Waiting on Wednesday–Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I love the title for Stephen Blackmoore’s February release – Dead Things just sounds so cool!

In stores February 2013

 

Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it’s a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left L.A. fifteen years ago he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter’s going to find out who did it and he’s going to make them pay.

As long as they don’t kill him first.

What are you waiting on?

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop-Win The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle!

Welcome to my  Spooktacular giveaway,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Rhiannon from The Diary of a Bookworm.  This hop runs from October 24 to October 31  and you can win lots of new reads. There are over 400 blogs participating in this hop!  Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I recently read and enjoyed The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, and I think you will, too!  It is scary and suspenseful, and oh-so hard to put down!

About the book:

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following! US addresses only, please.

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Excerpt: Iced by Karen Marie Moning

Karen Marie Moning is sharing an excerpt from her new book, Iced, which hits shelves on 10/30.  I haven’t read any of her books yet, so I am looking forward to checking out Iced.   Have you read the Fever series? Are you looking forward to Iced?

 

Iced: A Dani O’Malley Novel (Fever Series) by Karen Marie Moning

More info about the book:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning picks up where Shadowfever leaves off with Iced, the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy set in the world of the blockbuster Fever series.

The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

You can order Iced from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:

Waiting On Wednesday–Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Yeah, yeah, everyone seems to be waiting for Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans.  Me, too!  I’m officially tossing my hat into the waiting pile.

In stores January 2013

    s

In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.

Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.

Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.

Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

What are you waiting on?

This Week’s New and Notable Young Adult Releases–October 9

There are a couple of big buzz titles this week.  Velveteen, Mystic City, and Valkyrie Rising are at the top of my wish list.  What’s on yours?

Click the covers for the Amazon product page.

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin (Oct 9, 2012)

After by Ellen Datlow (Oct 9, 2012)

Samurai Awakening by Benjamin Martin (Oct 10, 2012)

The Bridge by Jane Higgins (Oct 9, 2012)

Bushman Lives! by Daniel Pinkwater (Oct 9, 2012)

Guardian  (A Halflings Novel) by Heather Burch (Oct 9, 2012)

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh (Oct 9, 2012)

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. II: The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges (Oct 9, 2012)

My Own Revolution by Carolyn Marsden (Oct 9, 2012)

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (Oct 9, 2012)

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab (Oct 9, 2012)

Paradise by Joanna Nadin (Oct 9, 2012)

Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay (Oct 9, 2012)

A Thunderous Whisper by Christina Gonzalez (Oct 9, 2012)

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Oct 9, 2012)

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson (Oct 9, 2012)

Velveteen by Daniel Marks (Oct 9, 2012)

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton (Oct 9, 2012)

Demon Eyes (Witch Eyes) by Scott Tracey (Oct 8, 2012)

Foxfire (An Other Novel) by Karen Kincy (Oct 8, 2012)

The FitzOsbornes at War (The Montmaray Journals) by Michelle Cooper (Oct 9, 2012)

Interview with Ingrid Paulson, author of Valkyrie Rising

Ingrid Paulson is the author of Valkyrie Rising, a book I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on.  Ingrid very kindly took some time out of her busy day to answer a few of my questions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Ingrid Paulson] Science nerd and avid reader turned young adult writer. Former Olympic athlete (not really).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Valkyrie Rising?

[Ingrid Paulson] I’m a huge fan of girl power stories, so I set out to write the kind of book I would want to read. In a nutshell, Valkyrie Rising is about a girl (Ellie) who comes into her own while visiting her grandmother in Norway. Boys start mysteriously disappearing, including her brother, and it’s up to Ellie to save them all and overthrow an ancient power. And along the way learns a few unexpected things about her family history.

But I think the copy on the back of the galley says it best:

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s astonishingly epic coming-of-age.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Ingrid Paulson] A few years ago, I went on a trip Norway with the Paulson women, and I was so inspired by the mountains and fjords that I wanted to write a book based on the setting alone. I knew right away it would include Valkyries—I’ve always loved the idea of strong warrior women.

I was actually working on a different book, but Tuck and Ellie captured my imagination so suddenly and completely that I sat down and started sketching out scenes. The rest of the story came together around those two characters and the setting.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Ingrid Paulson] There are about a million challenges in writing a book–it’s hard to pick just one! But I think I struggled most with the ending and ended up re-writing it several times. I’d set up big stakes in the first three-quarters of the book and it was hard to tie everything back up together in a satisfactory way while keeping the action fast and light. Fortunately, I had an amazing editor who helped me work through those issues.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Ellie?

[Ingrid Paulson] This is hard because Ellie changes a lot during the course of the story. But the girl she becomes by the final scene is determined, resilient, and brave.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Tucker would never have in his pocket?

[Ingrid Paulson] Tucker is the type to always travel light. It’s not likely he’d have anything but his cell phone and a credit card or two. But he’d definitely never have another girl’s number, even if he’s likely to be slipped more than a few. He also wouldn’t be caught dead with anything relating to school or homework. Part of his casual confidence thing is never admitting he puts work into anything.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Ingrid Paulson] I love reading and that definitely inspired me to start writing. And this might sound creepy, but I also really enjoy people watching (I’m a shameless and painfully obvious eavesdropper). I think that contributed a lot to creating the other people who reside in my head.  In the case of Valkyrie Rising, travel was also a huge influence—I was fortunate enough to stumble across incredible vistas in Norway that made me itch to describe them on paper.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Ingrid Paulson] I need coffee and silence. When I hit a tricky scene or plot issue, I often work it out on a long run, so I guess I need running shoes too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Ingrid Paulson] That is a hard question! I think the biggest contributor to my love of reading was a father who would sit and read to me for hours and hours on end. His love of books is infectious. However, I was a huge fan of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein and can still recite embarrassing amounts of their works.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Ingrid Paulson] Lately, I feel like I’m always either writing or secretly thinking about writing while pretending to pay attention to something else. But I live in San Francisco, pretty close to the bay, so I just love being outside and wandering the city with my daughter. I love to travel (who doesn’t) and spending time with my friends.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Ingrid Paulson] My websites is: www.ingridepaulson.com

I’m on twitter @ingridepaulson.com

Facebook:  Valkyrie Rising

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Valkyrie Rising from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital.

{teen} Book Scene Tour–Meet Nick from Daniel Marks’ Velveteen

 

Thanks to {teen} Book Scene, hunky Nick from Daniel Marks’ edgy Velveteen dropped by for a short visit. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hey, Nick, what three words best describe you?

[Nick] Uh…are there three words that mean awesome? I’ll go charming, thoughtful and flexible. Though if you asked Velvet, I’m sure she’d come up with different ones, probably of the four-letter variety.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us what you think of your new co-worker, Velveteen?

[Nick] She’s pretty scary, but I’m into that, apparently. I don’t think I would have ever thought twice about a girl like her when I was alive. We just wouldn’t have run in the same circles, but now that I’m with her all the time. I can’t stop thinking about her. She says it’s Stockholm Syndrome, that I’m only into her because I’m stuck with her. I don’t really care. She can hold me hostage forever.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Empty your pockets right now – what did you have in them?

[Nick] Lint. Ash. There’s always ash in Purgatory. You gotta ask me that question when I’m possessing a dead body. It’s crazy what people shove in their loved ones’ pockets when they think no one will ever see. Crazy. I found a petrified mouse one time, and I thought at first it crawled in on its own, until I saw it’s collar.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Is it hard being the hunkiest guy in City of the Dead?

[Nick] Well. That sort of comes naturally. No. I’m kidding. I’m absolutely not the hottest. I’m the second hottest. So when he moves on to wherever he goes, then. Then. I’ll be golden. Nah. I dunno. That’s weird.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Nick, if you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Nick] Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. My mom loved old 70s rock and that song really says it all, doesn’t it? Because there was no reaper, get it. Okay. Stupid joke.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you! I know you are a busy guy, so I’ll let you get back to business.

You can purchase Velveteen from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

About the book:

Readers of Carrie Ryan and Richelle Mead will love this dark revenge fantasy.

At sixteen, Velveteen Monroe was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven either. Grey, ashen and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do there. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal…and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

Bio:

Daniel Marks writes young adult horror and fantasy, spends way too much time glued to the internets and collects books obsessively (occasionally reading them). He’s been a psychotherapist for children and adolescents, a Halloween store manager, and has survived earthquakes, volcanoes and typhoons to get where he is today, which is to say, in his messy office surrounded by half empty coffee cups. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Caroline, and three furry monsters with no regard for quality carpeting. None. Velveteen is his debut YA fantasy (Delacorte/Random House Kids). Follow the author on Twitter: @dannymarksya Check out his Youtube channel! youtube.com/dannymarksya

Review: Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles)

Author:  Alyxandra Harvey

Drake Chronicles #5

Digital – Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles)

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange’s fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in danger.
The POVs are: Solange, Lucy and Nicholas.


Review:

I love the Drake Chronicles, and if you had told me a few years ago that I would be eating up a YA series about vampires, I would have wondered what you had been smoking.  The vampire craze never made sense to me, and I find other paranormal beings much more compelling.  Give me a good zombie story, with lots of screaming and running for your life, and I’m happy. Give me a vampire story where the vamps aren’t romantic leads but terrifying, ruthless killers, and I might have been interested.  But a story about a large brood of single, sexy vampire brothers (and one very confused sister), and I’m, like, yawn, so I have to thank Bloomsbury for sending the first book in this series to me, because they got me totally hooked.  Thanks, Bloomsbury!!

Blood Moon picks up right were the previous installment, Bleeding Hearts, left off.  Solange is losing her battle against her feral nature, and not even her BFF, Lucy, is safe in her presence.  Solange is so unstable that  her strong family doesn’t know what to do or how to control her.  She lashes out at everyone, and she falls under the sway of Constantine, a powerful vampire with hidden goals of his own.  When Nicholas goes missing, not even his sudden disappearance can mend Solange’s broken relationships long enough to find her brother.

I loved this installment, right up until the non-ending.  That is non-ending number two for the series, and it’s something that tries my patience.  While I am happy that there will be another book in the series, stopping this one almost in mid-sentence is disappointing.  Even when a book is part of a series, I still expect each installment to have a beginning and an ending.  I expect minor story arcs to get wrapped up, leaving the bigger plot thread for another day.  It’s hard to recommend a book to my friends that just slams into a brick wall and ends with a “Well, see ya next time!”  The momentum is lost by the time I pick up the next book in a series, and there’s an awkward period of adjustment as I struggle to remember who everyone is and what everything is about.  I would rather wait until all of the pieces are released before wading into the thick of things, and I usually advise my friends to wait until a series is complete.  Sorry, that’s just the way I roll.  I refuse to read another George R R Martin book until A Song Ice and Fire is finished, because I hate the years and years gaps between his books, and that is probably my favorite series.

Blood Moon examines the relationship between Lucy and Solange, returning to the series’ roots.  The action starts off with Lucy having to taser an ever more unstable Solange.  It seems that even being her best friend is no guarantee of her safety.   With  Kieran bleeding to death after a ravenous Solange can’t resist feasting on his rich, enticing blood, Lucy is desperate to get him the medical attention he needs, as well as keeping herself from becoming a vampire snack.  The constant push and pull between the girls was compelling; Solange doesn’t want to keep striking out at Lucy, but she just can’t help herself.  With Constantine there to encourage her drinking fresh from the vein blood, she is spiraling ever faster out of control.  Her hunger drives her, and she can’t quench it.  And, oh, yeah, she’s hearing a voice in her head, one that urges her to think of no one but herself and to hell with the consequences.

I wish that Nicholas and Lucy had more page time together, because they are my favorite couple.  Alas, he’s abducted, making  cuddle time impossible.  Lucy’s frantic efforts to find him are in vain, and I loved the scene on the school roof, which has her screaming out her fear, rage, and helplessness into the night air.  Poor Lucy!  I could feel her emotional pain, and I think I, too, would have felt so frustrated that I would have screamed uncontrollably until my eyes bled.  For a girl who is accustomed to taking charge, to acting to save her friends, her helplessness was agonizing.  For the first time in the series, she gives in to her fear.  There is nothing she can do to save Nicholas except wait for him to be found, and that does not agree with her heart, or her personality, one little bit.

I enjoyed this outing with the Drakes right up until the non-ending, and if I had known about it, I would have held off until January, when Blood Prophesy hits stores.   I am by nature impatient, so I hate these waits to see how all of the cliffhangers will play out.  I’d rather hold off until the final book is released, especially for a series that I love, instead of getting annoyed by these dreaded non-endings.  How do you feel about cliffhangers?  Love ‘em? Hate ‘em?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts about them.

Grade:   B- (minor deduction for the cliffhanger ending)

Review copy purchased from Amazon  (I also received a finished copy from Bloomsbury after I purchased a digital version from Amazon.  I will be giving this away soon, so check back if you’re interested!)