Monday, July 30, 2012

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

"Is it okay to hate a dead kid? Even if I loved him once? Even if he was my best friend? Is it okay to hate him for being dead?"

Vera Dietz has secretly been in love with her best friend/next door neighbor Charlie Kahn most of her life, even though he betrayed her twice. First he humilated Vera in front of his detention center/loser friends and second by dying. Haunted by her unresolved feelings and knowing the true circumstances behind his death, Vera attempts to come to grips with what has happened not only with recently with Charlie but her dysfunctional family life.

When Charlie starts haunting Vera, begging her to clear his name, will she be able to do the right thing not only for Charlie's memory but herself?

Visit A.S. King's website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen

“No one really knows ‘bout me. I’m Rob’s secret, I’m his informant, I’m his shadow in dark places. No one ever takes me for more than a knockabout lad, a whip of a boy. They never really see …”

In a retelling of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, Will Scarlet is hiding a secret. He is really a she and only Rob and his gang know the truth. By helping to steal from the rich to give to the poor, Scarlet tries to play the tough guy and refuses to divulge anything about her previous life. Always threatening to leave, deep down she stays with the band of thieves to help the people of Nottingham. It doesn’t hurt that her heart picks up speed when Rob glances her way.

While on a mission to rescue a young lad from the palace jail, Scarlet discovers that Prince John has ordered the Sheriff of Nottingham to rid the town of Robin Hood and his band of thieves. What really unsettles her is that the thief taker hired for the job is Lord Gisbourne. Having last seen him four years earlier, Scarlet has been running from Gisbourne ever since. “Now it seemed fate’d run straight back around to slam our lives together.”

With tax day looming and Gisbourne looking for the “Hood”, the pressure is on Scarlet, Rob and the others to protect not only the citizens of Nottingham but themselves. What other secrets is Scarlet keeping from the others? Who is Lord Gisbourne and why is Scarlet terrified of him? Will the “Hood” be able to escape the wrath of the Sheriff of Nottingham? And what happens to Scarlet at the end?

Scarlet was written as a standalone novel.

Visit A.C. Gaughin’s website.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien, Adarlan’s most notorious assassin has spent the past year in slavery toiling in the salt mines of Endovier as punishment. Tough, most prisoners don’t survive the first month and yet Celaena almost escaped four months earlier. At the age of eight, someone found her half dead along a frozen riverbank and brought her to the King of the Assassins, who trained her to be ruthless. Now she is being escorted by a contingent of guards through a building to parts unknown. To her surprise, Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Royal Guard, has brought her to the throne room to meet Dorian Havillard, the Crown Prince of Adarlan. She is dismayed to find him handsome. He wonders what has made her so tough.

Dorian has come with a proposition for Celaena; work as a loyal servant of the king, become his assassin. In return, she can earn her freedom after six years of service. The catch is the King is hosting a competition. He invited the twenty-three members of his council to bring their champions to train in the glass castle and compete in duels. The ultimate winner becomes the official assassin of Adarlan. Dorian wants Celaena to be his champion and compete against other thieves and assassins from across Erilea. He tells her she will have to compete under a false name to keep her identity a secret. Celaena is famous throughout Erilea and it wouldn’t look good that such a young girl held Adarlan captive. Dorian and Celaena bargain down to four years of service for her freedom. The next morning under guard, Celaena travels to the capital, Rifthold, with Dorian and Chaol.

Once at the castle, word spreads that Celaena is Dorian’s newest lady friend. To the champions, she is a jewel thief and will keep her skills unknown to the others. When the King calls them all together, Celaena is terrified and recalls her sentencing. Dorian and Chaol reassure her. Turns out she is the only female amongst the champions. Over the next thirteen weeks, they will train daily and be tested once a week where one person will be eliminated. Some will die or be let go through additional testing. After the Yulemas holiday, the four remaining will duel each to determining the winner. The court knows that a contest is being held but the details and participants will be kept secret. The King will be gone on business until Yulemas but will receive updates about the contest and any problems.

Celaena begins training with Chaol the next morning and finds that she is a bit out of shape after a year of salt mining. The first week, Celaena trains on her own and privately with Chaol. The day of the first test, Celaena knows something is terribly wrong when Chaol doesn’t join her. In the training room, she finds out that one of the champions was found dead in a hallway that morning. Soon a pattern emerges, the body of a slain champion is found just before each test. Not knowing who to trust, Celaena is just hoping not to end up back in Endovier.

Who or what is killing the champions and why? Will Celaena be able to survive to the end and become the King’s assassin? What happens when her feelings become conflicted not only for Dorian but Chaol as well? Is someone using Celaena as a pawn? Can Celaena stop the killer before it comes for her? And what does the king have in mind for her?

This book is a must read for those who liked Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers and the ending doesn’t leave readers hanging but opens the door for a sequel.

Visit Sarah J. Maas' website.

The author published four novellas that provide background information about Celaena Sardothien prior to her sentencing to Endovier.

Book 0.1 – The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Readers get a brief glimpse of Celaena’s relationship with Sam Cortland when they go on a mission to Skull Bay.

Book 0.2 – The Assassin and the Desert
Two months after the events of The Pirate Lord, Celaena is training with the Silent Assassins in the desert as punishment for her actions in Skull Bay.

Book 0.3 – The Assassin and the Underworld
Celaena has returned from the desert to confront her feelings not only for her mentor, Arobynn but Sam Cortland as well.

Book 0.4 – The Assassin and the Empire

Celaena has everything she has ever hoped for but it is about to come crashing down around her.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Conclusion of Fallen series by Lauren Kate

Book Three - Passion

“What if you find your soul mate … at the wrong time?”

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Fallen and Torment, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Over the course of her many lives, Lucinda Price has died over and over again for the love of her live, fallen angel Daniel Grigoi. But there is something different about her current life that has enabled her to live longer than any of her previous lives. With Daniel or anyone else unable to tell her any of the details of the curse, it is up to Luce to figure it out on her own before her current and possible future lives are over. Stepping through an Announcer to visit her past lives in search of answers, everyone is determined to find out and stop Luce but none more than Daniel before she inadvertently rewrites history. In a race against time throughout the course of their shared lives, Luce revisits some of them in an attempt to discover answers with Daniel frantically chasing after her.

Will Luce be able to find the answers she desperately needs to have a life with Daniel? What is the curse that causes Luce to continually die and be reincarnated? Will Luce and Daniel ever be allowed to live a long and happy life together?

Book Three.Five – Fallen in Love

“True love never says goodbye …”

The story of Luce and Daniel’s past lives during the Middle Ages in England on Valentine’s Day. Joining this glimpse into their former lives are Shelby and Miles who fallout of an Announcer on their way back to Shoreline and discover their feelings for each other. Roland, who is searching for the past Daniel, stumbles upon Shelby and Miles and revisits the one true love of his life. A glimpse into the past life of Arrianne is revealed. And concludes with the story of the only Valentine’s Day Daniel and Luce ever get to spend together.

Book Four – Rapture

“She will dieShe will never pass out of adolescence – will die again and again at precisely the moment when she remembers your choice.” – Daniel’s curse from the Throne and Lucifer for choosing Lucinda instead of a side in the angel’s fall to Earth.

SPOILER ALERT! Since Lucifer was unable to trick Luce into severing her soul and ending her lives, he has taken his revenge by rewinding time back to the fall of the angels. The entire history of the world and existence of humans would become a clean slate. 7000 years gone. The only way to stop Lucifer’s plans is to figure out where the fallen angels will land on Earth in nine days. Can Luce, seven angels and two Nephilim stop him in time to save humanity’s existence? What happens when Luce uncovers the entire truth of the curse that surrounds her existence?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

“Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?”

Seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan would like nothing more than to not be heading to London to attend her father’s wedding to a woman she has never met. Forced to go and be a bridesmaid by her mother, Hadley is still a bit bitter about her father’s move to England and the subsequent divorce between her parents. She is just four minutes late to board her plane and is left behind. Now she is going to be three hours later getting to the wedding and will just barely arrive in time. Hadley thinks everyone is going to blame her for missing her flight. Claustrophobic, Hadley is now even more stressed because she fought with her mother before leaving. The last thing she expects to happen is to catch the attention of the cute boy who turns out to be on the same flight she is now on.

Oliver, a Yale student heading home to London for an event, offers to watch Hadley’s suitcase when an older woman next to her refuses. He notices her struggling with her things and offers to help. They soon strike up a conversation that lasts all night through their flight to London. As the two of them depart from the plane, they realize they will be separated at customs. As Hadley aches from having to say good-bye, Oliver pulls her close for a kiss, they promise to meet up in the baggage claim but she cannot find him before leaving for the wedding.

With Hadley’s thoughts never straying from Oliver, will they be able to find each other again in London? Is it possible to fall in love at first sight? Can Hadley find it in herself to forgive her father? And what will Hadley do when she realizes the reason Oliver came home? This story of fate, destiny and love will be hard to put down.

Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

Katy and her mother have left Florida behind for West “By God” Virginia in an attempt to start over after her father’s death three years earlier. Without an Internet connection to work on her blog, “Katy’s Krazy Obsession” a book review blog, there is not a lot to do in the unincorporated hamlet of Ketterman. Her mother works all of the time in an effort to deal with her husband’s death and Katy is left alone most of the time. Her mother tells her about the kids around her age next door and lets her know that the boy is a hottie. Slightly embarrassed, Katy says she will go over with the intent of asking about the nearest grocery store.

Knocking on the neighbor’s door, Katy is speechless when a gorgeous boy her age opens it. Turns out he is a condescending jerk and the exchange begins one-sided. He picks on her and Katy gets angry and storms off. In the grocery story, she is startled when a girl calls out her name. She introduces herself as Dee, Daemon’s sister, the neighbor. Turns out Daemon called Dee and gave her Katy’s description and location. Dee has wanted to introduce herself. Katy says she thinks that daemon doesn’t like her but Dee says that he is just moody. Turns out Daemon ad Dee are twins and from the locals’ reaction in the store, they are terrified of them. After they part in the parking lot, Katy feels like she is being watched by a man who looks like he stepped out of a Men in Black film.

Katy and Dee’s friendship quickly flourishes but Daemon is still a bit nasty to her. One evening, Daemon knocks on Katy’s door and invites her to go swimming. Turns out Dee went out of town and hid his car keys. She will give them back when he plays nice with Katy and she has a good time. Katy agrees and he takes her to a secluded spot he likes. Sunning herself, she realizes she cannot find Daemon. He has been underwater awhile and she is ready to go for help. Daemon surfaces and tells her he wasn’t under as long as she thought. They head home and a strange car is parked in Daemon’s driveway. A man he refers to as Matthew walks out of the house and an argument ensues over what appears to be Katy. The weather turns nasty quickly and Daemon follows Matthew into the house. The weather suddenly clears and Katy heads home.

Several days later, Daemon comes over to ask Katy if she would like to go on a hike. They take some old Indian trails behind their houses and Daemon tells her some of the history behind the Seneca Rocks, which are made of quartzite. They are beta rocks which some believe hold abnormal powers. Katy and Daemon encounter a bear as a storm rolls through. The next thing Katy knows is that she is sitting a porch swing in Daemon’s arms. He lets her know that the storm scared the bear away, she passed out and he carried her home. Tensions build and sparks fly. Just when Daemon decides to kiss Katy, Dee steps upon the porch. The moment is broken.

Sitting around one night with Dee, Katy mentions heading into town to go to the library for some new books. See tells her she would like to go with her but she already has plans for that night. Katy says she is fine going alone but Dee insists. There are a couple of girls missing in the area. Dee leaves and Katy is lonely. After dinner with her mom, Katy heads out to the library. The town is deserted when during the day it is quite bustling. Katy loses time in the stacks and night has fallen. Unfortunately se has a torrential rainstorm. As she gets the car door unlocked, a frail looking man asks if she has a tire iron, he has a flat. With her head screaming don’t do it, Katy has a hard time saying no. she is looking in her trunk when the man attacks her. He doesn’t seem so frail now. He asks her where they are and comments she has their scent. Katy has no idea what he is talking about. She is beaten pretty badly before Daemon arrives on the scene and chases the man away. He tries to help Katy but she eventually refuses. The police come and she is treated and released from the hospital. Daemon and Dee take care of her while her mother has to work an emergency, even though Katy has taken some pain medication, she is curious about the twins’ conversation about the attack.

Why are the people of Ketterman scared of Daemon and Dee? What is happening to the missing girls in town? What was Katy’s attacker meaning when he said she was carrying their scent? Why is Daemon so distant with Katy one minute and attentive the next? What is lurking in the town of Ketterman? And what if Daemon and Dee are not from this world?

Katy and Daemon’s story is continued in Onyx due out August 14, 2012. Book three, Opal will be out in December 2012.

Shadows, a prequel to Obsidian.

The story of Dawson Black, Daemon and Dee’s brother and Bethany Williams’s short relationship. From their first meeting, sparks fly and the two become inseparable. Shadows provides some great background on the Black and Thompson families and gives insight into why Daemon is so hostile to Katy when she first moves in. the events depicted in Shadows take place before Obsidian but could be read either before or after book one.