Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Fantasy (Middle Grade/YA)
608 pages
Rated:  5 stars

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

My review: Annabeth is always the leader of the quests. Fearless, strong, unnerved, and always ready for battle. But when her mother, Athena, appears to her on a bus with a demand, she feels like her world and her sanity is collapsing around her. Her mother gives her a small coin and a prophecy known to kill: “Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me.”

Annabeth is terrified and scared for Percy. All she wants is to have her life come back to normal. Well, as normal as a demigod’s life can be…but she is nervous that Percy might have changed. What if he has changed to the Roman ways? Does he want to come back to Camp Half-blood? Does he even care? Her life is difficult enough, but to be rejected by Seaweed Brain would be the worst..

Frank and Hazel, the two newest demigods in the series, are hauled aboard the Argo II after a terrible mishap, and set off with the five Greeks in a hazardous journey across the seas to Rome where Annabeth must face every child of Athena’s worst fear…along the way the meet new gods and creatures and of course, fighting Gaea every step of the way.

Riorden has done an amazing job again. I had been waiting for the moment for the Romans to meet the Greeks. That was definitely my favorite part. His talents in writing made the book come alive, and it’s almost as if I am in this alternative reality with the demigods. I love his sense of humor and knowledge of Greek myths. And, like the books before it, this one ends in a literal cliffhanger…

I can't recommend this book and the series enough.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Relocated by Margaret Fieland

Please welcome author Margaret Fieland on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours today. We're featuring information about her book, "Relocated" and she's shared a diary entry from the protagonist from her book.

Relocated by Margaret Fieland
Genre: Tween/YA sci fi
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Book Description:

When fourteen-year-old Keth's dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn't know what to expect. Certainly not to discover Dad grew up here, and studied with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. On Aleyne, Keth’s psi ability develops. However, psi is illegal in the Terran Federation. After a dangerous encounter with two Terran teenagers conflict erupts between Keth and his father. Keth seeks sanctuary with Ardaval. Studying with the Aleyne scholar Keth learns the truth about his own heritage. After Keth's friend's father, Mazos, is kidnapped, Keth ignores the risks and attempts to free him. Little does he realize who will pay the cost as he becomes involved with terrorists.

Dear Diary:

Today was my first day at the school on the base, and I wish I were back with Ardaval and the Aleyni kids. Shaffa is nice, and even Darus is up-front about disliking Terrans. The kids on the base, all except maybe one, pretend to b friendly but secretly would happy to see me wander off and die. Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but they're not nice. Dad won't give in, though. He wants me to go to school with Terrans.

We had an Aleyni language lesson. I'm the only one who speaks Aleyni, except maybe the teacher, John. Practically none of the Terrans here speaks the language. I swear that John, the teacher, only knows enough to stay ahead of the class lessons.

Why did Dad make me learn to speak Aleyni? I haven't bothered to ask him. He'd just put me off with some blather about how it's good to learn other languages, or how it made the exchange students who hung out at our apartment back home more comfortable when they could speak their own language with us. He's keeping secrets, but I don't know how to pry them out of him. It makes me feel like he's some stranger I barely know, and that I barely know myself, too.


“What do you mean I must undergo a psi exam? The Terran Federation legislates against any use of psi." The speaker, a human woman with wild gray hair, glared at the immigration official.

I gazed at the official. Like most Aleyni, he stood over six feet, slender, with extra wide hands, and thumbs able to bend all the way back. His head appeared more oval than humans, too, and he showed almost no external ears. His skin appeared almost black, like Dad’s and mine, and hers appeared pale. His dark skin provided a welcome spot of color against the general gray of the space port interior. The temperature felt pleasant enough, though; nicely warm instead of the chill of the Terran Federation space station circling above Aleyne.

He could have been reading a laundry list. “Madam, Aleyne is a sovereign planet, not part of the Terran Federation, and if you want to clear immigration you must undergo a psi exam.” He pushed a data cube toward her. “Either sign the consent form and undergo the exam, or go back up to the space station.” He added, “Take it or leave it,” in Aleyni. No one else noticed.

She threw the data cube on the floor, stomped, and it shattered into fragments. “I won’t do it. I don’t want any aliens screwing around in my head.”

The official stared at her for a moment. “It’s against our ethics to screw around.”

The woman crossed her arms. “I don’t believe you.”

“You can return to the space station and take the next ship out.” The official’s face revealed nothing, and his gray eyes stared straight at her. His hands hung loose at his side. I considered him a model of polite behavior, considering. I would have punched her.

The woman stared at him. Her head tilted up, because she barely made five feet. Her face, which wore a ferocious frown, turned bright red. Maybe she disliked dark skin, or maybe she simply hated Aleynis.

“I’m going.” She spat the words, turned, glared at us, and marched down the corridor. I glanced back and noticed her arguing with a Space Force officer. The expression on his face would have curdled milk.

Dad prodded me. “Keth, come on.” He grabbed two data cubes, scanned them, and signed both. The official passed both of them through his reader and put one through a slot. “How old is the boy?”

“I’m fourteen Terran standard years. That makes me sixteen in Aleyni years. The Aleyni year is shorter than ours.”

“You need to consent for yourself.” He passed me a new cube and I signed.

The official threw it away and handed me another. “Read first and then sign.” I sighed loudly and read the whole thing, both the top half, in Aleyni, and the bottom, in English Common Speech. I started to compare the two, noticing how much clearer informed consent appeared in the Aleyni version, when Dad prodded me. I signed the form and returned the cube to the official. “Okay, I read it.”

The official smiled and pushed it through the slot after Dad’s.

I wasn’t scared, since Dad told me about the need to take a psi exam. The Aleyni checked for any kind of plant or animal, or whether we planned a terrorist attack. Dad said Federation anti-psi fanatics attacked a couple of times recently, so I understood why they checked carefully.

The examiner set me in a chair. He asked me again if I consented to the exam. When I said yes, the examiner put his hands on the sides of my face, looking into my eyes. His hands burned hot against my skin. A thousand ants chewed through my brain and a voice whispered questions I couldn’t quite make out. I tried to take a breath, but my throat tightened, and I gasped aloud. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to stop shaking. I shook my head, trying to make the voices go away, and the examiner removed his hands and stared into my eyes for a moment. The buzzing voices stopped, leaving my head feeling as though it would burst open. The examiner smiled at me and passed me through the checkpoint. A couple of minutes went by before my stomach stopped heaving, but hammers still pounded inside my head.

Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life. Daughter of a painter, she is the mother of three grown sons and an accomplished flute and piccolo player. She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein's “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. She lives in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and a large number of dogs. Her poems, articles and stories have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Melusine, Front Range Review, Umbrella Journal and All Rights Reserved. In spite of making her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to format the initial version of her website, a clear illustration of the computer generation gap. Her book, "Relocated," was released by MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy," will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013.







Trinity by Clare Davidson - virtual book tour

Please welcome author Clare Davidson on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours today. We're featuring information about her book, "Trinity". I tell you what, I sure wish I'd had time to read this for review (sadly the time between tour invitation and tour date was just too short) because it looks AWESOME.

Trinity by Clare Davidson
Genre: Young Adult/High Fantasy

Book Description:

Kiana longs to walk through a forest and feel grass between her toes. But she is the living embodiment of a goddess and has enemies who wish to murder her. Her death will curse the whole of Gettryne. Locked away for protection, she dreams of freedom. Her wish comes true in the worst possible way, when her home and defenders are destroyed. Along with an inexperienced guard and a hunted outcast, Kiana flees the ravages of battle to search for a solution to the madness that has gripped Gettryne for a thousand years. Pursued by the vicious and unrelenting Wolves, their journey will take them far beyond their limits, to a secret that will shake the world.

Amazon ebook * Amazon paperback
Amazon UK ebook * Amazon UK paperback


“Switch clothes.”

Kiana blinked at Finn. It was such a simple order but she couldn’t make her arms move to obey him.


Slowly, Kiana turned to look at her handmaid. Erynn’s eyes were red and puffy, her face smudged with dirt from the tunnel and her blonde hair dishevelled. The girl’s shoulders shook as she pulled the plain brown surcoat over her head and held it out to Kiana. Like Kiana, she also wore an undyed woollen underdress that preserved modesty. Kiana stared at the surcoat and then at Erynn. Her lower lip trembled and a lump formed in her throat that threatened to choke her.

“Now, Kiana!” Finn kept glancing towards Ciall, who was standing at the tunnel entrance.

Sunlight filtered in, providing enough light to see by deeper in the tunnel. Kiana could hear the sounds of fighting in the distance. Swords clanged against each other, feet thundered over wood and men screamed. She clamped her hands over her ears and sank down so that she was crouching.

Finn was shouting at her. Kiana shook her head and squeezed her eyes tightly shut. She wouldn’t listen. How could he ask her to send Erynn out to die?

A pair of hands closed over hers and pulled them away from her ears.


Kiana couldn’t immediately put a name to the gentle voice. Slowly, she opened her eyes. Nidan was crouching in front of her, eyes alert, body tense, but there was a kindness in his face.

“We don’t have time to think,” he said. “You need to do as Finn says.”


“Don’t think.” He was right. “You have to live.”

Right again. She stood and pulled her surcoat off with numb fingers. Erynn helped her into the rough wool garment. It irritated the nape of her neck. It doesn’t matter! She watched as Erynn pulled on the golden surcoat. Kiana had always wondered why she and Erynn looked so alike. Now it was clear: Erynn was the perfect decoy. Kiana shivered violently. Her stomach lurched. She turned away and threw up. Once she had recovered, Nidan offered her a scrap of cloth. She cleaned her mouth and then managed to force a grateful smile to her lips.

“We split into two groups,” Finn said. “Bran and Coran will take Erynn.” He looked at Nidan. “You’re with me and Ciall.”

Kiana had enough wits to see Nidan’s eyebrows raise as his mouth dropped open. Under different circumstances, his expression might have been comical.

“Let’s go!”

She forced herself to follow Finn out of the tunnel, expecting to see Wolves at any moment.

Finn must have sensed Kiana’s nervousness. He paused and glanced at her. “From what we could see, the Wolves are concentrated around the moat. It’s unlikely they’ll find this entrance.”

Kiana nodded. They had run through the tunnel for what felt like an eternity, and the fighting sounded so distant. Despite Finn’s assurances, Kiana stared after the other group as they vanished into the forest. They had to stay safe. They had to.

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.

Website: http://claredavidson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareMDavidson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareMDavidson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6445758.Clare_Davidson

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (27)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Here's what we got this week.

Mom got to review for a tour in January: 

Daughter borrowed from the library:

 Good reading ahead!  We're looking for more -- so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. We always like to add to the TBR.  :-D

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wisteria by Bisi Leyton - review and giveaway!

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter on her tour, so leave your thoughts here and you're entered!
Wisteria by Bisi Leyton
Paranormal, Dystopian YA
278 pages
Rated: 3.5 Stars

Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.

Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.

Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.

My review:  Wisteria has a neat twist on zombies and their creation in this novel of a futuristic earth.  But it's more than a zombie book and has plenty of other twists involved.

Wisteria is pretty much a typical teen:  impulsive, crushing on the cute guy, and frequently overly-dramatic.  But she's got a good heart, and a good mind and uses both (occasionally to her detriment ... like when she tried to save her "friend" from biters).

I liked Wisteria.  Bach?  Not so much, at least not through the first half or so of the book--which was intentional on the author's part I think.  Bach was arrogant, prideful, and sometimes just downright nasty.  Don't worry, he grows up and learns how to be a better man eventually.  But, there were sure times I wanted to smack him upside the head!

The book isn't just about the action, though there is plenty of that, but about the mystery behind the biters and even the Isle of Smythe.  The author has certainly thought through things and created a very complex world.

Still, I think the book dragged occasionally.  I admit I skipped ahead a few times to get back to the action and that's the only thing that brought the rating down on this book.  Many things were wrapped up at the end, but it's clear there will be a sequel, and I'm looking forward to it.

Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters.She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels.

Twitter: @bisileyton
BookTrailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_TWuWK_bbY&feature=context-cha and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvC9iJckrs4&feature=context-cha

Bisi running a giveaway until 30 November for a Kindle Fire. When people sign up for her New Release Mailing list they get a change to win. The list is not for a newsletter, but to going a mailing list where they'll be notified once a new book is released and that is it. The conditions are at www.bisileyton.blogspot.com and the link to sign up is http://eepurl.com/o8zv1. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sweetest Taboo by Eva Marquez - virtual tour and giveaway

Welcome to Eva Marquez on her virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for her controversial YA, "Sweetest Taboo".  Eva is giving away a kindle to one lucky commenter, so chat with her today and then follow her tour here for more chances to win.

Inspired by Controversy

As we’ve all experienced through our interaction with media outlets (be it FB, Twitter, CNN online, or plain old fashioned television), student/teacher romances seem to get center stage when a story gets out. Who can forget the LeTourneau/Fualaau story (adult female teacher impregnated by her 6th grade student, and then married him nearly a decade later after she was released from prison for her offence) or the recent Hooker/Powers story (adult male teacher left his wife and children to move in with recently graduated female student)? These cases hit the news and they hit big. The fascination lies in the forbidden nature of the romance, as well as the age difference and perceived maturity levels of the two individuals involved. There’s also the societal stigma associated with abuse of power (i.e. who can forget the Clinton/Lewinski ordeal!). These relationships are fascinating because they are considered taboo in our society, and because there is an element of adult abusing power. The issue does not appear to be one of ‘lack of love’ between the individuals in the relationship, but concerns about manipulation, unequal power-balance, and perhaps even coercion.

Sweetest Taboo was conceived by my own fascination and interest in these news-gripping stories. I was also intrigued by the news of one of one of my former high school teachers being convicted of [sexual] misconduct with a minor (from what I understand he was in his early 40’s and she was 15). This particular event was pivotal in inspiring me to write Sweetest Taboo, as I wondered about how these relationships originate and how they flourish under the radar. In Sweetest Taboo, I got to unravel a clandestine relationship, one exciting page at a time.

Although I did not intend for Sweetest Taboo to part of a series or saga, several readers (and now fans!) have provided critical feedback that has made me think twice about the nature of my debut novel. Without spoiling any plots, I can safely say that readers want to know what happens next. Sweetest Taboo does not end the way readers expect, and there is a natural, so now what? element to the novel. My readers have inspired me to work on a sequel, Tainted Love, which I have been writing diligently over the past several months. Readers can expect complex and somewhat disturbing revelations, some disappointments, and definitely some tears. The stories I weave always include trials and tribulations, but they will also include redemption and hope.

Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.

www.SweetestTabooBook.com (website AND blog)
www.facebook.com/Sweetest.Taboo.YA.Book (FB Book page)
@EvaAuthor (Twitter)
www.goodreads.com/eva_marquez (GoodReads)
http://youtu.be/flff2TcA4AQ (Official Book Trailer on YouTube)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mirror of Shadows by T. Lynne Tolles - Virtual Tour

Please welcome author T. Lynne Tolles on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours today. We're featuring information about her book, "Mirror of Shadows".

Mirror of Shadows by T. Lynne Tolles
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Troll Publishing

Book Description:

Ella McKaye returns home for her grandmother's funeral to find she's inherited a ton of money and a run down mansion she never knew existed, called Grey Manor. Her greedy mother is appalled when the will stipulates specifically that Ella can't give her any of the inheritance.  She quickly throws Ella out of her home forcing her to take up immediate residence in the spooky old mansion.

Within minutes of entering her new home she has a strange interaction with a creepy old mirror in the main hallway and the ghostly inhabitants of the past get more and more agitated the longer Ella's there. Nearly fatal back to back accidents make Ella start to wonder if she's angered some ghost or if there is something more sinister at work.

Will Ella unravel the deadly mystery before she becomes a ghost herself? Or will fate take another one of the Grey ancestors to the grave.

Paperback-  Amazon    Barnes and Noble   Author site

Hardback-  Lulu   Author site 

Short Excerpt:
It was a perfect day for a funeral, if there is such a thing—gloomy, gray, and cold. With steady tears of rain, the heavens seemed to be mourning along with the funeral guests. Though Ella stood strong as the pastor droned on, she would never be consolable for the loss of her beloved grandmother, Rose Grey McKaye. Ella had known for a while this day was coming as her grandmother combatted bouts of cancer, a stroke, and dementia, but all of that was not enough to prepare her for the overwhelming loss she now felt.

Ella heard no voices of condolences from those who one by one took her hand in sympathy. She only heard the rain tapping on the shiny mahogany casket covered in a blanket of chrysanthemums and peonies in front of her. Occasionally she would nod her head to the speaking sympathizer but she never took her eyes off of the coffin. Instead, she watched as a drop of water hung to the tip of a fern frond, gathering more volume until it could no longer hold on and dropped down the curved lid of the casket, and then meandered down the side stopping only for a moment by one of the carrying handles. It continued down to mingle with other drops at the base of the aluminum stand. It lingered and swelled until it could no longer resist the relentless tug of gravity and it fell to the fake green grass carpet laid out to disguise the recently excavated mound of dirt from the grave into which her grandmother would soon be lowered.

The long line of umbrella-toting guests passed before her then scattered among the graveyard to their warm, dry cars to go on with their lives. How odd, Ella thought, that time doesn’t stop for a moment to acknowledge the passing of one so loved. She felt sure that she hadn’t taken a breath since she had received the call two days before, notifying her that her grandmother had died. How would she ever survive life without her grandmother?

Ella’s childhood had been hard and she’d grown up fast and insecure in herself. The only happy memories she’d had as a child were in those blessed, short-lived visits to Grandma Rose’s house where Ella knew without a doubt she was welcome, safe, and loved.

Ella’s mother had not been a bad person, but Ella had learned at an early age that she was an anchor to her mother’s freedom. Patricia had been widowed when Ella was a toddler. She had no family of her own to speak of, and found herself a single mother with no job and no real skills. First the parade of men came, none of which ever seemed to measure up to her late husband, and then came the drugs which made the unhappy, lonely woman lost and unstable. Needless to say, this brought about a rather turbulent life for Ella’s early years.

A warm hand touched Ella from behind, guiding her away from the men now lowering the casket into its new home. They cleared away the fake grass carpet, revealing the reality and finality of what was happening. Goodbye Grandma Rose, Ella said without speaking. I love you so...and the car door shut on Ella’s words and pulled away from the curb as its wipers slapped the sides of the windshield with a squeaky but constant beat.

About the Author:

T. Lynne Tolles is a lifelong avid reader of all things paranormal and now is a writer of young adult paranormal romances for readers 15 to 115. She grew up in the sunny California San Francisco bay area. She's the mother of two, wife to one and pet mom to three cats and Newfie dog.

Blood of a Werewolf is the first of five books in a series called, the Blood Series. Other titles include Somber Island and Mirror of Shadows - both unrelated to the series.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oxford Whispers by Marion Croslydon - Book pack giveaway!

We're excited to be hosting author Marion Croslydon on her tour for the new adult novel, "Oxford Whispers".

Marion is giving away a $20 New Adult Reading pack -- selected NA titles on Amazon to one commenter on the tour, so comment here and then follow her tour to increase your chances of winning. Her tour stops are listed here.

I asked Marion about her favorite books she had when growing up and how they compare with books from today.  Here's what she had to say:

Hi, Thanks for having me on your blog. I really like your question.

So, my favorite books when I grew up:
- North and South (the trilogy) by John Jakes
- Anything by K E Woodiwiss (the Queen of romance)
- Gone With The Wind by M Mitchell

I’d say there’s definitely a Southern flavor. I liked epic books with a strong historical background.

My favorite books now… I’m a big fan of the New Adult genre. It could be also be named Mature YA or “College-Lit”. More than books, I “function” by authors: Simone Elkeles, Tammara Webber, Abbi Glines, SC Stephens, among others.

The books I tend to fall in love nowadays are much more angsty. They deal with more personal and intimate experiences. The scale might be smaller, but it kind of goes deeper in terms of characterization.

Two star-crossed lovers in the English Civil War
A painting with haunting powers
A murderous ghost back for revenge

Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.

But her resolution shatters when the ill-fated lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.

In misty present-day Oxford, Madison embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets of the past and understand her personal bond with the painting. To protect herself, she must learn to accept her gift before life imitates art, in all its tragedy.

College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting.

With the spirit of a murderer in hot pursuit, Madison comes to realize that her own first love may be doomed…

Based on a real Pre-Raphaelite painting, Oxford Whispers is full of romance, drama and suspense.

Fall in love for the first time… Again

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I am a true citizen of the world. I was born in West Africa, grew up in the South of France, and studied in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, and Oxford before finally settling down in London. This wide variety of cities has provided lots of inspiration for my writing. Talk about culture exposure!

In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.

My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

This is my first "Stacking the Shelves" (hosted by Tynga's Reviews). Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Here's what we got this week:

Daughter purchased for her Nook and has already read it twice -- review coming soon!

Mom got this eBook to review for an upcoming book tour -- Post-apocalyptic Young Adult! Looks awesome and I just love the cover. Review next month.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: Fall (and Halloween!) Reading

Book Blogger Hop

Question: With Autumn upon us and Halloween drawing near, what books remind you of fall? What ones do you enjoy reading that are about autumn?

Autumn ... and Halloween. Because they go hand-in-hand, right?  Here are a few from BOTH of us (mom and daughter).

1.  The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare -- Mom read this in middle grade and passed her copy down to Daughter.  The story still holds up and the writing is wonderful.

2.   The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder -- Daughter reads this every year. It's a favorite!  Interestingly, it seems this book has made the American Library Association's list of the one hundred most frequently challenged books for 1990-2000, due to the use of witchcraft by the children.

3.  Never Hit a Ghost With a Baseball Bat by Eth Clifford -- this (and the other books in the series) were a HUGE hit with Daughter when she was a tween.  They come with her highest recommendation.

4.  All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn -- this book gave Daughter the shivers...

What are some books you can recommend to YA readers for fall?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: Banned Books

Book Blogger Hop

Question: Banned Books Week ends on the 6th. How do you feel about books being challenged to be banned from libraries or schools? Have you read any banned books?

Honestly, I think making something "forbidden" actually makes it more interesting to the general public, and that "banning" books ends up causing the exact opposite result the banner was hoping for.

I looked up a list for banned YA books and found one here on Goodreads.   I've read many of them, and still scratch my head as to why they're banned.

To Kill a Mockingbird?  Really?  That may be the only classic I've read and loved.

And, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret helped me through the difficult years of puberty.

I didn't enjoy The Golden Compass, et al, but think it's relatively harmless as are the Harry Potter Books (oddly, I never though I could actually *become* a witch after reading them).

And many like Forever were banned (I'm guessing) because of the sexual content, but honestly, it certainly wasn't glorified in that book (my heart still breaks a little for the poor heroine).   And it's not as though kids aren't being exposed to it elsewhere anyway.

IMHO, while I may not want my teenaged daughter reading some of these books, I still think they're a great conversation starter.   She and I read The Hunger Games books together and still have talks about it -- we've discussed everything from moral right and wrong, to politics to love.

Should books be banned?  Nope.  But as long as they (whoever "they" is) keep doing it, it's just going to make those books into forbidden fruit, and cause their titles to be more well known than if they'd just kept their mouths shut.

 My .02 FWIW