Saturday, March 29, 2014

Giveaway!! Shelf Candy Saturday #107: Pick your favorite cover!!

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This meme usually features
my favorite covers, but
this time, I'm inviting you, 
my readers, to pick your 
own favorites, with a
chance to win the book with
your preferred cover, from
The Book Depository!!
(If you'd rather pick another
book, you can do so, but
you still have to comment on
one of these covers.)

For more information about
Shelf Candy Saturday,
which appears weekly on this blog,
please click HERE.

Here are the covers!!
(Click on each for the GR page.)

Since this is an international 
giveaway, please make sure
that TBD delivers to 
your country.
You can do that by clicking 
Good luck, everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm looking forward to reading 
all of your comments!!
Have fun!!


Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop Winner!!

The winner of the Lucky 
Leprechaun Giveaway Hop is....
 Isa @ Chasing Quills!!

She has already claimed her prize,
which is the following book!!

Congratulations, Isa!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much to 
all who entered, and please 
do stay tuned, because there 
are more giveaways 
coming up soon!!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blog Tour Book Review: Falling, by J. Bennett

Welcome to this stop 
in the tour for Falling 
(Girl with Broken Wings, #1),
sponsored by
Innovative Online Book Tours!!

About the Book

(Girl with Broken Wings, #1)
J. Bennett
Trade Paperback, 236 pages
Endeavor Writing
July 20, 2013
Dystopian Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Science Fiction, Thrillers

Book SynopsisMaya knew something was wrong.  The stranger's glowing hands were a big tipoff.  When the stranger murders Maya's boyfriend with a single touch, drags the college sophomore to an abandoned storage unit, and injects her with a DNA-altering serum, Maya prays for a savior.  Instead, she gets a double helping of knight-in-not-so-shining-armor when two young men claiming to be her half-brothers pull off a belated rescue.  Now Maya is swiftly transforming into an "angel", one of the scientifically-enhanced, energy-sucking creatures her brothers have spent their whole lives trying to destroy.  Maya's senses sharpen, her body becomes strong and agile, and she develops the ability to visually see the emotions of those around her as colorful auras....beautiful auras....tempting auras.  Struggling to control the murderous appetite that fuels her new abilities, this reluctant protagonist must find a way to accept her new condition and learn to trust her angel-hunting brothers as she joins them in their fight against the powerful and destructive creatures.  On the up side, at least Maya's eldest brother has stopped trying to kill her.

My Review

There are so many positive adjectives I can apply to this novel, I scarcely know where to begin.  It's totally exciting.  Dramatic.  Vividly intense.  Poignant.  There are humorous passages, as well.  Need I add that it's an utterly riveting, page-turning read?

The cover perfectly illustrates the drama and darkness of this fascinating novel.  I love the picture of the girl desperately clutching her temples, as she gazes at her winged reflection on the ground, with the two mysterious figures in the background.  As for the title, the heavily stylized letter "F", in the word, "Falling" is amazingly done, and very effective.  

With this book, Bennett takes on a very serious, vitally important theme -- the dangers inherent in the attempt to create 'super humans'.  I see her novel as an implied criticism of the modern movement known as transhumanism.  According to Wikipedia, this is "an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities."  Critics of this movement cite such possible negative outcomes as dehumanization, the threat of coercive eugenics procedures, threats to morality and democracy, and other grave existential risks.  

In this novel, the super humans are also monsters.  For some reason, these frightening creatures have given themselves the name of "angels".  They are more accurately described as energy vampires.  They must survive on the energy they suck from other beings, especially humans, killing them in the process.  Although they can also absorb energy directly from the sun, it's never quite enough, and 'the hunger' is terrifyingly intense.... They are also supremely arrogant,  contemptuous of those whom they consider beneath them: normal, average humans.  All this is in stark contrast to the nature of real angels, so it strikes me as very ironic, as well as presumptuous, that these beings would dare to give themselves such a name.  

In spite of the book's dark theme, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole plot, from beginning to end.  That was largely due to Bennett's deft characterizations and brilliant prose.  I was even willing to overlook the unfortunate appearance of "the F bomb" every few pages.  Believe me, it's not every day I find myself doing such a thing!

The following paragraph is a sample of Bennett's powerful, vivid prose:

"Mostly, the hunger is a song with a secret melody only I can hear.  The music clings to each breath of wind and the calm in between.  It hums along the spongy corridors of my brain, each note jumping from one stalled synapse to the next.  At night, when the sun cannot feed me its thin soup, the song grows loud as thunder captured in my bones.  Destruction concealed beneath the beauty."  (From the Prologue, pg. 3) 

Maya, the main protagonist, vividly comes to life, with her passionate, loving nature, as well as her insecurities.  In spite of these, she puts up a valiant fight to overcome the horrible hunger that now consumes her.  Her attempts to fit in and bond with her newly-discovered brothers are very touching and poignant, revealing the fact that she's still human to some extent, in spite of her transformation.

Gabe and Tarren, Maya's brothers and the novel's two other protagonists, are perfectly drawn, as well.  Gabe is the easy-going, fun-loving one, and he immediately accepts his sister in spite of her new nature.  I loved his silly Chuck Norris jokes, his witty one-liners, and the way he felt protective of Maya, in spite of her insistence that she had no need of protection.  If I could have had a brother, I would have picked someone like Gabe.

Tarren is the suspicious, tough-skinned brother.  He's always on his guard, expecting Maya to turn on either him, Gabe, or both, at any moment.  He and Gabe are always at odds wherever their sister is concerned.  Their arguments create much of the tension in the plot, since the reader never knows whether Tarren will end up eliminating Maya, in spite of Gabe's insistence that she will not end up killing them.  It was so heartrending to see Maya constantly striving to connect with Tarren emotionally, without much success.

I was somewhat uncomfortable with the brothers' self-appointed mission to hunt down and kill as many angels as possible.  But then, these angels were killing innocent human beings, and they had to be stopped somehow.  This is where the cruel realities of life can render a potentially evil situation as a morally ambiguous one.  If the brothers were to stop their activities, more innocent people would die....

The ending is open-ended, because there are, of course, more installments to follow.  I am very happy about this, since I want to read as many of these books as Ms. Bennett is willing to write!  I love her gritty characters and the way they manage to pull together, in spite of their interpersonal difficulties.  I also love the oppressively grim plot that, paradoxically, contains a ray of hope.  This is dystopian fiction at its best!

To sum up, I have discovered a bold new talent to follow!  I'm also hoping the books will make it to the silver screen in the foreseeable future; the action-filled plots, as well as the interpersonal dynamics among the three main characters, would translate well to that medium.  Fans of dystopian fiction, thrillers, and science fiction, take note!


Reviewer's Note

I would like to thank Ms. Bennett
for providing me with  a
print copy of her book.
This has in no way affected my opinion
 of this novel; I must honestly give
praise when it's really due.
In this case, it's well deserved!!

About the Author

J. Bennett is a professional copywriter and copy editor, as well as a novelist.  She lives and writes in Southern California.

Works by J. Bennett

Girl with Broken Wings Series
The Vampire's Housekeeper Chronicles
(short story, #1)
(short story, #2)
(short story, #3)

Online Links

For the complete schedule
of participating blogs,
just click on this button!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Book Frenzy Blog Hop/Giveaway!!

Welcome to my stop for the 
March Book Frenzy Blog Hop, 
which kicks off today!!
This hop is brought to you by

Eight authors over four days!!
Romance, Historical Fiction
For Kindle Count Down Deals on 
the hop catalog, just click HERE.

 Click on the button below for the hop post link.

Hop participants are to select 
the one or two covers and titles 
they prefer, and explain why.
Here are my choices!

She Belongs To Me
Trade Paperback, 330 pages
 I love book covers that incorporate the color blue!  I will always feel attracted to such covers first.  So this one caught my eye right away.  This is the cover for the novel's paperback edition.  The Kindle edition has the same cover, but there's an alternate one, which is pictured in the banner above.  I much prefer this one, because I like the combination of images, plus I don't like to read ebooks.  Also, the hot pink on two of the houses is very effective, I think; it makes them really stand out!  As for the plot, it definitely sounds very exciting and interesting.  I've already added this book to my Goodreads shelves, as well as my Amazon wish list for contemporary romances! 

Trade Paperback, 382 pages
This cover has an Old World look, which is perfect for the plot.  Although the muted tones here are not really favorites of mine, I do like the combination of images.  The girl seems to be looking at the viewer with some apprehension, while beyond her, a pirate ship sails along, with a stormy sky as background.  I also like the hazy image of an old-fashioned compass, superimposed on the nautical landscape.  I've already checked out the synopsis, and love it!  Pirates mean lots of exciting adventures, and there's a bit of romance in this novel, as well!  This book, too, is now on my Goodreads bookshelves and Amazon wish list -- the one for fantasy!


Check out the prizes authors
are sponsoring!

 $35, $25, $20 Amazon GC
or Paypal Cash,
2 featured ebooks from 
each author!!

Two $20 Amazon GC
or Paypal Cash!!

Click HERE for blogger giveaway.

Please visit as many of the authors' blogs as you can, as well as
those of the hop participants.
This hop is aimed at promoting the
work of these 8 bestselling
authors, helping to get
followers for their social media
platforms, as well as increase
the number of newsletter
subscribers.  Thus, your
follows and shares mean the
world, and thank you in advance
for helping achieve this!

Carmen DeSousa 
Lorrie Farrelly 
Donna Fasano
Dianne Greenlay
Joanne Hill 
Mary Smith
 Abby L. Vandiver 
Jackie Weger   

Fabulosity Reads Book Promotions is a book touring website that promotes authors and their precious works to an extensive audience, using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, with the aim of introducing them to an appreciative readership.

They offer a diverse range of complimentary and affordable products to help the reach of your book go that much further.

Be sure to visit the rest of the
participating blogs!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #98: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

City of Heavenly Fire
(The Mortal Instruments #6)
Hardcover, 752 pages
Margaret K. McElderry Books
May 27, 2014
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, 
Young Adult Fiction

Book Synopsis
Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

Why am I waiting on this book?

Believe it or not, I do own the first 
FOUR volumes of this
incredibly awesome series,
and have yet to read them......
Woe is me!!!!
I have so, so, many GREAT books
I have not yet had the 
pleasure to dive into, it's not even funny!
But this, THIS series!!
I should have read at least the first
two books by now....
Needless to say, I'm waiting on this one
because I want to possess ALL SIX of 
these terrific volumes, because I want
to make it a point to escape 
into this exciting world
that so many YA addicts (like me!) 
are so crazy about!!
So....onto my Goodreads TBR shelves
and Amazon urban fantasy 
list this book goes!!!!!

Previous Volumes in the Series
(Click on the covers for each GR page.)

What do you think of my choice?
What incredibly AWESOME
book(s) are you
waiting on this week?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Spotlight/Giveaway!! Touching the Moon, by Lisa M. Airey

Welcome to this stop in the tour for 
Touching the Moon, sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

About the Book

Touching the Moon
Lisa M. Airey
Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Aakenbaaken & Kent
November 11, 2012
Paranormal Romance, Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Book Synopsis:  A gifted healer with a genetic secret and a haunted past, Julie Hastings takes her new veterinary degree to South Dakota hoping to bury memories of a physically abusive stepfather and un-protective mother. Although intending to lead a quiet life, she finds herself relentlessly pursued by two unwelcome suitors: the Chief of Police and a powerful member of the Sioux Indian Nation.

The man she chooses shatters her world-view. Her stepfather taught her that not all monsters run on four legs. Now Julie must face another truth—some beasts are good.

Book Excerpt

Julie Hastings, veterinarian, moonlights as lead singer in an all-police band called the Copper Pigs. She’s had a string of personal challenges including a stalker and a close encounter on a hiking trail. She tried to quit the band in order get her life back together, but the band is not willing to let her go. In this scene, band leader Elliott Rand convinces her to stay.

Julie practically bolted out of the apartment. Her heels clicked against the flooring like machine gun fire. Elliott followed behind her, his eyes following the swing of her hips and a lot of copper tassel. He couldn’t keep up. She was wearing freaking FMPs, and he couldn’t keep up.

“Why are we running?” Elliott asked.

“I thought that we were in a hurry,” said Julie, not breaking stride.

“I don’t want you to break a stiletto. Or punch a hole through the floor. I’ll put a bubble on the roof. Slow down, Jules.”

She slowed, then stopped, her shoulders set, her back to him. When he was abreast of her, she sighed. He bumped her gently with his shoulder. She bumped him gently in response.

 “The Copper Pigs won’t let you quit.”

“They cannot hog-tie me to a microphone, Elliott.”

“That was one of the plans. There were a few others.”

“Such as?”

“Well, we’ve got this holding pen back at the station.”

“Oh, good grief. I don’t want to hear anymore.”

Elliott chuckled. “Julie?”


“I won’t let you quit either.”

“Could I maybe have a little break, then? A couple of weeks? I’ve had a rough go of it lately.”

“I think we can manage a little sabbatical. The guys and I will use the time to learn a few new songs. Any requests?”

“‘Please Release Me, Let me Go?’”

“Nah. We’re not going to learn that one. How about ‘Stay’?”

She exhaled forcefully. “Okay. You win.”


They played until eleven. The tension that filled the air when Julie first arrived dissipated quickly, but then, Elliott had boomed, “She’s back on board, men” as soon as they had entered the room. She made her humble apologies and got bear-hugs in return.

“Damn good thing,” said George. “But, you weren’t going to get away.”

“We were hoping that Elliott would sweet-talk you,” said Ro-Bear. “If that failed, we were switching to Plan B.”

“Yep, Plan B,” said George.

“What was Plan B?” asked Julie.

“Well, Petey wanted to use the taser on you,” said Ro-Bear, “but he got overruled.”

“Taser!” exclaimed Julie.

“On low,” said Petey, “Just a little jolt to bring you back to your senses.”

“It was overruled. So that brought us to Plan C,” said George.

“The holding pen back at the station?” asked Julie.

“Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Someone has been divulging state secrets,” said George.

Everyone looked at Elliott.

“Whaaaat?” said Elliott. “I was just giving her a few options. Cooperation or coercion. She opted for cooperation. I had a solid plan, a successful plan.”

Elliott handed her a cup of hot tea. She was surprised to smell the heady note of Gentleman Jack. “And I need this because?”

“Because the last song on the first set is ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira.”

“No!” Julie breathed.

“Paybacks are hell,” said Elliott. “My band has been sweating bullets since you went all negatory on us; it’s your turn to squirm, Ms. Hastings.”