Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review: Solid

Solid by Shelley Workinger is a self-published novel about a teenage girl who was the subject of a military experiment. She and a hundred others are sent to a summer camp where the government can figure out what happened to them. The doctor who conducted the experiment did so without sharing much of anything.

Once there, they are sorted into groups, separated out by interests. There are the jocks, the art people, and everyone else. Clio and her friends know that there is more going on than what they've been told.

The story is fun, and the characters are interesting. (There were a couple of crush-worthy guys in this one!) I didn’t want to put it down. My only complaint was the climax scene. I was surprised by who the "bad guys" were, but... it was a bit anti-climactic. But still, I really enjoyed this one. Probably my favorite of all the self-published novels I've ever read. If you’re sick of the regular vamps and weres YA urban fantasy, check out Solid


Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except the living, breathing, human products of his work.

Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance. 

As Clio comes into her remarkable ability, embraces new friendships and embarks on first love, she also can't shake the suspicion that the government has not been as forthcoming with their attentions as they claimed...

And don’t forget to get your pre-orders in for Settling, book two in the Solid trilogy! It comes out July 4th!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review: Mockingbird

What drew me to read Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is the fact that the main character, Caitlin, is a girl with Asperger’s. I work with autistic adults, and we have a few clients with Asperger’s. So I was curious if A) Kathryn Erskine got it right, and B) to see if it might help me understand our Asperger’s guys a bit more. I believe she did get it right. And while I do understand a lot of our clients, I've never tried to get in their heads the way this book does.

It’s very easy to sympathize with Caitlin. She has no mother, and her brother is recently deceased. She has a disability in which the main issue is communicating and understanding. Her father is having a difficult time, and Caitlin can’t seem to do or say the right things. Emotions are confusing for her. She doesn’t understand others’ emotions, nor does she know how to correctly express hers. She doesn’t know what she feels. She’s a bright child, as most kids with Asperger’s are.

I think one of the best things about this book, is that it’ll help kids, teens, and adults understand this disorder. Asperger’s/Autism is such a huge thing now. Almost everyone knows someone who has it. And within the diagnoses, there are a million variables. Line up 100 of our clients with the same diagnosis, and they are all very different. (Which is why the Autism ribbon is a puzzle.) I highly recommend this book. Everyone should read it. Especially those who don’t understand Asperger’s.


Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon has died, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure- and she realizes this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be black and white after all.

It was recently released in paperback.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: Amaretto Flame and Giveaway Winner

I was offered the opportunity to review Amaretto Flame the debut novel by Sammie Spencer. The main character, Olivia, is an extraordinary witch of nineteen years, who is to be the next high priestess of Eagleton Coven. Her powers are destructive, something which bothers her a great deal. She lost both of her parents when she was young and was taken in by Ivanna to be raised with her own kind. Everett, Max, and Sylvia are her coven siblings, and she and Everett are inseparable.

Which makes her banishment to a human town that much more difficult. Olivia is expected to live as a human, something she’s never had to do before. She gets a job at a bar and makes friends… with humans. It’s something she never thought would happen. Apparently, we aren’t as bad as she thought. Enter hottie musician Jackson Vance.

I loved this book. There were twists and turns and nothing was quite what it seemed. The characters were well written, and I enjoyed them all. They complimented each other well. The story unfolded in a way that kept me guessing. I only figured out the twists just before Olivia did. This book definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Be sure to visit Sammie Spencer’s blog  and follow her on Twitter.


Olivia has spent her life learning about her enemies, the deadly Venator - including how to kill them. What she knows nothing about is whiskey, playing poker, or rugged, copper-haired musicians. As punishment for a small 'crime,' Olivia is sent to a safe house in a human town and forced to live as one of them for a summer. There, she meets the charming Jackson Vance, and her real education begins. She soon discovers that she's being hunted, and figuring out why means she uncovers a secret that threatens to end everything she's ever fought for.

And now… what you’ve been waiting for… the winner!

Congrats to Tegan from Not Your Faerytale for winning the giveaway. Sammie will contact you soon.

Didn’t win? Be sure to get a copy of Amaretto Flame for your Kindle.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Post by Sammie Spencer and Giveaway

Playing Favorites

Andrea has kindly allowed me to take over her blog for a bit to talk about my YA paranormal romance Amaretto Flame. This book is the first in the Eagleton Coven series, with Shadow Wishes coming in late summer or fall. (Just picked that name today - SO exciting!)  Today, I thought I'd talk a little about my characters, and why I *do* pick favorites. I hope you enjoy!

My Favorite: I know, I hero or my heroine should probably be my favorite character, but the truth is, I think Everett is my favorite character. Everett is the 17 year old coven brother to Olivia (main character), and has had a very difficult life. Because of this, he's had to grow up quickly and he still carries around the wounds of what happened to him as a child. Even with all of that, he loves innocently and wholeheartedly. He is not only very cute, but he has qualities that I strive to have myself. Soft-spoken, respectful, a fierce fighter - Everett is very close to my heart.

Second Favorite: Olivia would be my second favorite. Like Everett, her childhood was very rough, and she does love fiercely, but she also restrains herself a little more in that department. In the beginning of Amaretto Flame, you'll see (if you haven't read it) how Olivia is prejudiced against humans because of the life she has led. It's not her fault - it's just the natural conclusions she came to after witnessing the things she's witnessed. That said, she's also sworn to protect them, and would do anything to keep one of them from being hurt by the Venator (witch hunters that kill Wise Ones and humans alike.) The thing I love most about Olivia is that she makes her own decisions, and you'll see that in the book as she becomes close to humans, she realizes that they're much different than she originally thought.

Third Favorite: Jackson. *sigh* Yes, even as his creator, I love him. In the beginning of the book, you'll see that Jackson is something of a ladies man. In all fairness, he lets all of his...uh, ladies, know that he's not interested in anything serious. He is not dishonest with them. Aside from this little flaw, he's soft-hearted and a great friend. Of course, when love wants you, you can't stop it...I'll let you discover what I mean by that in the book if you haven't read it. Jackson is fiercely loyal and would do just about anything to protect those he loves. For all these reasons and more, I am very fond of him.

Of course, I love all the characters in my book, but I think some of them (Sylvia for instance) are still discovering who they really are. If you've read the book, who are your favorite characters? Thanks for letting me take up a bit of your time to tell you about my characters and why they mean so much to me!!

Check out the other stops on Sammie's book tour.

May 1 - Tattooed Books - Character Guest Post *BLOG TOUR KICKOFF*  
May 2 - YABound  - Character Interview with Everett
May 3 - Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm - Character Guest Post + Character Interview
May 4 - I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read - Review and Character Interview
May 5 - Jagged Edge - Guest Post and Giveaway
May 6 - Diary of a Bookworm - Review and Giveaway
May 7 - Dark Readers - Review and Giveaway
May 8 - Kayleigh M. Books - Review + (To Be Determined)
May 9 - Wicked Awesome Books - Review
May 10 - Aine's Realm - Review
May 11 - Izzie Vandero - Character Interview
May 12 - A Life Bound by Books - Character Guest Post
May 13 - Pagan Culture - Fiction Journeying and Giveaway
May 14 - I Heart YA Books - Blog Tour Wrap Up!

Thanks, Sammie! Be sure to check out her blog, follow her on Twitter, and add Amaretto Flame to your Goodreads. And now... it's Giveaway Time!

Leave a comment with your email to be entered to win a Smashwords ebook of Amaretto Flame and some swag (pictured below)! Winner will be posted in a few days with my review. ;)


Most blogs will be having giveaways, whether it's a free Kindle Edition of Amaretto Flame, author swag, or extra goodies. *Those who visit EVERY stop and comment  on the posts will be entered to win a BIG end prize in addition to the prizes for each stop

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book Review: Graveminder

"Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

I have been a fan of the Wicked Lovely series since book one. I was lucky enough to get to read three of the books in the series early, and now, Graveminder. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved her faeries. But this was walking dead… and adult.

I LOVED IT!   Honestly, in my opinion, it was even better than her Wicked Lovely books. The writing was amazing. If you’ve read her young adult series, you can see the writing getting stronger with each book. The story was new and unique. The characters were well developed. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Definitely pick this one up when it hits shelves.


Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." 

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

*If I get to 750 blog followers by the time I meet Melissa again on May 27, I'll give a signed copy away ;) *