Archive | October 2012

The Amulet by Alison Pensy

Overview from Goodreads: To seventeen-year-old Faedra, faeries were nothing more than the figurines she collected and displayed in her curio cabinet. She was in for the surprise of her life.

Faedra had no idea that faeries controlled nature, and with a book no less. Nor did she know that her descendants had protected an ancient fae amulet for thousands of years. An amulet that if ever was reunited with the book would give the wearer power to control the weather, too. She didn’t know all this because the one person to teach her died when she was just six years old. Well, now it was time for her to find out…

A letter from the grave reveals her true identity the day of her eighteenth birthday. But she barely has time to digest the revelation when she is plunged into a fight for her life and that of mankind.

My thoughts: Honestly, I’d give this book more of a 3.5. I really enjoyed reading it, but there were a few things that confused me.

Let’s begin with the impossible actions. There are a few scenes that seems impossible to me. The action described defies the basic laws of physics. I recognize that they’re in another world with magic, so it’s possible for unrealistic things to happen. However, the skeptic in my just doesn’t agree with the possibility of defying the laws of nature in a book that’s not science fiction.

I do like the main character Faedra. Her “goody-two-shoes” personality appeals to me because sweet main characters aren’t too common lately. The author does a good job of creating a character that is nice and usually follows the rules but still has quirks that makes her interesting. The one thing I don’t like about Faedra is that sometimes she seems like Kristen Stewart, except with four emotions instead of one. She’s also easily impressed and usually dropping her jaw.

There are some instances in which Faen acts out of character. It could be because Faen is guarding himself well and only let’s his real personality out occasionally, but sometimes I just don’t understand why Faen acts out of character, especially later in the book when developing his relationship with Faedra. I like their relationship and friendship, and I think it adds a great element to the book. However, their relationship seems awkward at first, and my reaction to their relationship climax was, “What the heck did I just read?!” I think the climax could’ve been orchestrated better and not seem so force.

Plot wise, I love the twists and turns. It’s not just like any other faerie/fairy story out there.  I love love how Faedra’s mother plays into this story. The mysterious mother keeps my attention, and I hope there’s more information about her in later books. I like how she purposely laid out Faedra’s task yet still left questions for Faedra to solve, allowing Faedra to grow on her own.

One other thing that bugs me is Faedra’s interactions with her family. Maybe the British act differently than Americans, but Faedra’s relationship with her father, uncle, and aunt just seem so casual. She doesn’t address Uncle Leo’s wife as “Aunt Nicki.” It’s just Nicki. To me, this is completely disrespectful. She also treats the older people in her family more like friends than family, and it just baffles me. However, I realize that all families are different, and that I should appreciate this book showing me a different style of family. It’s just very different from my own.

There’s lots of description, and some of it is chunky. It makes the book a bit hard to slug through at times. That’s the main easy I didn’t rate this book as a 4. Description can be a good thing, and sometimes it’s well used in this book. However, if some of it was subtracted or made more concise, the book wouldn’t have lost its meaning.

Also, just for kicks, since the author grew up in England, she uses lots of British terms. I learned some new words from this book. Yay, learning experiences!

I found this book for free on Amazon and downloaded it to my Kindle.

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Delievered to My Kindle 10/23/12

Welcome to another DTMK Edition! Just a reminder — DISCLAIMER: I don’t know how good these books actually are, all I know is that they sound interesting and they’re free.

 

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching: I’m really looking forward to this book. Most of the stories I read usually involve someone trying to revive another person back from the dead and have to battle a gatekeeper. This time it’s about a gatekeeper. ^_^

Description: When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. A beautiful and mysterious neighbor offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. But in exchange she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a protector of human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions her motives for helping him.

 

11:15: The Making of a Halfling by Heather Burch: Some of the stories I’ve read about halflings or someone changing into a mythical creature haven’t been so great. There are few that really call out to me. However, the book is free, so might as well get it just in case it’s somewhat decent. The description isn’t very…descriptive, but it has some good reviews on Amazon.
Description: Mace and Raven are given a mission to stop a catastrophic event. With his halfling abilities still untapped, Vine is allowed to join the mission, but only as a spectator. The clock is ticking and the tragedy is proving difficult to stop. Will Vine be able to sit back and watch, or will the power of heaven unleash just in time?

 

 

Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith: At first, I was really weary about this book, mainly because it involves spirituality and romance. So to be honest, I picked up this ebook for a good laugh and to make fun of it. We’ll see how I feel about it when I start reading it. Maybe it’s better than I expect

Description: Joan Sanderson’s life is stuck. Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is living at home with Mom and looking after her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement. That is, until a hunky young doctor moves in next door. Suddenly Joan has a goal–to get a date. But it won’t be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly with him and Joan is sure that she can’t compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, maybe Joan can find her way out of this rut.

Bah, Humbug by Heather Horrocks

Description: Lexi Anderson is an up-and-coming, Martha Stewart-type TV hostess whose two kids love the Jared Strong adventure novels, which happen to be written by their new neighbor, Kyle Miller. For the first time in his writing career, Kyle has writer’s block–until he sees the snowman on his lawn and realizes it’s the perfect solution to his plot problem. He digs in and discovers two things: one, his villain’s weapon will fit inside a snowman’s body, and two, this particular snowman was supposed to be the backdrop for Lexi’s next show. From this improbable beginning comes friendship, but can there be a happy ending for a woman who is afraid to get close again and a man who has shadows from his childhood? Families join together and hearts are healed as this couple goes walking in a winter wonderland.

My thoughts: The story starts out nicely. I like how Lexi and Kyle are introduced. In particular, Lexi seems to be the most developed character; she’s my favorite because she has a straight-forward yet witty personality. Everyone else is pretty flat. It’s really annoying how the children are always grouped together. They kind of have their own personalities, but then they’re still just “the children” with generic personalities.

The beginning is enjoyable as the plot builds up, but then around chapter 9, the story takes a nose dive. The action proceeds a lot faster, and some of the actions described seem physically impossible, especially when Kenneth is having a snowball fight with Kyle and Kenneth…there’s only supposed to be one Kenneth in the story. Around chapters 8 and 9, the story also speeds up a lot. Everything seems to take place within a week, which makes no sense to me, especially considering Kyle and Lexi are potential long term love interests. It’s like the book moves so fast, they’re heading for disaster.

A lot of gender stereotypes are used. Lexi and Alyssa, the two women, are good with home making and emotions while the men just try to hold things in. Really? I understand using stereotypes, but the author could’ve at least changed them a little.

Description is kept to a minimum and the author uses lots of thoughts to progress the character development. Sometimes, it seems more like telling than showing. This novella starts out with a lot of potential and then…the potential disappears.
I found this on Amazon for free and downloaded it to my kindle.

A Package

whatsthis What’s this? A package for me?

digging Hmmm, I wonder… Clothes? Or better yet peaches? *Sniff Sniff* Smells like paper.

Send Oh! It’s the book I won from Joy Preble’s blog :3. Another book to add to the to-read list!

Send2
Tada! I entered a contest over at YA author Joy Preble’s blog. Luckily, my name was drawn from a hat and I won a giveaway. It’s my first one ever and so it’s really exciting! ^_^ The book sounds like a great read, and it’s especially relevant to today’s teenage population with the social media revolution constantly increasing on a daily basis.

Book description from Joy’s website: It’s been five years since I clicked Send.
Four years since I got out of juvie.
Three months since I changed my name.
Two minutes since I met Julie.
A second to change my life.

All Dan wants for his senior year is to be invisible. This is his last chance at a semi–normal life. Nobody here knows who he is. Or what he’s done. But on his first day at school, instead of turning away like everyone else, Dan breaks up a fight. Because Dan knows what it’s like to be terrorized by a bully—he used to be one.

Now the whole school thinks he’s some kind of hero—except Julie. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn’t really Daniel…

I’m looking forward to reading it ^_^

Delievered to My Kindle 10/9/12

Woohoo! It’s that time of the week again. I found a lot this week, but I’ll just comment on the interesting ones.

 

Jocelyn’s Journal by K.D. Rawden: It’s highly rated on Amazon, but barely rated on Goodreads. I think reading this book may be a shot in the dark. Judging from the description, I expect it to depict women’s issues. However, I like the idea of comparing the past and present.

Description: Given the average life expectancy of a woman living in America, barring illness or freak accident, Melanie Folk estimates that she has 18,980 days remaining in her life. Each day, she works at a job that she hates and rips another page off of the calendar in her mind, longing for that day of her sweet release. She can make it work. She’s always been good at getting by.

This plan seems to work well for her, until one morning when Melanie is shaken by an event which changes her perception of life and leaves her with an overwhelming urge to run.

When her parents decide to sell the house which once belonged to her deceased grandmother, Melanie seizes the opportunity, volunteering for the job of getting the house ready for sale.

Once she is hundreds of miles away from anything familiar to her, Melanie sees her world changing before her eyes, and she begins to experience the joys of independence for the very first time. She also finds the journal of a woman named Jocelyn, who moved into the same house with her new husband, during the turbulent days of the late 1930’s.

As Melanie explores the bright new world around her, she finds comfort and inspiration in the writings of the woman who had gone through a similar adventure decades before. Melanie’s comfort is short lived, however, as the experiences of the two women soon begin to diverge in ways both unexpected and tragic.

 

The Awakened: Book One by Jason Tesar: I’m also a little iffy about this ebook as well. I like the idea of magic and mythical creatures, but according to the reviews, there’s a lot of description. Description can make or break a story, and too much is a bad thing. If the wording is anything like the Hunger Games, I’ll lose interest. In the reviews, there are discrepancies about characters. Some people say the characters are unique but others say they’re predictable. I guess we’ll have to read for ourselves to find out.

Description: THE HISTORY: Over five thousand years ago, a renegade faction of angels abandoned the spiritual realm and began their inhabitation of earth. Worshiped as gods for their wisdom and power, they corrupted the realm of the physical and forever altered the course of history.

THE PROPHECY: Amidst the chaos of a dying world, a lone voice foretold the awakening of a warrior who would bring an end to this evil perpetrated against all of creation. But with the cataclysmic destruction of earth and rebirth of humanity, the prophecy went unfulfilled and eventually faded from the memory of our kind—until now!

THE AWAKENED: The physical dimension is fractured. What remain now are numerous fragmented worlds moving simultaneously through time, sharing a common history, connected only by a guarded portal. On a parallel earth, in the city of Bastul, Colonel Adair Lorus disappears while investigating the death of an informant, triggering a series of events which will tear his family apart and set in motion the resolution of an ancient struggle. Kael, sentenced to death after rising up against the cruel leadership of his new step-father, is rescued from prison and trained in the arts of war by a mystical order of clerics. Excelling in every aspect of his training, Kael inwardly struggles to give himself fully to the methods of his new family, or the god they worship. Maeryn, bitter over the disappearance of her husband and supposed execution of her son, fears for her life at the hands of her newly appointed husband. Finding comfort and purpose in her unborn child, she determines to undermine his authority by reaching out to an underground social movement known as the Resistance. After being forced from his home, Kael’s former mentor, Saba, uncovers a clue to Adair’s disappearance. Sensing a connection to his own forgotten past, Saba begins an investigation which leads to the discovery of a secret military organization operating within the Orudan Empire.

In book one of his debut series, Jason Tesar delves into the heart of an ancient legend, embarking on an epic saga that will journey from earth’s mythological past to its post-apocalyptic future, blending the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, and military/political suspense.

 

The Thirteenth Unicorn by W.D. Newman: Who doesn’t like unicorns? This ebook is actually geared towards children,which is quite different from what I usually find with free ebooks. Still, I’m up for an advenure with a unicorn! I wanna know what happens.

Description: While spending the summer with their grandparents on a remote farm in South Carolina, Ben Alderman and his sister Casey uncover a hidden world of magic; a world their grandmother is secretly visiting. It is a world where elves and dwarves are locked in mortal combat against a witch who is trying to free the last surviving wizard from exile. The witch has been defeated once before but with the combined power of the wizard, no one will be able to stand against them. Much to Ben’s dismay, he learns that he is the one foretold in the ancient elfin prophecies to bring about the downfall of the witch and save this exciting new world from destruction.

 

Knights: The Eye of Divinity by Robert. E. Keller: I’ve been on a Merlin kick lately, looking for anything King Arthur related. I have the BBC Merlin series to blame for that…and also my roommate. This novel seems really promising, especially considering it has 4.5 stars on Amazon.  A few reviewers on Goodreads are comparing it to Harry Potter. Hmmm…I wonder if that’s a good sign.

Description: Strange and legendary Dremlock Kingdom is facing destruction from both within and beyond its stone walls in the form of goblins–creatures spawned by evil that come in all shapes and sizes–and the Deep Shadow, a hungry and spreading force of dark sorcery that infects people with madness.

To save their kingdom, the knights recruit a lonely and isolated boy named Lannon who lives in a wooded valley with his crazy father, who bears a dark illness of the soul, and his foul-tempered mother. Lannon is sought out because he possesses a rare power called the Eye of Divinity. The knights need Lannon’s gift to see through the fog of evil that shrouds Dremlock Kingdom and give them the advantage they need to turn the tables on their ancient foe.

With the help of his friends, Lannon tries desperately to unlock the Eye of Divinity in time to save Dremlock Kingdom from otherwise certain doom. With the Deep Shadow creeping around the kingdom and infecting hearts and minds, Lannon isn’t sure if anyone in Dremlock can even be trusted. Lannon finds himself, and his fellow squires, caught in a web of mystery and magic in a kingdom where anything can happen.

Here are some other ebooks I found for free today:

The Book of Deacon by Joseph Lallo

The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue

The Sister Circle by Vonette Bright and Nancy Moser

1929 by M.L. Gardner

 

 

Delivered to My Kindle 10/2/12

Welcome to today’s Delivered to My Kindle! Let me say again: Keep in mind that some ebooks are only free for a week or two and then they cost money, so you must be quick about it if you want to own these without subtracting from your wallet. DISCLAIMER: I don’t know how good these books actually are, all I know is that they sound interesting and they’re free.

 

Everflame by Dylan Peters: This one just sounds completely exciting. It’s not often you find a fantasy book without erotica for free on Amazon. It has a Lord of the Rings feel to it. I can’t wait to read this one! First, I have to knock out some of my to-read list first.

Description: Long ago, when the earth was young… Four ancient beings created man to be the bastion of the earth and its creatures. But when The Great Tyrant came and chased The Ancients away, the world was transformed into a place of fear and isolation. Over time humans lost the connection they had with a world they had been created to protect. Now, deep in the forests that surround Gray Mountain, two bears find a small child that is abandoned and left for dead. They name him Evercloud, and raise him as a member of their kingdom. Teaching him the secrets of the elders, they tell him of the ancient beings that created man and the rumors of their return. Evercloud must now go on a quest to return The Ancients to power. However, in another corner of the land, a man known only as The Messenger travels the land under a white hood, on a mission to prevent the return of The Ancients. We follow the paths each of these men take until their stories collide in an epic battle of good versus evil.

 

 

Origins (Spinward Fringe) by Randolph Lalonde: Origins has more of a sci-fi theme. It’s another one I’m looking forward to reading. I feel lucky today!

Description: It is the distant future and one man, Jonas Valent, is letting his life slip by. He is employed by Freeground station as a port traffic controller, a job he took after completing a tour in the military. His only real joy in life is his participation in true-to-life military simulations with a cadre of friends who come together regularly to defeat challenges made to test the brightest military cadets and officers alike. These restricted scenarios stand as an addictive preoccupation that is so enticing that they ignore the potential repercussions of breaking in to participate.

When someone betrays their identities to the Freeground Fleet Admiralty, Jonas and his friends are faced with a far greater challenge: to venture out into the more populated regions of the galaxy to acquire technology and knowledge. They are tasked with laying the groundwork for the Freeground Nation in their efforts to reconnect with the rest of humanity, and to secure the armaments they might need to defend themselves from encroaching enemies.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins is a collected trilogy that chronicles the early adventures of an ambitious crew. Their leader, Jonas Valent, has the least to lose and everything to gain as he tells the tale of his first tour as Captain of a ship tasked with making allies and discovering new technologies for the good of his people. This simple mission becomes more complicated as the crew ventures further into the settled fringes of the galaxy.

This trilogy spawned the best selling Spinward Fringe eBook series. This is where it all began, when one man was challenged to aspire for more than an idle life.

A Space Opera Adventure enjoyed across the globe by all ages.

In other news, I think I found the book’s blog here: The Online Home of Randolph Lalonde.

 

Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series #1) by Lorena McCourtney: Based on the comments, I infer that this book is Christian fiction, but it still seems like a good read to me. However, it only has three stars on Goodreads; therefore, read with caution.

Description: She’s not your average crime fighter! Meet Ivy Malone, an inconspicuous older woman who has a mutant curiosity gene that often lands her in trouble. Unlike most women her age, she snoops and pries her gray-haired self into one hilarious escapade after another. So when vandals romp through the local cemetery, Ivy can’t help but put her snooping eyes to work as she launches her own unofficial investigation. Despite her unconventional sleuthing, Ivy soon becomes discouraged by her failure to turn up any solid clues. And after Ivy witnesses something ominous and unexplained, she can’t resist putting her investigative powers to work again. Even the authorities’ attempts to keep her out of danger and her nosy neighbor’s match-making schemes can’t slow Ivy down. But will the determination that fuels this persistent, spunky sleuth threaten her very safety? “I laughed out loud. McCourtney’s charming mystery debuts a voice both enchanting and startling.”-Colleen Coble, author of Without a Trace “McCourtney’s skill at blending whimsy, quirks, and questions into a lead character makes Invisible a must read.”-Lois Richer, author of Dangerous Sanctuary “Invisible is a treat! Ivy Malone is a heroine with spunk and determination!”-Carol Cox, author of A Stitch in Time

Enjoy reading. Hopefully, I’ve found some good ones today ^_^

 

But, Ogres Don’t Play Chess by Terri Bogard

Overview: To win the heart of the woman he loves, an ogre must pretend to be something he’s not. Can he convince her he’s more than just a set of muscles?

This story is part of The Monster Exchange Program series.

Short Story – 3700 words

My thoughts: This story is a really short one. Short and sweet. It’s beginning is probably the biggest adventure and also the scene with the most details. It takes stereotypical characters and turns them into interesting creatures with different anatomical features.

The setting seems like such an interesting place with a mix of present and sci-fi elements. However, it’s not fleshed out enough. The story is pretty fast pace, relying more on dialogue then description. Sometimes the events became confusing because they’re described pretty vaguely.

It would’ve been nice to be introduced to both sisters at the beginning of the book, and also have more information from Glumf’s side of the story. It’s a good things these guys are aliens or else I’d wonder if Glumf’s intelligence was realistic.

It’s a good short read and has a lot of potential to become something more if it’s fleshed out with more character depth, screen descriptions, and more events between the crushes and the crushees. On that note, I would like to add that I really liked the ending. I just wish it had more description on Glumf’s thought process. The last event was a bit rushed.

I found this short story for free on Amazon.com and downloaded it to my Kindle.