Bitter Blood
14. Fall of Night
15. Daylighters