Posts Categorized: paranormal

Book Review: Surfacing by Shana Norris

25 Mar, 2014 by in mermaids, netgalley, paranormal, shana norris, swans landing, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Surfacing by Shana Norris

Surfacing

by Shana Norris
Series: Swans Landing #1
Published by Shana Norris on December 19th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
three-half-stars
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.

But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.

As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.

Surfacing is the first book in the Swans Landing series.

I downloaded Surfacing off of Netgalley drawn by the idea of a remote seaside town, reached only via ferry and intrigued by the legend of mer people or “finfolk.” Main character Mara is thrown into a situation she is less than fond of when her mother passes away and she’s sent to live with her father who she know nothing about.All of her life she’s felt abandoned by him, and now she will have to live with him in Swan’s Landing. Form the moment she arrives in town she can tell she’s not welcome. There’s the strange woman who tells her “she’s not supposed to be here”, and a division amongst the town people– Mara seems to be right int he middle of the heated battle. Only she’s not sure why?

Why is it that no one will tell her why she is being bullied and singled out, or why there is so much tension in this new hometown?

I enjoyed the premise and legend behind Surfacing as well as the cover and the back story included on the author’s website. I also liked that the school staff, townspeople and teens take a stand against bullying. However, the voice of both Mara and her nemesis Sailor started to grate on me after a while as they were so full of attitude, anger and drama. This definitely feels YA, but the angst was a bit heavy handed for my taste. Love triangles are not my favorite either, and Mara leaves my favorite pick in the dark about what is really going on.  I liked it enough to finish and read the sneak peek of book two, but it’s probably not a book I would buy for my shelves. I did like the fleshing out of each character, enough so that I felt I knew them. I enjoyed seeing progress in the relationship between daughter and father. I also really love it when indie authors put their works on Netgalley so we can be exposed to a wide variety of YA titles. Thanks to the author and Netgalley for a chance to read it!

Content: older teen (highlight to reveal) in depth talk of sex, co ed sleepovers, swearing, bullying, violence between adult and child.

heather

Author Bio

shana norris

I was born August 19, on my parents’ first wedding anniversary, in a small town in eastern North Carolina. I’m the oldest of four children. I’m a leo, which means I’m supposed to be bossy, interfering, and intolerant. But I’m also supposed to be broad-minded, warm-hearted, and creative, so maybe it all evens out.

I’ve always loved books. My parents would read my favorite books to me so often that I’d memorize them before I had learned how to read. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are of my mom taking my siblings and me to the public library. I’d always check out a big stack of books and then have them all read within a week. The first time I can remember writing a story that wasn’t for school, but simply because I wanted to write, was when I was eight years old. I wrote and illustrated a book called The Lonely Rectangle. It was a story about a rectangle that had been thrown in the trash and felt unloved until someone found it and took it home to use as a table. No, it was not a box or anything like that, it was just a plain rectangle. I have no clue why I decided to write about a geometric shape. It wasn’t like I was particularly fond of math or anything.

I spent my junior year of high school and part of my senior year living just outside of West Palm Beach, Florida, where my family moved to the summer I turned sixteen. I had a hard time making friends, but the good thing that came out of it was that I started to spend a lot of time online since I had no one to hang out with after school. That was when I discovered online journals written by teen girls and even started my own, which I wrote under a pen name. It was that experience with online journals in 1996-1997, the predecessor of today’s blogs, that helped inspire Something to Blog About.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. Well, actually I wanted to be a ballerina, an archaeologist, a teacher, AND a writer, all at the same time. But after a while I figured out that I’d never taken a ballet lesson in my life, I didn’t particularly like to get dirty, and I hated being in a classroom all day, so that really only left writer as my future job. My family advised me to get a back up plan, which meant, “study something else in school that you can earn a living at while waiting for your books to sell.” So I studied graphic design, tested out of as many classes as I possibly could to avoid sitting in so many classrooms, and got my degree.

I’m still a web designer by day and write my books during my lunch hours and at night. I currently live in North Carolina with my husband and our menagerie of pets: two dogs–Chloe and Zoey–and five cats–Elmo, Bandit, Kit, BC, and Butter.

Fin the author on Facebook * twitter * pinterest

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Book Review- My Boyfriend Merlin

10 Feb, 2012 by in book review, my boyfriend merlin, paranormal, priya ardis, urban fantasy Leave a comment

My Boyfriend Merlin
by Priya Ardis
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
published: November 21, 2011
by Ink Lion Books
A SIN: B006C58CMA
Book source: Author
3 stars

Book Summary: If you can’t trust your boyfriend, who can you trust?
In this modern retelling of the Sword and the Stone, 17-year-old student president Arriane, aka Ryan, DuLac just found out her badass biker boyfriend, Matt, is a little older than he was letting on. By a few eons.

In fact, he is really Merlin–the Merlin, King Arthur’s Merlin, the greatest wizard who ever lived. But Ryan’s not impressed. Tired of being a relationship loser, she’d rather kick his legendary behind.

Sure, the world has been crazy ever since the sword and the stone fell out of the sky like a meteor. And Ryan’s a bit freaked about the scary shadow-dragon trying to burn her alive. And now, Matt–er, Merlin–needs her and her brother to leave home because they are Candidates to pull the sword.

But despite gruesome gargoyles, a new world of magic, and the guy driving her crazy, Ryan knows that family is everything. Will Merlin sacrifice hers to save the world? Will she be able to stop him?


Review: Ryan is just a normal 17 year old girl. She’s the student president in her high school. She lives with her friends Grey and Alexa and their mother Sylvia, because her mom died.  One day during a boring lecture in her history class, the unthinkable happens. Another teacher interrupts the lecture with an announcement that “History is happening now!” The whole class goes into another classroom to find out just what is going on. A large rock has shown up, out of nowhere in Trafalgar Square, with King Arthur’s sword sticking out of it. This rock caused a “Total Tremor,” basically an earthquake that starts in the square and moves around the whole world. This is where things start to get pretty crazy for Ryan. She’s being taken home by her ex-boyfriend Matt on his bike, when out of nowhere a dragon attacks. Grey and Alexa are following and in the craziness Ryan is badly wounded and Alexa is killed. When Matt is able to heal her, Ryan knows that somethings up with him, and she learns that he is a powerful magician, Merlin to be exact. But does he care for her? Or does he just want to use her to get the sword? I enjoyed the story line of this book. I thought the characters were awesome, and there was tons of action all through the book to keep you hooked. I liked Ryan especially, she starts out as kind of a person that can be easily pushed around and by the end of the book she’s a strong, courageous young woman who knows what she wants out of life. 

Content: Moderate swearing, sexual references

About the authorStorygirl, Priya Ardis, loves books of all kinds—but especially the gooey ones that make your nose leak and let your latte go cold. Her young adult novel, My Boyfriend Merlin, came from a childhood of playing too much She-Ra and watching too much Spock. She started her first book at sixteen, writing in long notebooks on train rides in India. While reading My Boyfriend Merlin, she recommends pajamas first and a pumpkin spice anything for taste. 

As a hopeless romantic, she’s also a longtime member of RWA. 

Find out more about Priya Ardis on Blog/ Facebook / Twitter/ Goodreads

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Book Review- Human Blend by Lori Pescatore

21 Dec, 2010 by in paranormal 20 comments

Paperback, 234 pages
Published June 10th 2010
by CreateSpace
ISBN 1453765131
3.5 stars

Marion, Virginia seemed like a nice place to live a normal life, but she is not a normal girl. Laney has special abilities that keep her looking over her shoulder as she makes her escape from the men who had kidnapped her. A young doctor’s interest is piqued when he witnesses her mysteriously curing a young child’s illness. He befriends her due to his growing fascination with uncovering the true nature of her abilities, but not without harboring secrets of his own. Laney’s budding relationship with a local boy puts both of them in danger when the men she was hiding from find her. All of their lives will change forever as ancient secrets become unearthed.

I have really mixed feelings about this book. From the beginning the relationships seemed WAY too rushed until you find out a little tidbit of info. near the end. However, there were several points during my read that I almost put the book away and didn’t finish due to content. I really wouldn’t want my teen reading this book. While pitched as YA fiction with 18 year old main characters, I think it is written more as adult romance. The flashbacks to Laney’s previous life I skimmed right past and didn’t read because of how violent they were. I understand her past was hard and she is on the run but do why the need to elaborate so much?

That being said, Human Blend does have a very interesting storyline that kept me intrigued enough that I did finish the book. Lori’s writing felt a bit choppy at times but the basic premise of the plot and the personalities of the characters are a winning combination. She takes a new slant on two paranormal creatures that come into contact with each other when Laney takes a volunteer position in a hospital. It has your love triangle going on but the relationships were complex and the author keeps you guessing through the whole book. I felt connected to the people and liked the new mythology introduced. Sometimes I wish that books came with filters like TV and movies do, because I genuinely would have loved this one without the sex and violence. This is a trilogy, so I am hoping the next two books are age appropriate. I can only give it 3.5 stars since I bordered between liking it and hating it all at the same time.

I’ll let you decide as I am giving away my signed author copy to blog readers age 18 and older. You can read other Human Blend reviews on Goodreads here. Simply comment below to enter our giveaway which is International and ends December 29, 2010.

Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer

13 Apr, 2010 by in book review, paranormal, Shadow of the Sun 34 comments

published February 22nd 2010 by iUniverse
details Hardcover, 524 pages
characters Andrew, Gabriella Moretti, Joseph Carter
isbn 1450211758
5 Stars

Synopsis from Godreads: Gabriella’s past is a mystery, but that never stopped her from achieving her goals. As a supernatural specialist, and far more intelligent than anyone her age, she has always been ignored by her peers. Because of the isolation she has always felt, she put her life and soul into her job. Being a supernatural specialist hasn’t given her the divine intervention she always longed for, until one day a shipment arrives from Italy containing three dead bodies with an uncanny ability to regenerate. Gabriella is frightened and intrigued, but not as scared as she becomes when a dark creature attacks her.

As the bodies come back to life, the plot takes an unexpected twist that you won’t see coming. The supernatural world only begins to unfold before her as angels appear, her dreams start to haunt her, and the very past she has forgotten comes back with startling clarity. Romance blooms, escape plans are made, an assassin is out to kill her, and death is only around the corner. But what is more terrifying than all of it is the fact she is the chosen one, the Illuminator, the one who will save them all.

One of our very first fans, Brianne Villano sent us an author signed this book as she is the editor. Bri is an awesome social networker who posted our videos on YouTube and kept our Twi Touring group company at TwiTour New Jersey, but best of all she introduced me to this phenomenal series!
I savored the story and the characters whom I feel like I connected with on many levels. The main hero, Andrew is an angel as well as perfect! He comforts and supports Gabriella while being a perfect gentleman. I can honestly say I am going through withdrawals since I finished the book. Can’t wait for book two to be released so I can have more of Andrew, Gabriella and Joseph, the other swoonworthy male protagonist who is also an FBI agent. Laura creates an emotionally riveting mystery full of myth , magic and romance. I gave it five stars and would recommend it to all of my adult friends!
Book two can’t come fast enough and Laura has promised us a teaser to post later on our blog. In the meantime she is giving away a signed copy of Book One of the Timeless series, Shadow of the Sun to one of our readers!

To Enter to Win
: leave your name and email address below
additional entries
+3 follow @fireicephotos and @laurakreitzer on Twitter
+3 become fans of Fire and Ice and Laura Kreitzer on Facebook
+2 retweet this contest and leave the link
+5 post this contest on your blog or sidebar, leave the link
+3 visit our angel shop and pick your favorite item
Contest ends May 13, 2010 and is open Internationally

The Dark Divine Review

26 Dec, 2009 by in paranormal, YA fiction 1 comment

Trailer by Sprtygal/ cranberryfries

From debut author Bree Despain’s website:

A prodigal son

A dangerous love

A deadly secret . . .

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude shell stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel’s dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

http://www.blogger.com/www.thedarkdivine.com
http://breedespain.com/

WOW! I bought Bree’s debut book the day it came out and could not stop reading until I was done. I admit it took me a little while to fall in love with Daniel because of all I knew he had done in the past, but he what a man.

This book takes the parable of the Prodigal Son and brings it into the 21st century while adding a paranormal twist full of myth and legend.

Every girl wants to fall in love with their childhood friend and I found myself pulling for Grace and Daniel as their chemistry became undeniable. It was clear their love would endure the pressures of the outside trying to pull them apart. Grace is the perfect heroine…down to earth, forgiving and an example of what she has been taught. Daniel is someone I have seen in so many others as I get older, someone fighting against what seems an inescapable past. He works hard to better his life and right what he has done wrong. Jude. Well, he is the boy next door who serves everyone and you can’t help but to love him. Each one involved in the story has depth that helps you see their point of view.

The characters jumped off of the pages for me. I enjoyed the history woven through the ending chapters as the full plot and all of the secrets unfold. The last chapter were easy to read and not jumbled or pulled together too quickly. The suspense keeps the pages turning form beginning to end. This is a must read! Warning though, once you pick it up you will not be able to put it down. Five out of five stars.

Watch for my TDD inspired jewelry coming out this week :)