Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review - Eternal Seduction by Jennifer Turner

Eternal Seduction is the first in Jennifer Turner's Darkness Within series.  The second installment, Eternal Hearts, releases in the near future.  On her blog, Turner has been detailing release information, check here for up to date notices. :)

Blurb from back of book:
After living on the streets of New York for over a decade, Logan admits her perceptions might be a little skewed. But twisted or not, there's a satisfying irony in watching a well dressed vampire stand in the middle of a ghetto alley, windblown trash scraping circles near his feet. What she finds even more intriguing, is waiting for him to decide if he's going to kill her.

Kerestyan hasn't made up his mind. As the Lord of New York, he can't let a drug addict, whose memories are packed with knowledge of vampires, run free in his city. It's not the first time he's been in this situation with a human, it's just the first time he's come face to face with one who doesn't seem to care. And that's what makes the decision so difficult.

What horrors could you witness before you went numb? How long would it take before you felt that way? What could make you care again?

Logan's answers are simple: the worst humanity has to offer, almost thirty, and something she never expected.
I really enjoyed this novel.  It struck me as a mix of Lynsay Sands' and JR Ward's writing styles.  You have the intense family ties and emotional struggle between the two main characters typical of Sands and the darker humor and violence we see with Ward.  The characters are novel and relateable.  Odin is hilarious, I love the snarky smart ass types so he was right up my alley.  Kerestyan is the typical alpha male hero with a savior complex.  And Logan, well Logan is...

Logan is not your typical heroine.  However, put her drug use and homeless street waif life aside and you have a strong female character with a quick wit and a smart mouth that reminds me of myself. :)  Logan may be haunted by her past; however, as seen after her detoxification process, she is not completely shattered by her guilt.  Her will to survive and evolve into a better person is kindled by Kerestyan's devotion and love.

World building is superb.  I loved how Turner captured the dark atmosphere while still making the reader comfortable and able to believe in the love between each character.  This is particularly true with respect to Kerestyan's father Stefan, his interesting sense of interior design, and his games of choice.  The promise of a story lying just beneath the main story is intriguing.  What exactly is Stefan up to? How do the politics of this fragile vampire "nation" play out?  Are the Fledgings simply a nuisance or do they have a story to tell as well?  And my personal favorite, will we get to become more intimate with Odin? ;p  Yes I do have a decent sized crush on him lol.

Jennifer Turner did a great job with the start to a series that promises to be addictive.  I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment.  If you are a fan of urban fantasy with a thick romance streak then be sure to check out Eternal Seduction!

Rating: 4/5


Friday, April 29, 2011

Blog Hop 5

Today's question from Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q. Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

JR Ward's Lover Mine and Lover Eternal

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (5)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book by Its Cover - Immortal Rider

Larissa Ione's second installment in her Lords of Deliverance series, Immortal Rider, is set to hit shelves in  December of this year.  I know we have a long time to wait, but the cover is just too stunning!  I feel compelled to share it with you guys :)

Sexy, powerful, and immortal, Limos is on a crash course with destiny. She’s been marked as Satan’s bride and her jealous fiancĂ© wants her all to himself. The only way this Horseman can keep herself—and everyone else—safe is to keep her distance. But not even Limos can save herself from the secrets she’s kept . . . or resist the seductive allure of one very brave human.

Arik Wagner knows the saying “love hurts” better than most, yet he never thought stealing a kiss from Limos would land him in Hell. Literally. It takes all his military training to survive the demon torture, but once he’s topside, Arik realizes that the agony has just begun. With the Apocalypse looming and Satan demanding his bride, will Arik and Limos surrender to the desire smoldering between them? Or will giving in to their passion unleash hell on earth?
Helena's Thoughts:

I LOVE this cover!  Wow!  Where to  The intense look the female model has on her face is consuming.  Her justice scales tattoo is perfect and the model has a definite Angelina Jolie badass thing going on.  The male model is super yums, digging the dog tag as well.  The lightning behind them and the grey tones sets the scene for a novel full of combat and strong emotional clashes.  Font colors are awesome, they contrast well with the grey scale and helps add a touch of femininity and heat.  Four horsemen symbol is really neat.  I love how the Lords get their own symbol just like the Demonica series did.  Really well done cover!  Visit Ione's blog and join in the ranting and raving :)

Share your thoughts on the cover, the series, future expectations, etc.  We love comments so don't be shy :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review - Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent is Veronica Roth's debut novel and the first of a planned trilogy.  It is set for release on May 3, 2011.

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.
First things first, isn't the cover just gorgeous?!  I seriously felt a magnetic pull to this book before I even laid eyes on the summary.  I opened up the pages and instantly delved into a masterfully crafted world of self exploration and governmental control.  Then a few chapters in, I fell head over heels for Four, the main male character.  To say I enjoyed this novel would be an understatement.  Divergent is a must read for young adults and adults alike.

Roth takes us on a no holds barred adrenaline trip along a rocky road of raw emotion, violence, and aggression.  She highlights each character at their worst and best moments; showing the duality and complexity of the human psyche.  This novel is about exploring the inner core in each of us and what we are capable of doing for self preservation and those we love in turn.

The characters are dynamic and well developed.  World building is fantastic; each faction left a clear picture and emotion for the reader.  Through the eyes of Tris, we gain insight into the inner workings of each faction, their governemental leaders/agendas, teenage angst, and parental relationships.  My favorite parts involved Trish learning who her parents really are on the inside and what they in turn are capable of as well.  And of course, the little glimpses into what makes Four tick raptly held my attention.  The characters make this novel and Roth did a fantastic job weaving it all together.

While searching for cover art, I came across the news that Summit has already purchased movie rights!  I am so beyond excited to see how they portray the world and characters on the big screen.

Roth has posted the first 100 pages of Divergent for your reading pleasure as well as a quick blurb explaining the thought/meaning behind the name of each faction.  Definitely check them out if you are interested!  Stick around and read her other entries too; I adore her sense of humor! :)

Rating: 4/5


Friday, April 22, 2011

BDB Book Club: Dark Lover Discussion

This is a tad late...but life got the better of me recently.  So without further ado, here are my answers to the discussion for the first book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series: Dark Lover by JR Ward.

1. On a scale from 1-5, what would you rate this book? Briefly tell us why.

I would rate it a 4 out of 5.  See our review here for the reasoning behind the rating!
2. What did you think of the alternating point of views (Darius, Beth, Butch, Wrath, Marissa, Mr. X, Havers...)?
I love stories where we get a rounded and complete view of the plot line and setting.  Marissa is not my favoirte character; I pretty much loathe her in all honesty.  She strikes me as weak and so I tend to skim over her parts.  The whole drama with the Omega and Mr X really intrigues me...the whole keep your friends close but your enemies closer lol.  I really liked hearing from all the other characters and was deeply saddened that Darius' part was cut so short.

3. What did you think of the new language Ward created? (i.e. Shellan, Princeps, Doggen, etc.) Did it help pull you into the story or distract you?
The language helps build the world.  None of the terms are too far out there for me.  Once I feel like I can't pronounce them or that they all sounds the same, is when I lose focus in a novel.  Neither of which occurs for me with this series.  I also love the snide slang terms and phrases that each brother uses; they make me giggle like a little school girl!
4. We all know that this series is Paranormal Romance -- and we all know that's the good stuff, however, did you feel that Beth and Wrath moved a little too quickly in the beginning? How did you feel about these events given what had happened to Beth the night before?
Yes!  I was put off by Beth jumping in the saddle that fast after her almost rape.  The connection that they share is well developed and the level of intense loyalty/love helps smooth it over with the reader, but it was still a bit of a shock.
5. What did you think of Zsadist's surprise singing abilities?
I love that Z has a soft 'angelic' center...just like a Rolo!  Hehe!
6. How about that offer Havers made Zsadist in the end? Did you think Zsadist would do it? Do you think Havers punishment for this incident (or lack thereof) was fair?
Havers' offer was a display of pure cowardice.  If he was so upset about how he thought his sister was treated, why didn't he bring it up to Wrath himself?  I did think Zsadist might choose to go through with Havers' suggestion.  All we know about Zsadist from the first part of the book is how violent and void of emotion he is.  Havers' deserved a real punishment.  I don't necessarily think he should have been put to death, but simply brushing it under the table is crap. (yes that was putting it eloquently)
7. What did you think of Darius' decision to come back from The Fade, but never again know his daughter? What would you have done given the same choice?
Darius obviously wants to be close to his daughter, to be able to protect her from harm.  I find this to be a noble and just cause.  This speaks completely true to character, what little of an impression we got to have before the explosion.  At the same time, if he never gets to know his daughter, then isn't the whole purpose of his returning a moot point?  If I could be certain that I would get to be around my loved one, then I would definitely do it.  It would be hard to lose those memories; however, if I got them back when I finally did pass into the Fade, I would be more willing to go through with it.
8. Compare the Brotherhood Books (on first impression) to other vampire series that you've read. Is is better or worse and how so?
There really isn't another series that I have found that compares.  I adore it, the characters are well built, the world is amazing, and the action/emotions are fiercely intense.  In recent installments, the novels have more of an urban fantasy edge to them than the typical paranormal romance; but, I like my novels with more of an edge and less of the funny fluff, so it fits me perfectly!  I have heard that Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series is similar; however, I have not picked up on that series yet...though it is on the TBR pile.

Author Interview - Carolyn Rosewood

Earlier in the week, we were pleased to announce the release of The Last Soul, the anticipated debut of author Carolyn Rosewood. After a busy week of blog hopping, promoting, and celebrating, Carolyn has been gracious enough to stop by for our first ever Vamps R Us Author interview!

Kinda feels like it should have its own theme music, huh?

No matter how many times I see it, that's one HAWT cover

Welcome to the blog, Carolyn! It’s no secret we love our paranormal critters. Tell us what critters, creatures, or paranormal beings we will encounter in The Last Soul, and are they friend or foe?
The heroine of The Last Soul, Faina, is a demon who can take human form. We also meet Mastema, the demon for whom she works, and the one who's tricking her. Her best friend, Jahi, is also a demon and takes an active role in exposing Mastema to Apollyon, the king of demons.
Oooh, demons, power struggles, and trickery. Sounds fascinating. What inspired you to throw your pen (keyboard, creative brainpower) into the paranormal genre?
I've always been drawn to paranormal stories. I have a fascination with all things dark, creepy, spiritual and unseen.
Have you ever had a real-life paranormal experience?
Let's just say I've seen some weird stuff in my lifetime. I'll tell you about one of the earliest experiences. When I was around seven years old, we were at my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving. I have over a dozen cousins, and most of us were in the basement, where we decided to hold a seance to summon JFK. He had been assassinated the year before. Some of the older cousins had done this before, so we followed their lead. Thanksgiving in Ohio was usually cold and windy but that night, although cold, wasn't stormy. In the middle of our seance one of the locked basement windows flew open in a gust of wind and the candles went out. You never heard a group of kids and teens scream louder or saw them run up the basement stairs more quickly.
Child, teen, or adult, when locked windows blow open, I'm going to lead the terrified charge in the opposite direction. In the worlds you’ve created, what supernatural abilities would you wield?
I'd love to be able to travel through time, with full knowledge, of course, of what I've done so far. And I want to be able to make myself invisible. Imagine the fun you could have with that power!
Way too much fun. Are you the steadfast heroic type, the reluctant anti-hero, or the formidable villain?
I'm a steadfast hero. I'll defend to the death what I believe is right. And if someone messes with a friend, look out.
Is that a weapon you're wielding? *Maintains a respectful distance* Back to the writing, what character did you have the most fun creating?
Faina. Hands down. The entire story is completely outside my comfort zone, but I never had more fun writing one. I just let loose and made her sexy and daring.
Hollywood’s on the phone. Not only is The Last Soul going to be a summer blockbuster, you get to choose the leads. Who do you pick to play the main characters?
Jennifer Ellison as Faina and Johnny Depp, of course, as Jace!

*Pulls eyes away from Johnny Depp* Do you foresee yourself revisiting the world of The Last Soul in any future stories?
Yes! My current project is another paranormal romance novella called Hunted. This time it's Jahi's story.
What’s up next for you?
After Hunted I plan to finish my full-length paranormal/fantasy romance called Crossing the Dark Moon. It takes place in an alternate universe.
Nice! I'll be on the lookout for that. One final question. The zombies have invaded, do you flee or fight? Remember, we’re always looking to supplement our own zombie escape plans.
We fight of course! :)
I admire a woman with a zombie plan.

Thank you, Carolyn, for agreeing to be our first ever interviewee and doing such an awesome job of starting us off right!

To read an excerpt of The Lost Soul, click here. To purchase The Last Soul, click here. And if you need any more incentive, here's the warning that accompanies this title:

Be Warned: light bondage, sex toys.

My dear, you had us at "bondage."


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Hop 4

Friday is nearly upon us, so it's time once again for Follow My Book Blog Friday blog hop, hosted by Parajunkee.

Q. What is on your current playlist right now?

My top five, in no particular order:
1. Kayne West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. Panic! at the Disco's Vices & Virtues
3. Sick Puppies' Tri-Polar
4. Foo Fighters' Wasting Light
5. Cee-Lo Green's The Lady Killer

What are you listening to?

Later today (Friday morning) on the blog, we have an interview with debut author Carolyn Rosewood, talking about her new paranormal novella, The Last Soul. This is too good to be missed!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Release Day - Carolyn Rosewood's The Last Soul

Happy release day to debut author Carolyn Rosewood!! Carolyn's first novella, The Last Soul, released today from Evernight Publishing.

Faina has been dead for one hundred and fifty years, but she’s about to become human again. All she has to do is seduce Jace Blackmon, the most honest financier ever to grace the city of angels, into signing away his soul.

Jace Blackmon has fallen in love with his fantasy woman. But when he realizes she was tricked by a demon to bring about his ruin, including the revelation of a long-buried secret to the media, he must choose between his heart or life without her.

The Last Soul is the first in what we're sure will be a long and prosperous career for Carolyn. To purchase this title, click here.

And more exciting news? Carolyn will be on the blog this Friday in our first ever Vamps R Us author interview. Stop by to join in the fun!


Book By Its Cover - When Blood Calls

J. K. Beck's When Blood Calls is today's book by its cover review.


Sara Constantine is one of the country's most tenacious prosecuting attorneys - and she's just secured a well-earned promotion. At first she's thrilled. Then she finds out her new job involves prosecuting vampires and werewolves. And nothing prepares Sara for the shock she receives when she meets the first defendant she'll be trying to put away: Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius Dragos kisses the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he's only hoping to blend into the crowd and avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he's following...and planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss to secure his cover ignites into a fierce hunger that leads to an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows Sara will do whatever it takes to see him locked away - unless he can convince her that he's not the monster she thinks he is. And that might mean making the greatest sacrifice a vampire can make.

Helena's Thoughts:

This cover looks like a mishmash of Voldemort from Harry Potter mixed with Lord of the Rings (the precious!), hiding behind a nice hunk of man.  The fog, moonlight, and red glowing ring clad fist give off an air of mystery and foreboding.  What exactly would Blood say to you if it called you on the phone?

Now tell us your first impressions of this novel based solely on the cover.  Would you be drawn to pick it up?  Does it make you want to open the pages and devour it?  If you have already read When Blood Calls, tell us about it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

BBPCon: A wealth of information

This blog has been around for a little over two years now.  Just recently, we decided to start putting effort into networking and promoting our corner of cyberspace.  I have met a ton of really neat and helpful people through the conference and the amount of information is astounding.  School has gotten in the way of many of the panels for me, but I intend on listening to the recordings asap and putting all of this new knowledge to use.  I feel inspired and hopeful about the future!  Now if clinicals would just lay off a bit so I can enjoy more blog  Thanks so much for an amazing conference!  The organizers and panelists are nothing short of super human :)  I will definitely be coming back next year!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Joke of the Day

Here is a lame awesome cartoon from Fruity Cuties!



Blog hop 3

It is friday again!  Well, it will be in a few hours and it is time for Parajunkee's Follow Friday question!

Q. Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

Yes, my mother and I talk all the time about new free kindle editions and such.  I recently got my strictly mystery/horror/suspense thriller mother to start reading and loving paranormals..."winning" (Charlie Sheen style). My blog co-authors Arianna and Lily are also a part of my book discussion circle IRL.  Pretty much anyone that will listen and has a healthy love of paranormal/urban fantasy gets assaulted by my favorite authors/series/story lines lol.  They all enjoy it, or else ;p.

Waves to new and old followers,

Review - Foreplay by Jill Myles

Short review today for Jill Myles short story Foreplay, a prequel to her popular Succubus Diaries series.

How did Jackie Brighton get turned into a succubus? She can’t remember – all she knows is that she woke up in a Dumpster. This short story tells the tale of that night, and sheds a little light on her masters’ motivations...
I have not yet read any of the Succubus Diaries series, so Foreplay is my first foray into that world. That said, I was pleased with this short story. In a few pages, Myles was able to establish a sympathetic heroine with firm GMC and begin building the rules of the world I assume stretch into the Succubus Diaries novels. While Foreplay didn't blow me away, it was a quick, satisfying read. Were I an established fan of the series, I imagine it would have shed light on questions the stories have not yet addressed. Even so, as a reader unacquainted with the series I did not feel like I was missing any information that hampered my reading enjoyment. I imagine Foreplay did exactly what it set out to do; it whet my appetite and gave me just enough information about Jackie Brighton and her mysterious "master" to make me want more. Gentlemen Prefer Succubi, the first in the series, has been on my TBR pile for a while. It has just achieve a higher ranking.

Rating: 3/5


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review - Dead Girl's Blog by Donna Burgess

Dead Girl's Blog: Two Short Tales of Zombie Horror by Donna Burgess is a collection of 2 short stories, both dealing with zombies (which should be evident from the title, but you never know).

Warning: There be spoilers ahead!

Dead Girl's Blog by Donna Burgess

Meet Audrey Scott. She has it all. She’s the most popular girl at Lincoln High and dates Tommy Barker, the cutest boy in the senior class. She has a credit card with no limit, is head cheerleader and was probably going to be homecoming queen again this year—until she was bitten by a Deader. Worst part of it? He ruined her best jeans. But that’s just the tip of the putrid iceberg.
This story is exactly what it sounds like. It's a collection of blog entries from a self-involved, image conscious brat with no sense of responsibility who get bitten by a zombie. The blog is her account of her last few days as a human before the virus takes over.

I didn't enjoy this short story. While it was an interesting idea, chronicling the virus as it takes hold, there was no character growth. Audrey was a spoiled brat when bitten, and she was a spoiled brat when she turned. There was no inner realization, no sense of the brevity of life or what it means to be human, no character development at all unless you count the physical change from living to undead. Audrey was angry that her popularity declined as she started rotting, and remarked that the rejection she felt must be how she made "losers" feel when taunting them, but there was no sense of regret on her part. No understanding that, just like her, those she taunted deserved better treatment. There was no sense that she regretted her actions or grew as a person. Overall, while an interesting idea and format (I enjoyed the use of blog entries to convey the narrative), it felt rather pointless to me.

Burgess's writing and concept were solid. This story simply wasn't my cup of tea. Perhaps fans of straight YA horror would enjoy it more.

Rating: 2.5/5

Under a Blanket of Blue by Donna Burgess

Sam Clark is a loser. He spends his days immaturely passing the time and pissing off his wife, until the undead rise. When he happens upon his wife eating their toddler, it's time to hit the road. Journeying to his family home away from the coast, he runs into his first love. But are they really safe?
I enjoyed this short story far more than Dead Girl's Blog. Sam is self aware. He knows his limitations and weaknesses, and he accepts them. He knows he is not the kind of guy who can make it on his own in a zombie apocalypse, so he does what he has to. The story has an open ending, allowing the reader to decide what final action Sam has taken.

Rating: 3.5/5

This short story collection (is it a collection with only 2 stories?) is available on Nook and Kindle for only $.99 cents. Buy it for Under a Blanket of Blue. I would like to read more from this author.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review - Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter by Dan McGirt

Take a trip into the wonderful world of vampire/twilight plus political snark in Dan McGirt's novella Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter.

Blurb from site:
"Sarah Palin vs. Vampires! Vampire hunter Palin and her team visit Twinkle, Oregon a tiny town with a big vampire problem. For teenage Stella and her undead boyfriend Edmund (not to mention werewolf Jake) life--and unlife--will never be the same! A madcap mix of humor, horror, and wild guns-blazing vampire-fighting action!"

McGirt intended this story to be completely tongue-in-cheek sarcasm dripping goodness. Palin hunts Twilight-esque vampires in order to protect the American public in their natural habitat...Walmart. Oh yes, get your 'walmart feet' comments ready lol. Of course no Twilight parody would be complete without the werewolves, so they show up too. Even the infamous plumber from the presidential campaigns has a part and a woman that is...Tonya Harding, I believe? The political commentary of Palin and her "renegade" speak are front and center. The ending wasn't all I had hoped for; however, it was worth a few laughs. This story is not meant to be an in-depth, well-written, piece of prize winning fiction; it is a black humor snarkfest. As long as you go in with the right expectations, you will not be greatly disappointed. Bottom line, at a price of about 2 dollars, you really can't go wrong.

Rating: 2.5/5


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Envy Cover Art Released

Envy is book three of JR Ward's Fallen Angels series, set to hit shelves September 6, 2011.

US Cover Art

UK Cover Art

The US cover is gorgeous and tres yummy.  I am not really a fan of the UK cover this time around.  When Crave was released I actually preferred the UK version.  What are your thoughts on the covers?


Review - Anathema by Megg Jensen

First off, congrats to Helena who just completed the 24-hour Readathon!! Way to hang in there! We're very proud of you! Now on to the review.

Unlike the lovely and dedicated Helena, I only participated in the Readathon for a few hours. During that time, I read Anathema by Megg Jensen.

Is this a gorgeous cover or what?
*As always, spoilers ahoy!

Magic. Lies. Manipulation

Reychel is a slave girl sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape. The night before her dreaded fifteenth birthday, her best friend disappears, leaving her to face her branding ceremony - when her master’s sigil is burned on the back of her bald scalp – alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for her help.

Can Reychel learn to believe in herself in time?
The first in the Cloud Prophet series, Anathema is the story of lowly slave Raychel who learns she is so much more. In the world Jensen has built, there are two classes of people. One class, the Malborn, are members of the nobility who own the land and everything on it. The other class, the Serenians, are the indigenous people and slaves to the Malborn. Among these people there are the "gifted," individuals with magical powers. Reychel is gifted with prophecy, allowing her to read the future in the clouds. Because of her gift, she is called upon to help lead the Serenians to freedom.

This story is structured around some fantastic ideas: the struggle of an enslaved people to be free, the betrayal of those closest, the hero's journey, etc. It's a shame these interesting elements are not better executed. Anathema is a young adult novel, but that's no excuse for it to skimp on the emotional buildup or dynamic storytelling. Events happen quickly, too quickly, without adequate tension to make the actions and reactions believable or important to readers. I wanted to care so much more about the characters than I did, but Reychel (the most well developed) was often cardboard. She developed deep relationships with everyone she met, but it was never explained why. Big misunderstandings abound. Other characters can instantly see truths Reychel has missed her entire life, but the reader is expected to believe Reychel is the strong, capable leader who will save her people. Reychel didn't seem strong or capable to me. She didn't even seem all that smart. I tripped over the dialogue a number of times. It contains a good degree of social niceties that don't move the plot forward or tell us anything about the characters - they just talk for the hell of it, I guess. That's expected in real life, but not necessary in novels.

Jensen's ideas are wonderful. She has a strong creative sense that bleeds through the novel. Unfortunately, Anathema falls short on the basics. Timing, plot execution, believable tension, dialogue, and realistic characters are all issues impacting my overall enjoyment of the novel. I still give it a 3 based on the quality of the driving ideas, but the mechanics fell flat.

Overall, I did enjoy Anathema, it just didn't grab me in the way I think it could have. I purchased it for a mere $.99 on Nook, and while in retrospect I wouldn't pay more than that for it, it was worth the purchase price and time commitment. Anathema is a short, fast read that may appeal to younger teens and tweens who like stories with light paranormal elements (don't let the length scare you, it's not really 620 pages, that's just an error in the Nook formatting). There is nothing I would consider inappropriate for tweens and younger teens, and they may enjoy the characters and tone. Older teens and adults, however, won't find much substance. I doubt I'll read the sequel.

Rating: 3/5



I just completed the 24 hour Read-A-Thon!  It was a blast but I am beyond exhausted.  Here are my totals:

Total time read: 8 hours 46 min
Total pages read: 377 pages
Total time cheerleading: 1 hour
Total mini challenges entered: 22
Prizes won: 1
Total books completed: 1

I will definitely be ready to do this again in October!  For now, I will sleep.  Night fellow readers!  Gold stars to you all and a special thanks to all the people that made this event a reality!


End of Hour 24 Update

Holy crab apples!  I made it! :D  Now it is time for glorious sleep!

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 48 min
Total time: 8 hours 46 min
Pages read since last update: 32 pages
Total pages read: 377

Mini challenges completed this hour: End Survey
Total mini challenges completed: 22
Books completed: 1
Prizes won: 1 (YAY!!! Jumps up and down!)

Random joy:


End of Readathon Survey

For the last hour's challenge, there is a survey about our experiences.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Probably hours 21-23 were the worst; I hit a brick wall
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
The Hunger Games, Harry Potter series
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Everything was very well run.  The update posts were fast and organized.  Mini challenges were awesome.  I don't have any complaints.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The mini challenges were really fun and varied.  Definitely helped break up the reading stints.
5. How many books did you read?
I only finished one, but I got a good bit of the way through my second.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
Lover Unleashed by JR Ward and Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I adore both of them.  I highly anticipated the release of both for quite a few months lol.
8. Which did you enjoy least?

Not applicable
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I cheered for one hour.  My strategy was to open up blogs in batches of five.  I wrote a jingle and used it for each blog.  It really is a pain though when comments are blocked or require verification.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I would love to participate again if it fits in my schedule!  I really enjoyed the mini challenges and cheering.  I hosted a challenge on my blog and LOVED it.  I would definitely be a host again hands down.  I didn't do near the amount of reading that I had anticipated but the majority of the fun is socializing anyways.

Ok one more hour to blast out!

End of Hour 23 Update

Chugging along...only one more hour!

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 52 min
Total time: 7 hours 58 min
Pages read since last update: 36 pages
Total pages read: 345

Mini challenges completed this hour: Referral challenge
Total mini challenges completed: 21
Books completed: 1

Random joy:


End of Hour 22 Update

Surfed other participants blogs instead of reading.  It amazes me how many of us are still up!

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 0 min
Total time: 7 hours 6 min
Pages read since last update: 0 pages
Total pages read: 309

Mini challenges completed this hour: Book Trailer
Total mini challenges completed: 20
Books completed: 1

Random joy:


Book Trailer Challenge

For this challenge, we are asked to post a book trailer of our choosing.

Here is mine:

I actually wrote a review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano if you are interested. :)


End of Hour 21 Update

I cheated and took a nap.  I am not sure if I will be reading anymore, but I will make it up to finish the last couple challenges!

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 0 min
Total time: 7 hours 6 min
Pages read since last update: 0 pages
Total pages read: 309

Mini challenges completed this hour: Picture challenge
Total mini challenges completed: 19
Books completed: 1

Random joy:


Picturrific Challenge

For this challenge, you find and post a picture that is related to the book you are currently reading. 

I am currently reading, Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione.  This book centers around the story of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  Hence my picture:


End of Hour 20 Update

Four hours left!  My head feels like it is floating above my shoulders right now lol.

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 27 min
Total time: 7 hours 6 min
Pages read since last update: 16 pages
Total pages read: 309

Mini challenges completed this hour: Bookish Humour and Movie Madness
Total mini challenges completed: 18
Books completed: 1

Random joy:


Bookish Humour Challenge

No problem, I have been posting random pictures/cartoons every hour with my updates.  So if anyone is interested in more laughs, do check them out.


End of Hour 19 Update

Enjoyed the character crush challenge!  Twitter is keeping me going right now.  You guys are fantastic, keep up the reading, only 5 more hours!

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 26 min
Total time: 6 hours 39 min
Pages read since last update: 12 pages
Total pages read: 293

Mini challenges completed this hour: Character Crush
Total mini challenges completed: 16
Books completed: 1

Random joy:


End of Hour 18 Update

So tired...duct tapes eyes lol.  In other news, my slow, easily distracted butt finally finished a book!  Congrats to me! *dances and prances*

Current book: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

Time spent reading since last update: 33 min
Total time: 6 hours 13 min
Pages read since last update: 22 pages
Total pages read: 281

Mini challenges completed this hour: Classic + Paranormal Smash (by the lovely Lily Ghates)
Total mini challenges completed: 15
Books completed: 1 (YAY!)

Random joy:


Congrats to our Mini Challenge Winner!

The winner of our character theme song challenge is:


Please email us at: vampsrus(at)gmail(dot)com to discuss claiming your prize!  We will furnish you with one book through book depository up to 20 USD!

Congrats and thanks so much for all the participation!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

End of Hour 17 Update

Ugh these hours are hitting pretty hard!  Got a tad distracted helping teach my father how to work netflix through the wii...entertainment at its finest ;p

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 27 min
Total time: 5 hours 40 min
Pages read since last update: 15 pages
Total pages read: 259

Mini challenges completed this hour: none
Total mini challenges completed: 14

Random joy:


End of Hour 16 Update

Another cup of coffee downed, another one brewing.  This is the point that I can definitively say my reserves are starting to run dry.  Must keep reading...

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 38 min
Total time: 5 hours 13 min
Pages read since last update: 25 pages
Total pages read: 244

Mini challenges completed this hour: none (my brain is frying, might not be doing many that require any thought ;p)
Total mini challenges completed: 14

Random joy:


End of Hour 15 Update

Really enjoying all the responses to my challenge!  Keep up the reading guys!  We are on the home stretch :)

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 37 min
Total time: 4 hours 35 min
Pages read since last update: 24 pages
Total pages read: 219

Mini challenges completed this hour: Character Theme Song
Total mini challenges completed: 14

Random joy:


End of Hour 14 Update

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 23 min
Total time: 3 hours 58 min
Pages read since last update: 14 pages
Total pages read:195

Mini challenges completed this hour: Book Title Sentences
Total mini challenges completed: 13

Random joy:


Book Sequence Mini Challenge

The book sequence challenge was posted by Midnight Book Girl.

Here's how it works:
Grab a few books and try to make a sentence out of just the titles. Take a picture and upload to your blog, twitter or facebook.

This was so much fun, I made 3 sentences. Enjoy :)

Soulless zombies of the gene pool covet stray whispers in the dark.

American Gods need Virgin slave, barbarian king, across a wine-dark sea.


I, Vampire, crave untamed jailbait zombie.

This was too much fun! What sentences have you created for the mini challenge? Let us know in the comments!


Hour 15 Mini Challenge

Wow!  I can hardly believe we have made it to hour 15 already!  This calls for a celebration and a MINI CHALLENGE...don don donnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

So without further ado...

That's right folks!  

Pick a character from one of the books you have read during the "thon" and tell us what their theme song would be (include song and artist).  

Leave your choice in a comment on this post.  After three hours, the polls will close and I will choose a winner with the help of  I will post the winner here and they will also be posted on the official readathon page; with instructions on how to claim your spoils [email me at vampsrus(at)gmail(dot)com].

What is this gift, you ask?  I am offering a book of your choice up to $20 (USD) from The Book Depository. Please check the list of countries they ship to here.  So start your entries! :)

My character is Xcor from Lover Unleashed by JR Ward (the only book that I have gotten to so far; I get distracted easily lol).  His theme song is most definitely "Bodies" by Drowning Pool.


PS - After you complete the challenge, stick around a while.  Comment on the entries of other participants, visit other entries on this blog, follow me through google connect or twitter if you are interested.  I love meeting and chatting with fellow readers/bloggers and authors! :)

Mini Challenge 14: Book Title Sentences

This challenge requires you to take the titles of books you have lying around and make a sentence.

Here is mine:


New reader joining the fun

Hey all! I'm popping in to give Helena a hand, since she's been manning the blog by herself ALL DAY. What a champ!

First up on my reading list: Anathema by Megg Jensen.

I'm lamenting the late start, but life has a nasty and unwanted habit of getting in my way. And now, let the games begin!

Random joy:

Image by Jared Hindman, because he's awesome


End of Hour 13 Update

Reading, reading and still popping all over the board.  My blogmate will be joining us now, Lily Ghates!  Let the mayhem begin ;p

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 35 min
Total time: 3 hours 35 min
Pages read since last update: 14 pages
Total pages read: 181

Mini challenges completed this hour: Midpoint Questionaire and Book Habits
Total mini challenges completed: 12

Random joy:


Hour 12 Mini Challenge

We are at the official midpoint of the Readathon!

1. What are you reading right now?
Lover Unleashed by JR Ward
2. How many books have you read so far?
Only this one...I was already halfway finished when readathon started, I am about 3/4ths done now. 
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Finishing this one, and starting another.  Not quite sure what I will pick up next.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Nope, I just decided to completely slack off on studying for clinics ;p
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Yea, my parents are visiting so they pop in from time to time.  My critters are nosy and demand things like food and attention/potty breaks...selfish creatures ;p.  I am fine with interruptions.  I am throughly enjoying the challenges, posts, and twitter feeds, so I haven't been really devoted to the reading aspect anyways.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How much fun I am having and how crazy fast the time is going.  It seems like I just did a challenge when another hour clicks by.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I think it is very well run.  Good job you guys!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I think next time, I will try to get my postings set up ahead of time just so that wouldn't take up as much time as it does.  Other than that, I don't think I would change much.
9. Are you getting tired yet?
Nope, sleep is for the weak ;p
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Haha, I get distracted so easily that I am definitely not the one to ask about that :)

Halfway through!  Read on my pretties!

End of Hour 12 Update

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 43 min
Total time: 3 hours
Pages read since last update: 34 pages
Total pages read:167

Mini challenges completed this hour: none
Total mini challenges completed: 10

Random joy:


End of Hour 11 Update

Yea I am completely made of fail this hour lol.  However, I did complete a challenge, feed my critters, help make/eat dinner, and visit some fellow all is not lost.  Maybe next hour will fair better, as long as the fun keeps up; though I am more than okay with my dismal page count.

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 0 min
Total time: 2 hour 17 min
Pages read since last update: 0
Total pages read: 133

Mini challenges completed this hour: Crossword
Total mini challenges completed: 10

Random joy:


End of Hour 10 Update

Yay!  Finally got back into my book for a bit :)  Gotta go feed my animal crew now before diving back in.

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 30 min
Total time: 2 hour 47 min
Pages read since last update: 29
Total pages read:133

Mini challenges completed this hour: Cover Creation
Total mini challenges completed: 9

Random joy:


Mini Challenge 10: Cover Creation

For this challenge, we are to recreate the cover of the book we are reading with household items.

Ta daaaa (lol)...

Lover Unleashed by JR Ward


End of Hour 9 Update

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 17 min
Total time: 2 hour 34 min
Pages read since last update: 10
Total pages read: 104

Mini challenges completed this hour: Origami
Total mini challenges completed: 8
Cheerleading hours complete (1 hour commitment): 1 hour

Random joy:


Mini Challenge 7: Origami

This challenge was really cute and unique.  I made the "monkey climbs the mountain".  It isn't that pretty but it was fun to make.


End of Hour 8 Update

I spent the past hour fulfilling my cheering requirement.  It is really neat seeing the book piles everyone is tackling!  I am about to tackle the origami challenge and hopefully start reading again within the hour :)

Current book: Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

Time spent reading since last update: 0 min
Total time: 2 hour 17 min
Pages read since last update:0
Total pages read: 94

Mini challenges completed this hour: Book Club Recommendation
Total mini challenges completed: 7
Cheerleading hours complete (1 hour commitment): 1 hour
Books completed: 0

Random joy:

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