Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday *ARC Edition* (77)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 30, 2012

ARC Review: Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal (Cold Cereal, 1) by Adam Rex, February 7, 2012. 432 pages. Published by Balzer + Bray. Source: Publisher for review (unsolicited).
Scottish Play Doe-aka Scott-is used to being a little different, and not just because of his name. Sometimes he hallucinates things that no one else can see: Mermaids. Unicorns. A talking rabbit-man in tweed pants.
   But then one of these hallucinations tries to steal Scott's backpack, and he comes face-to-face with an honest-to-goodness leprechaun inn a tiny red tracksuit. Mick not only claims that Scott must be part faerie but desperately needs his help-Mick's on the run from, of all things, the Goodco Cereal Company.
    With the help of his friends Erno and Emily (who have their own weird connection to Goodco) and their enormous and suspiciously hairy housekeeper, Biggs, Scott and Mick uncover Goodco's sinister plans-and take the first steps in saving the world from the evil cereal company. (from back of ARC)
First Sentence (ARC):
In the busy airport, baggage turned slowly on a carousel.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

YA Historical Fiction Challenge 2012

I actually meant to sign up for the YA Historical Fiction Challenge at the start, but as usual I forgot. Good thing you can still enter.

I'm really excited about this challenge because somewhere between six and ten historical fiction books on my TBR that I really want to read. Thanks to Sab of YA Bliss for putting together and hosting this challenge.

I am going to go for "Level 1" and try am going to try to read 5 books for this challenge.

Books read:
1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
2. Lucy by Kathryn Lasky
3. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
4. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
5. A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
6. The Other Countess by Eve Edwards
7. Changling by Philippa Gregory
8. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
9. Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Mailbox (115) Some Shiny Bargin Books

In My Mailbox, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by The Story Siren.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Probability of Miracles

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, read by Emma Galvin, 2011. 8 discs (approx. 8 hours). Pubished by Penguin Audio. Source: Publisher for review.
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winner(s): Seventh Star Press Singles Giveaway

Only a couple days late, but here are the three lucky winners of the Seventh Star Press Singles giveaway....

Robin Blankenship
Vinni V
BN100

Congrats ya'll. I will be emailing you shortly (so be sure to check your spam folder...just to be safe).
A huge thank you to Stephen Zimmer for his awesome answers for the interview, to Seventh Star Press for the lovely prize, and finally to you my followers for entering. Hope ya'll will love the short stories.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (83)

Article 5 (Article 5, 1) by Kristen Simmons, January 13, 2012. Published by Tor Teens.

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.


Why: Because this one sounds like it could be a chilling read, and an absolute page turner. Need.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday *ARC Edition* (76)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 23, 2012

ARC Review: Scarlet

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, February 14, 2012. 304 pages. Published by Walker & co (J) . Source: Published (requested).
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
First Sentence (ARC):
No one really knows 'bout me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In My Mailbox (114) All These Lovely Covers

In My Mailbox, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by The Story Siren.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Iliad

The Iliad by Homer and translated by Stephen Mitchell, read by Alfred Molina, 2011. 15 discs (approx. 18 hours). Published by Simon and Schuster Audio. Source: Audiobook Jukebox/Publisher for review.
An Iliad for the twenty-first century, this magnificent new translation by Stephen Mitchell sets the highest standards for beauty, accuracy, and aliveness.The power and the beauty of The Iliad resound again across 2,700 years in Stephen Mitchell’s exciting new translation, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flowed in every word. And we are there with them amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.
Based on the recent, superb M.L. West edition of the Greek, this Iliad is more accessible and moving than any previous version. Whether it is his exciting recent version of Gilgamesh, with more than 150,000 copies sold, or his unmatched translation of the poet Rilke, still the standard after twenty-nine years, or his Tao Te Ching, which has sold more than 900,000 copies and itself been translated into six languages, Stephen Mitchell’s books are international sensations. Now, thanks to his scholarship and poetic power, which re-creates the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and continual thrust and pull of the original, The Iliad ’s ancient story bursts vividly into new life and will reach an even larger audience of listeners.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (82)

Pretty Crooked (Pretty Crooked, 1) by Elisa Ludwig, March 13, 2012. Published by Katherine Tegen Books.
Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her: evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?
Why: This sounds like a fun read, with the Robin Hood thievery and I cannot wait for this one to come out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (75)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 16, 2012

ARC Review: Angelina's Secret

Angelina's Secret by Lisa Rogers, February 1, 2012. 260 pages. Published by Spencer Hill Press. Source. Publisher (requested).
As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all.
Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong.
When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home.span>
First Sentence (ARC):
The premonitions always made her feel this way-weak, disoriented, scared.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book(s) to Trade

Alright, every now and again I do clean out my books. And when I do I like to make sure that the books that do not make the cut are given a good home.

This time around I have one book that is in need of a new home....

Bullet (Anita Black, Vampire Hunter, 19) by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is a signed hardback, never read.

I do not think this series is for me, and probably will not have the time to find/read the previous 18 books in the series.

Right now, I can only ship within the US.

What I am looking for (open to any finished YA?MG offers)-
Young adult or Mid-grade
No ARCs please

Genres-
fantasy
dystopian
mystery

Trading will be open till the 18th of January (I'll return all trade offer emails on the 19th).

If you are interested in trading, please, email me at hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

I may update this post at some point if I come across any other books that need new homes.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (113) IT IS HERE

In My Mailbox, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by The Story Siren.

This weeks IMM is loaded full of awesome. While I am very excited about all of them, there is one that I cannot wait to dive into...

Friday, January 13, 2012

The True Meaning of Smekday

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, 2007. 423 pages. Published by Hyperion. Source: Borrowed from Library.
It all starts with a school essay.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens - called Boov - abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?
In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

Fully illustrated with “photos,” drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel by a remarkable new talent. 
First Sentence:

It was moving day.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Interview: Stephen Zimmer (author of The Rising Dawn Saga) + Give@way

Today I am excited to welcome Stephen Zimmer back to the blog. This time Mr. Zimmer has graciously taken the time answer a couple questions regarding a set of short stories published by Seventh Star Press set in the worlds of two of his series.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning fantasy author and filmmaker based out of Lexington, Kentucky.
Stephen has two series being published through Seventh Star Press. One is the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series, which was launched with Crown of Vengeance (winner of the 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel). Book 2, Dream of Legends, was released in January of 2011. The other is the epic urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga. The Rising Dawn Saga launched in spring of 2009 with The Exodus Gate (nominated for a 2009 Pluto Award). The next step was taken in June of 2010 with The Storm Guardians. Highly prolific, Stephen is adhering to a release schedule that sees a new book approximately every seven months! (Bio taken from author's website)
1. In Temples Rising, the short story set in the world of The Rising Dawn, how would you say it plays into the series?

Temples Rising is a really fun one as it goes deep into the pre-Flood world introduced in the Rising Dawn Saga.  Where the Rising Dawn Saga's portrayal of the pre-Flood world takes place in a Sumerian-like region, Temples Rising is rooted in an ancient Celtic environment. 
It shows the kind of world that the Fallen Avatars and the Nephilim are establishing, including some of the more horrific aspects.  I can't say too much without giving spoilers, but there are some things in this story that will have a part to play in the novel series as well.

This particular story shows the potential of the short story series as well, as it allows me to go anywhere within the Rising Dawn Saga's world and history to tell a story.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (81)

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, 1) by Veronica Rossi, January 3, 2012. Published by HarperCollins.
Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.
Why: I am kind of intrigued by the whole virtual enviroment where Aria starts out and amd extremely curious about what will happen once she's out in the real world. Plus I have heard pretty good things about this one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (74)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Silent Oligarch

The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones, January 23, 2012. 336 pages. Published by The Peguin Press. Source: Published for review.
A London intelligence agent pursues a money launderer to expose the dealings of a shadowy Russian oligarch.
In a world where national borders shrink to insignificance in the face of colossal wealth and corporate power, The Silent Oligarch offers a new kind of hero to combat a new kind of crime. Drawing on his decade of experience at the world's largest corporate intelligence firm-where the wealthy buy the justice they want and the silence they need-Chris Morgan Jones leads us down into the unvarnished realities of our time in the grand tradition of John le Carré. Bearing news from a world hidden behind closed doors, The Silent Oligarch effortlessly creates a new genre in its wake.
Deep in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources sits a nondescript bureaucrat named Konstantin Malin. He draws a nominal government salary but from his shabby office controls half the nation's oil industry, making him one of the most wealthy and feared men in Russia. His public face is Richard Lock, a hapless money launderer bound to Malin by marriage, complacency, and greed. Lock takes the proceeds of his master's corruption, washes them abroad, and invests them back in Russia in a secret business empire. He knows little about Malin's true affairs, but still he knows too much.
First Sentence:
High in the air Webster watches the unbroken desert flow past, a deep copper red in the dawn, the sand ridged like waves rolling down toward the south.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Outcasts

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, #1)The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, 1) by John Flangan read by John Keating, 2011. 12 hr 18 min.  Published by Penguin Group. Source: Publisher (digital download).

First in a nautical spinoff trilogy from the Ranger’s Apprentice books.

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.

First in a nautical spinoff trilogy from the Ranger’s Apprentice books.

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.

John Flanagan, author of the international phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice, creates a new cast of characters to populate his world of Skandians and Araluens, a world millions of young readers around the world have come to know and admire. Full of seafaring adventures and epic battles, Book 1 of The Brotherband Chronicles is sure to thrill readers of Ranger's Apprentice while enticing a whole new generation just now discovering the books.
First Sentence:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (80)

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy, July 3, 2012. Published by Bloomsbury.
Lilah Bloom hears dead people. And boy, are they annoying!

After she's hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she hears dead people. Among them, there's her over-opinionated bubby Dora; a comically prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a seance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one fear: talking to and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with her big crush, Andrew Finkel.
Why: Because Small Medium at Large sounds like a fun read, and we all need more books like that.

Aqua 1 by Kozue Amano, 2007. Published by Tokyopop.
After 150 years of terraforming, Aqua, the planet formerly known as Mars, now has over 90 percent of its surface covered in water. A young girl named Akari Mizunashi arrives at the city of Neo-Venezia, an exact replica of the old Italian city of Venice, hoping to become an Undine, the most coveted job on Aqua. Follow Akari's adventures as she discovers the wonders of Aria in this prequel to the popular Aria anime and manga series.
Why: I think iot sounds interesting, and its been on my wishlist for ages.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (73)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 2, 2012

YA/MG Fantasy Challenge 2012

Was catching up on my Google reader when I came across this challenge, and I had to sign-up for it. while I love fantasy books, I found that I haven't been reading very many of them lately, but I am plan on changing that this year.

Challenge runs from January 1-Dec 31 2012, and is hosted by Erica of The Book Cellar (you can sign-up HERE). The goal is to read ten YA/MG fantasy books released this year. I'll be posting my list of books read below on this post.

Books Read:
1. A Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbit
2. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
3. Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
4. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards
5. Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell
6. Lucy by Kathryn Lasky
7. A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
8. Sela by Jackie Gamber
9. The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
10. Cuttlefish by Dave Freer
11. Planesrunner by Ian Macdonald
12. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
13. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
14. Changling by Philippa Gregory
15. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy



The Meerkat Wars

The Meerkat Wars (Paka Mdogo, 3) by H.S. Toshack, 2011. 244 pages. Published by Paka Mdogo. Source: The Cadence Group for review.
It's all very well helping a young meerkat who's been poisoned by a scorpion. But when you've made friends with the whole Duwara tribe of meerkats, and you discover that they're at war with the Utongo, you may find yourself involved in that too, even if you're only a little black-and-white cat. And when you realize that the two tribes are fighting because each one believes it lives under The One True Sun, then you may have to undertake a very dangerous journey to help them see things differently. You may have to go through The Gorge.
First Sentence:

She was already thirsty.


Marvelous Middle Grade Read-A-Thon

While I love readathons, I am very much excited to participate Deb's first ever Marvelous Middle Grade Readathon. The readathon runs from January 2-8 of 2012 and you can sign-up by going here.
I have even been setting aside MG books just for this, as well as ordering a couple from the library.
My TBR:
Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
Secrets of the Crown by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson

Read:
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Neversink Barry Wolverton

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Vintage Reads: Books for the Voting 2012


Welcome to the new year, everyone. Hope ya'll had a fantastic and safe holiday.

As I was preparing the first post of the year for Vintage Reads I came to the realization that themes are incredible hard to come up with, especially to keep them from getting stale. So in order to keep this feature from being repetitive I have deiced that there will no longer be any themed months...okay except for leading into Halloween because it so deserves a special set of books to choose from.

So for now on, I will just randomly select three to four books from my personal collection, and ya'll can vote and choose which one you would like to see reviewed on the blog. I also may have to make this an every other month feature just so I can have time to read and review the winning book.

Now that I have probably bored you to tears, lets get down to why we are all here. To pick an older YA book to be reviewed on ye olde blog. I've already read all three of the books-just not in a long time- so I'll be excited by which ever book ya'll pick out.

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