Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Friday 30 November 2012.

Crewel (Crewel World, #1)Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Published: 16th October 2012
By: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Netgalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's over one hundred years into the future and earth has been destroyed by war. Adelice now lives in a world where time is weaved with matter, by girls called Spinsters. When girls reach 16, they are tested to see if they can weave, and Adelice passes this test with flying colours. She knows the Guild are coming to take her away that night but she can't tell her parents because they've trained her for most of her life, to fail the test. When the knock comes to the door, they run. Adelice soon finds out that girls who run, wind up dead, so why is Adelice different, what is so important about her?

When I heard about this book, I thought it sounded fantastic, but I found it to be very bland. It didn't excite me at all. While Adelice appeared to have everything I like in a main character, tough, brave, caring and sarcastic at times, I just couldn't take to her. There is a slight love triangle but I couldn't become invested in either of the guys enough to care, and the romance didn't thrill me either.

What I'd say I enjoyed most in this book was probably the interactions with Cormac, the Ambassador of the Guild. Even though, he could take Adelice's life at any moment, I couldn't quite figure out his feelings towards her. While he was probably old enough to be her grandfather, I couldn't help but wonder if he had a romantic interest in her?

I wasn't impressed with the world building of Crewel either and found the descriptions of the manipulation of the weave hard to visualise. At one point, Adelice questions if it's all real, and these were exactly the thoughts I was having. Earth appears to be somewhere beneath the world they inhabit now, which is known as Arras. To be honest, I found it all a bit confusing.

My favourite part, and where I perked up a little bit would have been the ending, which will probably lead me to pick up the sequel. We'll see....

Buy the book: The Book Depository/Amazon


Tour Stop: After Dark by Emi Gayle

Thursday 29 November 2012.

After Dark (The 19th Year, #1)After Dark by Emi Gayle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As one of my most anticipated reads this year, I'm happy to say that After Dark didn't disappoint. Emi Gayle did an excellent job in building Mac's world, where she lives as a human during the day but can change to any super natural creature at night, as easily as taking a breath. But when she reaches 19, she must choose which creature she wants to be for the rest of her life.

By the time most changelings have reached the age of 18, as Mac is now, they've already made their decision. But Mac has no clue as to what she will choose and is starting to feel pressured to make a decision.

One night, she sees Winn, a geek guy from school leaving the library with a book she knows is about her former home. She knows she needs to see this book as she asked very few questions about herself while she was growing up and now feels it's information she needs to know. She doesn't even know where she came from. She has been raised by a faery mother and vampire who aren't her real parents and aren't even a couple, just her guardians. She feels the need to know more about herself before she'll be armed with the right information to make her decision.

Mac is a great main character, obviously tough and mostly unafraid, no need to be when she can become anything she wants so easily. But I did find it a bit ridiculous that she didn't know something as basic as where she came from, and had never questioned any of this information. She loathes humans and the fact that she has to spend her days in the human world. So when she appears to be in danger, she's not happy to hear that the best way for her to stay safe is to spend even more time with humans.

Winn is a hot geek and extremely likeable character. I really enjoyed the relationship he had with Mac and their interactions together. They have a slow build romance which I love. There is a fantastic host of secondary characters in this book which contribute to making this a thoroughly enjoyable read.

There is mystery and suspense as we learn about changelings along with Mac while also trying to figure out who's behind the attacks on her.

An interesting plot with a sweet romance, no love triangle and no cliffhanger. What more could I ask for. I'm really looking forward to book 2, Day After.

Buy the book: The Book Depository/Amazon

I was lucky enough to have Emi stop by and answer a few questions for us. So, let's get started.

Why don't you start by telling us a little bit about yourself.

So I'm copying in my bio here, because it's seriously me!

I just want to be young again. I live vicariously through my youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to my teenaged son and searching for a way to keep my two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years.

Ironically, those years were some of my favorite times. I met the man of my dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and yes, I'm still in love with him to this day. I'll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions I want everyone to feel.

Where did the inspiration for The 19th Year series come from?

It just popped into my head one day - quite literally. That's about how all my stories do. One day I'm sitting there and BAM! story idea. For this one, that happened with the question: what would happen if someone turned 19 and had to pick the one "career" she'd have for the rest of her life. Knowing that's not totally possible in the human world, I went paranormal and tada! After Dark. :)

I really enjoyed Mac's character and her devil may care attitude. Is she based on you or anyone you know?

She really does have a devil may care attitude, doesn't she? She's not particularly based on any one person, but is more a combination of lots of stubborn people. Funny, though, one of my daughters is far too like Mac. It's really scary.

Mac is faced with a very difficult decision which I would struggle to make. If you had to make this choice, what would you choose?
Oooh, that's a question that is so very very selfish of me. "I" would be a shapeshifter, but even that's a tough sell for Mac!

Is this a trilogy or do you have more books planned in the series? 

Trilogy! Yup. Book 2 comes out in May 2013. Book 3 comes out in January 2014.

Thank you Emi for answering my questions. I'm really looking forward to Day After and seeing how Mac gets on under the tutelage of Winn.

Find Emi online : Web | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Spotlight and Giveaway: Second Sight by TC Hart

Monday 26 November 2012.

Cover for 'Second Sight'

Published: August 31st, 2012
By: Lafingdog.com

Being gay in high school is not always easy, and now Kyle is having unexplained visions. His friend, Jenny, is convinced that he is psychic. When thefts occur at his school, Kyle realizes that his visions may be trying to tell him something, if only he could figure them out!
As editor of the school newspaper, Kyle already has more on his plate than he can deal with. And when the newspaper staff tries to help figure out who the thief is, personalities clash and tensions rise. These conflicts may tear them apart, or form friendships they never would have imagined. Regardless, Kyle’s world is about to be changed forever.

“So I’m both gay and psychic? That seems like a lot for one high school guy to handle.”

Read chapter 1 and see what you think!

“What the …”

Kyle grabbed frantically at the air as terror filled him. He had just been pushed off a huge building. He could barely make out the figure of a man watching him as he fell. He gained speed, and air rushed around his body; he realized death was seconds away. Kyle sat up in bed and gasped for air. As his head continued to spin, he attempted to focus his eyes to reassure himself he was actually in his room. He looked down at his hand and saw his cell phone. The light was still on, and he remembered Kendra called him and woke him up.

He took a deep breath and felt his heart finally begin to slow down. He was sure it wasn’t a dream. He had been awake. He had just hung up his phone. What? He looked at his phone ... two minutes ago? He was positive he hadn't fallen back asleep, but what other explanation was there? I've always had weird dreams, but that was ridiculous, he thought. He dragged himself out of bed, muttering, “Great way to start the day.”

Kyle stood in front of his mirror after showering and quickly ran gel through his dark brown hair. He glanced into the mirror and thought about how often girls complimented him on his green eyes. He got a lot of attention from girls with his “sexy eyes and soccer-player legs.” Kyle was 6’1” and born with his dad’s good looks. He was also born gay, which tended to break girls hearts when they found out.

He threw on jeans and a sweatshirt and headed downstairs. His dad was in the kitchen making breakfast, “Hey Kyle,” he said, “don’t forget you’re picking up Lyndsey after school today." Kyle groaned and waved off the toast his dad offered. He grabbed his bag on the
way out and yelled, “Gotta run. I’m late.”

He jumped into his red Honda Civic, plugged in his iPod and blasted music as he sped off to Camlin High School. He pulled into the parking lot, hopped out and headed toward the main entrance of the two-story brick building. He saw his friend Jenny and yelled, “Hey, wait up!” Jenny turned and smiled. Then she rushed to tell him the news. “Hey Kyle, did you hear about the stuff that was stolen from the nurse’s office? I think I should write a story
about it. I can interview the school nurse this afternoon. What’s her name again, Ms. Goodwin, right?”

Kyle smirked and opened the door to the building, “Hi Jenny, how are you? I’m great by the way, thanks for asking. Oh, and yes, the school nurse’s name is Ms. Goodwin.” “Sorry. You know me,” Jenny laughed. Kyle laughed too. He and Jenny met last year when they signed up as staff members for the school newspaper, The Echo. Kyle knew right away that Jenny had a crush on him. He had worried that telling Jenny he was gay would interfere with their
jobs on the newspaper, and possibly end their friendship. As it turned out, confiding to Jenny had bonded them in a way Kyle never expected. Jenny was now one of his closest friends.

Jenny was a junior like Kyle. She was blond with blue eyes. Kyle thought she always had the perfect, classic put-together look. She was the head news reporter on The Echo, where Kyle was editor. And she was extremely driven. Together, they headed into the computer room. 

“Good morning, Mr. Brown,” they said. Mr. Brown was the computer teacher and adviser on The Echo newspaper. He was short, pudgy, and sported the classic comb-over that did nothing to hide his balding head. Mr. Brown spent most of his time trying to get rich by inventing weird gadgets. Kyle doubted that would ever happen because the inventions were never successful.

Mr. Brown grunted hello but never looked up from his Popular Science magazine as they headed towards “The Cave.” The Cave was actually Mr. Brown’s office but it had morphed into the newsroom after Jenny organized and decorated it. As they entered The Cave, they saw a pyramid of pop cans on the table. The cans had been fished out of the trash. A note was printed in big black letters on the white board, “IT’S NOT BRAIN SURGERY, GUYS!” They knew it was Bruce's handiwork. Bruce was on the news staff and Kyle thought it was funny how much he looked like the legendary actor and kung-fu fighter, Bruce Lee. He suspected that was why Bruce called himself the Ultimate Environmental Warrior, even though his last name was spelled Li, and he was Korean, not Chinese.

As Jenny cleaned the white board, Kyle tossed the cans in the recycle bin. Suddenly, he gasped and clutched at his stomach. He couldn’t catch his breath. He grabbed onto the table to keep from falling as everything faded to white around him. He heard the echo of Jenny’s voice, but couldn’t make out what she was saying. Then,
before he knew it, Mr. Brown appeared to him with what looked like a giant remote control. As quick as Mr. Brown appeared, everything went black.

“Kyle, are you okay? What's wrong?” Jenny asked. Kyle realized his eyes were shut tight. He slowly opened them to see Jenny standing next to him with a puzzled look on her face, “Yeah, I think so,” he said, and tried to clear his head. “Uh,” he paused for a moment, “was Mr. Brown just in here?” “No,” Jenny said as she raised her eyebrows. “What are you talking about?” Kyle saw the confused look on Jenny’s face. “Never mind, I’m okay,” he said. He didn’t know what had just happened. That was weird, he thought.

Just then, Brandi and John walked in. Brandi was dominating the conversation, as usual, and John just nodded and pretended to be interested. Brandi was the fashion/gossip queen of Camlin High. She wrote the entertainment column, Brandi’s Buzz. She was the co-captain of the cheerleading squad, extremely fit, popular, and
considered herself a young Beyonce. Her hair, make-up and nails were always perfect and in fashion. Brandi loved being in the middle of all the activity in the school.

John was the sports writer and star quarterback for the school football team, The Camlin Chargers. He was a stocky, 5’10” football jock. His football buddies called him Pez, which was short for his last name, Lopez. The only reason John got involved with
the newspaper was because he was short an English credit. He was best friends with Robert, Brandi's boyfriend. They played football together. Brandi turned her attention to Kyle and Jenny, “Oh my gosh! I was just telling John about this great band I found for Homecoming. Oh, and did I tell you …”

Kyle and Jenny turned and smiled to each other as Brandi rambled on at the speed of light. They tuned her out when Bruce and Zach walked in. Bruce and Zach were both sophomores and were new to The Echo staff. Zach was The Echo’s photographer. He was never without his cherished camera around his neck. He was tall and lanky, with sandy brown wavy hair that always looked like he just crawled out of bed. He was also shy and awkward. His grandfather had been a famous photographer and had passed on his camera and talents to Zach.

Kyle waited for Brandi to stop and draw a breath before he interrupted her. “Okay guys, let’s get this meeting started.” He grabbed his soccer ball off his desk and began to shuffle it back and forth between his hands. “We pulled off the first issue of The Echo
without any major problems. It looked great. Let’s hear some ideas for our next issue.

Why don’t we start with Jenny, she was telling me about a theft at the school.” All eyes turned toward Jenny. "Well,” she began, “I was leaving school late last night after my debate meeting and
noticed a police car out front. I went to the school office to find out what was going on, and I heard that Ms. Goodwin’s laptop was stolen from her office sometime yesterday afternoon.”

“Wow,” Brandi said. “That’s like the third laptop that’s been stolen this year.” “I know.” Jenny said, “I think there’s a story here. I thought I’d interview Ms. Goodwin and try to find out more details about the other thefts.” “Sounds like a good idea,” Kyle said, “Everyone agree?” The group nodded.

“Now, John,” Kyle continued, “Are you are covering the games as usual?” “What else would I be doing?” John answered sarcastically.
Kyle paused and tried not to show his irritation. Once again, he wished John had never been put on the newspaper staff. He thought John was rude and cocky, and hated his constant sarcastic comments.

“Zach, you will be photographing the game and Homecoming.” "Yep,” Zach nodded. “Brandi, I’m assuming you will be covering the events and fashion at Homecoming?” “Yes.” Brandi exclaimed, standing up. “And in a magazine the other day, they had a great section on the best and worst dressed. So, I was thinking it could be up to me to find the best and worst dressed at Homecoming. Zach, I’ll need you to follow me around and take pictures.”

As Zach's mouth dropped open and he attempted to mutter a response, Kyle and Jenny quickly jumped in with a resounding “NO!” “Uh, Brandi,” Kyle began, “while we respect your eye for fashion,” he motioned for Jenny to sit back down, “we need to honor everyone’s unique taste.” “Even when they look ridiculous?” Brandi put her hands on her hips. “Yes, Brandi, even when they look ridiculous” Kyle answered. “Fine,” Brandi rolled her eyes, and plopped back down into her seat. “Anyway,” Kyle said, glad that Brandi let it go without an argument, “Bruce do you have any ideas for your column?” “I do,” Bruce said. “As you know, I've taken on the huge responsibility to try to enlighten our school about the urgency of recycling. I've put recycling bins in both the student cafeteria and the teacher’s lounge. 

According to my calculations, the students are recycling about 70% of all recyclable items, which is still not acceptable. But the real crime is the teachers. They are only recycling about 40% of the time and that is on a good week! I want to interview the staff and find out what they have against recycling.”

Kyle tried not to laugh as he responded to Bruce’s idea. “I wonder if we could refocus your article on the importance of recycling and a reminder of where the recycling bins are. I think you should include the percentages in your article, but for now, let’s hold off on the teacher interviews.”

“Well, okay,” Bruce sighed. "But I'm going to include a reminder of what items must be recycled. Obviously they've forgotten.” Kyle smiled. “That sounds great Bruce.” He dropped his soccer ball to the floor and rested his right foot on it, his standard end-of-the-meeting move. “We got a really good response on the Dear Jane advice column. We have even more letters this time, so I’ll make sure to pass them on. Is there anything else we need to discuss?”

“Yeah,” Brandi teased, “when exactly are you going to tell us who this Dear Jane person is?” “Sorry guys, I gave my word,” Kyle said. “I’d do the same for you. We’d better get going, the bell’s about to ring. Great meeting.” As everyone gathered their things to leave, the door burst open and there stood Mr. Brown. He held a giant remote control in his hands. “This is it!” he yelled, “This is the invention that is going to make me rich!”

While everyone pretended to be interested in Mr. Brown’s newest lame invention, Kyle shook his head. Wow, that is exactly what I saw earlier. I’ve never had déjà vu like that before.

Purchase the book: Smashwords/Amazon

About the Authors
TC Hart are co-authors who believe in the importance of a caring, compassionate future generation that celebrates everyone’s uniqueness.

We are best friends who are native to Washington State. We love to travel, go to the theater and try new things. Our latest adventure is zip lining. Which should be interesting since we are both terrified of heights!

Tasha Hill is an educator and married with four boys. Cheryl is a nurse and married with three boys and two girls. We are first time authors and extremely excited about the release of our first book!

And onto the giveaway

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Wednesday 21 November 2012.

Breathe (Breathe, #1)Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Published: 11th October 2012
By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Bloomsbury UK

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With the destruction of earth's trees, the oxygen levels of the world have dropped. People now live in pods, where oxygen is pumped around and distributed by class. People pay an oxygen tax, so therefore the rich can have more, are healthier, can partake in more strenuous tasks, and have more children.

After the oxygen levels dropped and the "important" people were given their places in the pod, the rest was decided by state lottery. Those who didn't gain a place, slowly suffocated and died on the outside.

Bea is an auxillary (poor class) and Quinn is a premium (rich) but they've been best friends forever. When they plan a camping trip outside the pod, they are intruded upon by Alina, who needs to escape to the outside and can't do it alone. She is a member of the Resistance and on the run from the Ministry. Quinn thinks she is beautiful and can't help himself but help her, and then follow her, against the advice of Bea. Bea and Quinn both find their lives at risk outside the pod and what they discover while with the Resistance, will change their lives forever.

Breathe was an interesting and quite scary read. I could totally envision something like this happening to the earth. And while I enjoyed the writing style and world building, there was just something missing from this that stopped my from really enjoying it. The characterisation could have been better for me. I didn't feel any connection or bonding with any of the characters. There is a slight romance but it was just unappealing for me. Unfortunately, I doubt that I will pick up the next book in this series.

Buy the book: Amazon/The Book Depository

Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday 20 November 2012.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. You know the rules: grab your current read, open to a random page and share a two sentence teaser with us (no spoilers!). Be sure to tell us about the book, so we can add it to our TBR list!

Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies, #1)
This weeks teaser comes from Fade by A.K. Morgen.

"Fear that I'd only imagined him ran rampant. It scared me to think the entire, bizarre scene hadn't been real, that I'd actually cracked beneath the weight of grief, and had simply hallucinated him. A big part of me didn't want to consider that possibility. I'd felt so good when he'd settled into my mind, and I didn't want to let that go. I couldn't."

Stacking the Shelves #23

Saturday 17 November 2012.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, (and filling our kindle) sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process! Hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews

Hi guys. I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm only doing an STS post every second week now because I feel I have seriously cut down on my book intake, which I'm really happy about because I was starting to get a bit stressed and I'm still way behind but hoping to catch up soon. So, this is what I received over the last two weeks.

As usual, you can click on the book title for more information.

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4) Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires, #13)

Finale (Hush Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick
Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

For Review
Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles, #1) Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4) The Holders (Holders, #1) The Declaration (The Declaration, #1)

Renegade by J.A. Souders (Netgalley)
Crimson Frost (A Mythos Academy Novel) by Jennifer Estep (Netgalley)
The Holders by Julianna Scott (Strange Chemistry)
The Declaration by Gemma Malley (Bloomsbury)

Leave me a link so I can stop by and see what books you got this week.

Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Thursday 15 November 2012.

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles, #1)Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Published: 8th December 2011
By: Doubleday Children's Books
Source: Library

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up Unleashed purely because of it's werewolf theme. It had quite the mixed bag of reviews so I wasn't too sure what to expect going into it, but while not perfect, I did really enjoy it.

After Katelyn's mother, her only living parent, is killed in an earthquake which destroys their home in LA, Katelyn has to move to live with her grandfather in the small town of Wolf Springs. Katelyn dreams of being a dancer and feels there is a lot more chance of fulfilling her dream in LA, so she's really not happy about the move.

Her grandfather lives in a cabin in the forest, in the middle of nowhere and has dead animal heads all over the walls. Animals that he hunted and killed himself. This leaves Katelyn totally creeped out.

But there seems to be one bright light on the horizon, in the hot form of Trick, who's around her own age, but yet seems to be friends with her grandpa. It turns out, he's to be her ride to and from school.

At school, she makes friends with Cordelia, but when she meets her new friends family, they are extremely weird, except it seems, for her totally gorgeous cousin Justin, who Katelyn just seems to be drawn to kissing.

Katelyn is forbidden to be out in the woods at night and with two girls having been attacked and killed, and herself and Trick almost being attacked by a wolf, she can understand why. So, when she's driving home from a party alone one night, and gets a puncture, she's extremely scared, and then it happens.

Maybe, being such a werewolf fan, I'm a bit biased but I thought this was a really good story. Although, I did feel it slumped a little in the middle and some of the characters could have been more defined, but it didn't take from my overall enjoyment.

It did however, stop me from really gelling with Trick or Justin, so even with the hint of a love triangle, I didn't have a favourite to be rooting for. I didn't find myself swooning over either of them and someone swoonworthy always spices up my reads.

There's a lot of mystery in this book. I did kind of guess at who the werewolves were, but I feel that was only a drop in the ocean as to what's going to come in this series. A lot of these mysteries were still unsolved at the end of the book. Katelyn is trying to make a transition and it's scary and dangerous. It appears that there may be an unknown monster in the woods.

A great first in a series that I'm looking forward to continuing.

Buy the book: Amazon/The Book Depository


Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Tuesday 13 November 2012.

Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn, #1)Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Published: 29th May 2012
By: Harper Teen
Source: Library

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really looking forward to reading Darkness Before Dawn so when I sat down on a Sunday afternoon to start this book it was with excitement and anticipation. But unfortunately, it couldn't hold my attention and the slightest little thing was distracting me. Thankfully, about a third of the way in, things really kicked up a notch and I was fully engrossed in the remainder of the book.

Dawn Montgomery is only 17 years old, when her parents are assassinated following a meeting with the head vampire of Denver, Lord Valentine, who then insists that Dawn become the new vampire delegate.

Dawn and the rest of the humans, live in the city, which is surrounded by a guarded wall, meant to keep vampires out and humans in and supposedly safe from vampires. But as there's always rogue vampires around, it is dangerous to be out after sunset.

One night Dawn and her best friend Tegan are reckless and go to a party, close to the wall. Tegan's drink gets spiked and Dawn has to get her out of there. With no signal on her cell, she must do it alone. When they are attacked by vampires on the train, they are saved by a mysterious stranger. One that Dawn meets again on her first meeting again with Lord Valentine.

I really liked Dawn. She's brave and tough, and despite some recklessness, she does appear to have her head screwed on. I wasn't quite as fond of Tegan or Michael, Dawn's boyfriend. Tegan is constantly trying to get Dawn to do dangerous things and Michael seems to need a lot of ego rubbing. So, enter Victor, who I just couldn't help but love, he's like the Robin Hood of vampires.

So, as I'm sure you've guessed, we do have a love triangle, but it wasn't one that bothered me too much as I have a straight up winner. Now I just have to hope things go my way in future instalments.

Throughout this book, we received some interesting hints about Dawn and I'm looking forward to seeing how things turn out in that department. I'm also excited to see how things go for Victor in his new role.

Blood Kissed Sky is set for release in December which is not too bad, as things go and I'll definitely be picking this one up.

Buy the book: Amazon/The Book Depository

Spotlight and Giveaway: Flee by Lara Ashley

Monday 12 November 2012.
Rhonda Campbell is an opinionated and feisty 18-year-old young woman with a special gift. She and her best friend Alicia, head to Maui to intern at Nitridia Farm for the summer. They meet two hunky college guys, Jason and Roger, and Keoni, who is a local Hawaiian. Instantly, sparks fly between Rhonda and Jason, but she can’t stand his arrogant attitude.

Nitridia Farm is not what it appears to be. From the staff to the plants, there is danger at every turn. What begins as an idyllic summer in paradise quickly becomes a fight for survival. “Flee!” is a science fiction novel that blends fantasy, adventure, suspense, and romance together.

Prologue Excerpt
I remember when it happened to me for the first time. A colorful tree stood in our living room. My father always chopped down one of the many scrawny cedars from off our property in the Sierra Nevada foothills, not wanting to waste money on one of the nicer Douglas Fir trees sold at any of the markets in town. Mama and I had decorated that sparse tree with electric light strings, shiny ornaments and tinsel.

I awoke that morning not from excitement or noise, but because it was so quiet—and I knew what that meant. Brushing aside my curtains, I could see that overnight both the ground and the tall ponderosa pines had become shrouded in white. I felt giddy, remembering the sound snow makes when it crunched underneath my boots and hoping Mama would take me sledding down our driveway.

The warmth from our wood stove lured me out of my bed, increasing as I raced down the hallway and into the living room. I knew my high expectations were about to be fulfilled as I spied the pile of brightly wrapped packages which had mysteriously appeared underneath our little tree.

Christmas for a four-year-old is always a big deal. I squealed in delight as I looked at Mama for permission to begin, as both my parents settled in on the couch to watch. With glee, I jumped onto the floor with all those presents. I was an only child, so there were no siblings to share my toys.

I began to rip off the wrappings, going quickly through the pile. Underneath the other presents sat the biggest box of all. I guessed that it might be a snow sled, and I furiously attacked the colored paper to discover the truth about its identity. Then, for no apparent reason at all, I burst into tears.

At first, I didn’t even know why. My reaction had nothing to do with the present and it happened so fast. There was simply no reason “why” for this spontaneous outburst of my emotions. But a feeling of despair rolled over me with the force of a tsunami.

Of course, Mama did what all mothers do. She dropped down on the floor and wrapped her arms around my small shoulders—but I would not be consoled. I wailed on as if the end of the world had come.

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” she kept asking, but I was too overcome by my emotions to speak. While she held me, a series of images flashed through my mind. I was experiencing a child’s nightmare in the light of day. The more I saw, the more I understood the meaning of those images. This deepened my agony and caused tears to rain down upon Mama’s chest.

Could this really be true? Instinctively, I knew that it was. So I held on tight to Mama, until finally a single question slipped from my lips: “Mama, why you leaving?” I’ll never forget the startled expression in my mother’s eyes. It was somewhere between shock and horror, as if she was thinking: How can you possibly know that? My question seemed to have caught her completely off guard, exposing her wayward desires to
the light of day.

At four, I was completely oblivious to any problems my parents might have been having. If they fought, it was behind closed doors. I had never been close to my father, and he had never confided anything personal to me. Surely Mama must have known this, and maybe that explains why she was bewildered by my question.

My father cocked his head at an angle and raised an eyebrow at Mama, as if questioning her. He seemed to be realizing for the first time what was in our future. Apparently, I knew it before he did. Mama did not answer me. Instead, she immediately placed me back in my room for an early nap where I cried for hours.
Christmas was over. And so was my life as I had known it.

My mother disappeared less than a week later, offering me no explanation, not even a last good bye. One day she left me at the pre-school, but it was my father who picked me up late from child care. He had never picked me up before, and I was not surprised when we reached our house and saw that Mama had cleared out all of her stuff and run off. Father never mentioned her again.

I can understand a woman who suffers silently with a man she doesn’t love. I can understand her leaving him suddenly one day to escape her pain. But why would a mother leave behind her only child? I didn’t realize until later that what I experienced that Christmas day was unusual: not the part about Mama leaving, but the part about me knowing in advance that it would surely happen. My mother obviously had problems with my father, but that day may have solidified her decision to leave me behind as well. Maybe she saw me as being too much like him to redeem.

Three years later, my father told me an unusually large blizzard would hit us in our mountain home. He then began to make preparations for it as if his knowledge was true. Three months later, what the media called “The Hundred Year Storm” blew in four feet of snow in only six hours. That’s when I first started to realize we both possessed the same unwanted gift. My father had somehow passed it along to me.


One Year Blogoversary Giveaway

Wednesday 7 November 2012.

Oh my God, I can't believe that I've been blogging for a year already. The time has just flown by and I've really enjoyed it. I've had the privilege of reviewing some amazing books and I've also made some great friends. Thank you to all you guys who stop by regularly and to all my followers. I also want to thank all the publishers and authors who have kept this blog going by providing me with books for review. You are all awesome. 

I'm giving two people the chance to win a book of their choice from The Book Depository up to a total of €10. This giveaway is international providing The Book Depository ships to you're country.


Stacking the Shelves #22

Sunday 4 November 2012.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, (and filling our kindle) sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process! Hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews

Well, I have a nice small stack today. Click on the book title for Goodreads information.

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1) Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1)

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (free download)(Review)
Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs (thanks to Entangled Teen)

What goodies did you receive this week. Leave me a link so I can stop by.

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Friday 2 November 2012.

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Published: 5th October 2012
By: Mira Ink
Source: Copy from Publishers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This really wasn't what I expected to get when I picked up Alice in Zombieland. While I had heard that it wasn't much of a re-telling, I think I still expected more of a resemblance than a white rabbit shaped cloud. But don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of re-tellings so only requested this book after hearing that.

Ali (Alice), a girl who  has lost her family in a car accident and attack by monsters, that she feels was her fault. She thought her dad was crazy and that her mom should divorce him because he ran their lives with his fear of the monsters that Alice didn't believe in. There's no going out after dark, learning to fight to defend themselves and her dad patrols the house with a gun every night. She only discovers, as her family is dying around her, that the monsters are real.

Ali goes to live with her grandparents, and on the day she starts at her new school, she shares a vision with resident bad boy, Cole. When they are both attacked by the monsters, they discover that they can both see them. It turns out, Cole and his group fight the monsters, and Ali wants to join them.

Ali is a totally kick butt character. I loved when she stood up to the girl trying to bully her. She had an answer for everyone, and never backed down. She's tough, thanks to her dad's training, but she's sweet and innocent too.

Cole, who seems to be always getting into fights with humans, aswell as monsters, has lots of tattoos and unsurprisingly, is always sporting a bruise or two. So, I was surprised at how sweet and caring he was. I really enjoyed his relationship with Ali, although at times he seemed to blow hot and cold.

Alice in Zombieland was fast paced and full of action, it really rocked my socks. The secondary characters were awesome, especially Kat (mad dog) and Frost. I was glued to the pages. I did find the beginning to be a little slow but it took off with a bang and I never looked back. By the nature of the book, characters do get hurt, and do die, so be prepared for some emotion in this too.

Overall, I thought Alice in Zombieland was just fantastic and October 2013 is just too long a wait for Through the Zombieglass.

Buy the book: Amazon/The Book Depository
Paranormal Pages © Copyright 2010 | Design By Gothic Darkness |