Posts Tagged: disney hyperion

Netgalley Free Ebook Review- Double Crossed by Ally Carter

09 Apr, 2013 by in netgalley Leave a comment

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story 
by Ally Carter
ebook, 60 pages
Published January 22nd 2013
by Disney Hyperion
ISBN1423187474
Heist Society #2.5, Gallagher Girls #5.5
Book Source: Netgalley
4 stars
Summary from Goodreads: Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?
W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?
There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.
Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.
When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?
The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.
Review: Ally Carter is one of those automatic authors for me…I see a book she releases and I buy it. I was first introduced to her Heist Society series while browsing art at the Met Museum in NYC with Tales of A Ravenous Readr. Since reading Uncommon Criminals I’ve been hooked! When I saw this fun novella that blends both of her series characters into one setting I had to check it out.  I’ve never read the Gallagher Girls, but they are at the top of my wish list after sampling Macey’s personality in Double Crossed. I want to get to know Macey McHenry as well as I now know Hale. The aloof, ruffled, handsome Heister I know and love.
Macey and Hale are thrown into a high stake situation at a high society gala when the event is hijacked by men in masks. They have the jaws of life and don;t seem to be in much of a hurry to pull off the job–so what are they really after?  The banter between Macey and Hale makes me want to see much more interaction between these two series. Both are confident in their abilities and both have an air of “I know best.”  We also have some cameos by others from the books and the result is a mash up of awesome proportions.  If you haven;t discovered Ally Carter check this one out for free on Netgalley to wet your whistle and then dive right in!
Content: moderate violence, recommend for ages 16 and up

Author Bio from her website: I  was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer and rancher. I have one older sister.
In high school, I was very active in a number of student organizations and graduated as co-valedictorian of my senior class. I then attended Oklahoma State University and Cornell University and worked for several years in the agricultural industry before writing full-time.
My first novel, Cheating at Solitaire (Berkley) was published in 2005. The following year I published the sequel to Solitaire, Learning to Play Gin. There are no more plans for future books in that series at this time.
My first novel for young adults, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2006. Love You Kill You (as we call it) was followed by Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (October 2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (June 2009), Only the Good Spy Young (June 2010), Out of Sight, Out of Time (March 2012). Book six will be the final Gallagher Girls novel. Look for it in stores in 2013.
I am also the author of Heist Society (February 2010) and its sequels Uncommon Criminals (June 2011), and Perfect Scoundrels (February 2013).
My books have been published in more than twenty countries and have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Bookscan. They have sold over two million copies.
I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and today, I’m able to do the job I wanted to do when I was a kid, and I am back living in Oklahoma.

Book Review- Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jennifer Violi

01 Oct, 2011 by in putting make up on dead people, young adult fiction 2 comments

Putting Makeup on Dead People
by Jennifer Violi
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Published May 24th 2011
by Hyperion Books
ISBN 1423134818
Book Source: publisher
3.5 stars

In the spring of her senior year, Donna Parisi finds new life in an unexpected place: a coffin.

Since her father’s death four years ago, Donna has gone through the motions of living: her friendships are empty, she’s clueless about what to do after high school graduation, and her grief keeps her isolated, cut off even from the one parent she has left. That is until she’s standing in front of the dead body of a classmate at Brighton Brothers’ Funeral Home. At that moment, Donna realizes what might just give her life purpose is comforting others in death. That maybe who she really wants to be is a mortician.

This discovery sets in motion a life Donna never imagined was possible. She befriends a charismatic new student, Liz, notices a boy, Charlie, and realizes that maybe he’s been noticing her, too, and finds herself trying things she hadn’t dreamed of trying before. By taking risks, Donna comes into her own, diving into her mortuary studies with a passion and skill she didn’t know she had in her. And she finally understands that moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting someone you love.

Jen Violi’s heartfelt and funny debut novel is a story of transformation—how one girl learns to grieve and say goodbye, turn loss into a gift, and let herself be exceptional…at loving, applying lipstick to corpses, and finding life in the wake of death.

This was an interesting read. It was somber in tone, as the main character was still mourning the death of her father, four years prior to the start of the book. She also could not understand how the rest of her family had been able to move on with the lives.

Donna is young and socially awkward. She isn’t sure how to create friendships or what relationships should feel like. You almost want to sit her down and have a little talk with her; tell her how life works, but as you continue to read, you find that she learns it all by herself.

One thing that bugged me about the book was the gradual increase in harsh language and sexual content. It wasn’t terrible, but the book starts out pretty clean and then adds in more as it progresses. As a mom to a tween daughter who is slowly outgrowing her young readers books and approaching the reading level that would transition into young adult, I would not want her reading this book, for a long time.

I did really connect with the characters, brought to happy tears as the book came to a close (I won’t say more; I don’t want to spoil it for you), but I am not sure it is one I would read again (which for me is my line between a 3 star book and a 4 star book, being the big fan that I am of re-reading favorites).

Content: Swearing, fairly descriptive sexual encounters between young adults. This is definitely for much older teens

I received a review copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. No further compensation was received. Summary and cover image from Goodreads.

Book Review-Original Sin by Beth McMullen

21 Sep, 2011 by in mystery Leave a comment

Original Sin
A Sally Sin Adventure
by Beth McMullen
Hardcover 304 Pages
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
by Hyperion
ISBN: 1401324215
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Publisher

On the surface, Lucy Hamilton looks just like all the other stay-at-home San Francisco moms. She takes her three-year-old son, Theo, to the beach, to the playground and to the zoo. She feeds him organic applesauce and free-range chicken. She folds laundry and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband, is that for nine years Lucy was Sally Sin, a spy for the United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that’s just the way she wants to keep it – a secret. But when Lucy’s nemesis Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer, hits the USAWMD’s radar, the Agency calls Sally Sin back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. Racing against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her loving family – and, oh right – the world. Hilarious and resonant, ORIGINAL SIN is the story of one woman’s quest to find that most elusive work-life balance in the face of danger, intrigue, and proper recycling habits.

You know, I really do love a good mystery, and Original Sin has many of the characteristics of a good mystery: a strong lead, interesting characters, plenty of action and a well unraveled plot. Sally (or Lucy) looks to the world like every other paranoid, first time mother; with her purse filled to the brim with sippy cups and crackers, watching her 3 year old son’s every move. What everyone around her doesn’t realize is that her paranoia comes from experience, she has seen the worst the world can do and isn’t about to let it reach her precocious little boy (he is very clearly and only child).

I enjoyed the back and forth between current day and Sally’s past adventures with the USAWMD. You really get a picture of the whole Sally when you see both aspects of her life. Past and present begin to mingle and help you understand more of what is going one. The author does a great job of unraveling a little bit of the mystery at a time, building your knowledge of the big picture bit by bit. Even by the end of the book, you aren’t quite sure how everything fits together, leaving you to anticipate the next book in the series.

So, why if I enjoyed the mystery, do I only give this book a three star rating? This comes into content. I admit, I am a bit of a prude when it comes to the books that I read. To be honest, if I hadn’t been sent this book on review, I would likely have quit reading it after the 5th dropping of the “F-bomb” (about 2 chapters into the book). What I find curious about it’s use is that it appears to be the author‘s swear word of choice, because we see very little other swearing (a few other incidents here and there). There is also very limited sexual content (mostly all innuendo or a quick mention of what occurred, without much description). This leads me to ask, why include the aforementioned “F-bomb” so often if you kept the book fairly clean of anything else? I honestly really enjoyed the story-line and had it left out the swearing or limited it more I would easily have given this book a 4.5 star rating.

Content: quite a bit of the “F-bomb” and other minor swear words, mention of sex between adults and other somewhat sexual content (but fairly minor). See the paragraph above for more on the book’s content.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received.

Ally Carter Uncommon Criminals Event

27 Jun, 2011 by in Heather Gardner Photography 5 comments

Saturday June 25th I attended the Ally Carter signing and pre-event with several other Utah book bloggers at The King’s English book shop. We had a chance to sit down and ask Ally some exclusive questions. Here’s what we found out:

-The Heist Society books are episodic in nature and as of right now there’s no set number to the series
-Hale’s name comes from a name Ally saw at a museum on temple square during a visit to Utah she made with her employer. She wanted a last name that could also be used as a first name.
-Ally first heard about the Nazis stealing art on an episode of West Wing. She has since researched Holocaust art which is a common theme in her series. She recommends the documentary “The Rape of Europa” and book “The Monuments Men” to learn more
-Ally’s book feature a strong female protagonist and several external conflicts
-Her favorite authors in YA include Sara Zarr, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, ELockhart, Sara Rees Brennan and Holly Black
-The fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series is coming out soon with six planned so far.
-Ally previously wrote two adult titles, the first being called Cheating at Solitaire.

Fire and Ice would like to thank Courtney Lowe from the Provo Library and Disney Hyperion for the cool Uncommon Criminals sunglasses as well as he opportunity to meet Ally personally. Also, Emily from Emily’s Reading Room for organizing all of us bloggers and King’s English for hosting the event. In attendance were book bloggers Heather Zundel, Jennifer K Jovus from My Life With Books, Catie Skola from Book Bound, Mindy and Shanda from LDSWBR, Emily from EmsReadingRoom, Heather from Fire and Ice and the Friendly Reader. We are currently giving away and audio version of Uncommon Criminals which we had signed on Saturday, so check our right sidebar to enter!

All photos are copyright Heather Zahn Gardner http://www.heathergardnerphotography.com/

Uncommon Criminals Review and Audio Giveaway

22 Jun, 2011 by in uncommon criminlas 20 comments

Uncommon Criminalsby Ally Carter
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published June 21st 2011
by Hyperion Book
ISBN 1423147952
series: Heist Society #2

4.5 stars

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

Ally Carter has once again crafted a fun, quirky twisted tale of a girl raised criminal tuned to rightfully returning stolen items to their original owners. In book two Kat starts out on her own executing risky heists from the ex-KGB in Moscow and planning more jobs solo until Hale catches up to her and makes it very clear he wants “in.” Soon the old crew- Simon, Hamish, Angus, and Gabrielle are together, hired to get back a cursed emerald. But this job may very well be their last. Cleopatra’s Emerald hasn’t been seen for 30 years, it’s forbidden to steal it and after all the crew is “just kids”…up against the biggest con artist they have ever faced. Kat has her work cut out for her as the clock is ticking.

Ally’s writing style is the same as book one with meticulous details of each heist and amazing descriptions of character and setting. This is a series you’ll stay up late in the night to finish. Picture Oceans 11 with teens plus just the right dash of romance.

The love interests, Hale and Nick…how is one to decide? Chemistry is building between Kat and the two young men who wish to capture her attention when her heart is wrapped up in the thrill of the steal. I haven’t had this much fun with a love triangle in a long time! Hale is ever the perfect gentleman and loyal companion, while Nick seems to pop up unexpectedly to stir things up. Overall, Uncommon Criminals is a squeaky clean read I’d highly recommend to all readers ages 12 and up. Ally Carter is a master mind of deceit and twist of plot. Her clever style will capture you instantly, and if you haven’t picked up book one, Heist Society yet, get thee to your nearest store or library to get started today! Ally is coming to Utah this Saturday at The King’s English book shoppe from 2-5PM. I will be there to cover the event with my camera…so stay tuned.

Fire and Ice is giving away an MP3 Unabridged audiobook of Uncommon Criminals donated by Brilliance audio. To enter to win click here and fill out the form. Good luck!

ARC Tour- Mercy

16 May, 2011 by in rebecca lim, wolves of mercy falls Leave a comment

Mercy
by Rebecca Lim
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: May 17th 2011

by Hyperion Book CH
ISBN 1423145178

A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.

To read and review Mercy as a part of out international ARC tour, fill out this form . Please take note of our rules before signing up.

Book Review- Dark Goddess

08 Mar, 2011 by in sarwat chadda Leave a comment

by Sarwat Chadda
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 25th 2011
by Hyperion Book
ISBN 1423127595
series Billi SanGreal #2
3.5 stars

New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,
Billi’s back, and it seems like the Unholy just can’t take a hint.
Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi’s thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil’s seen before.

They call themselves the Polenitsy – Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they’re out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.

The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.

Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.

First of all I should say I am a huge fan of the first book in this series, Devil’s Kiss. That book inspired me to delve deeply into research about the Knights Templar and legends. So, when I was grocery shopping at a warehouse store last week and saw an ARC of Dark Goddess for sale in a box of truck abandoned books, I had to rescue it and take it home with me. I will admit it took me a while to get into this one. Probably because my heart was still with Kay who is now deceased. Though author Sarwat Chadda has taught “the dead need not linger”, I missed Kay. Billi seems completely emotionally detached in her mourning. And I was a bit taken aback by her treatment toward the child they rescue in the very first scene. Her loyalty to the Templar cause keeps her in my mind, a cold character, so at times I had a hard time relating to her.

I will say once Billi and her crew hit Russia the story picks up the pace. The Knights Templar are trying to find and save Vasilisa, Spring child who has the capability to interact with the earth’s elements. The world is suffering from a near apocalyptic volcanic explosion in Italy and Vasilisa is at the core of worsening or healing the damage. She is exactly what the Mother Russia, Baba Yaga is looking for to facilitate her world domination. The Templars must join forces with the Bogatyrs, their wealthy Russian warrior counterparts to protect the young Spring Child from a pack of werewolves sent to do Baba Yaga’s hunting. The Polinisty, ancient women werewolf warriors with their original Mongrol roots are one of my favorite parts of Dark Goddess. My other treasured scenes are those between Billi and Tsarovich Ivan Romanov. His introduction into the plot as he steps out of a Hummer is noteworthy. As well, the few vignettes where he and Billi are getting to know each other left me wanting more. I felt like yelling “stop action, emote!”

Overall, my feeling with this sequel… I was left hoping for chemistry and the fleshing out of Billi and Ivan’s relationship. I’m rooting for a resolution with Ivan in Billi’s love life. Dark Goddess is written like an action driven screen play, full gore and grit. It would make a great movie. Sarwat Chadda’s setting and detailed descriptions make for a tapestry of visual richness. I will pick up a book three if there is one because I find these books intriguing. Plus, I love Sarwat Chadda as a person. He is one of the first authors I met on twitter who will tweet you back & engage in conversation. If you’re a fan of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain or Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted by Joy Preble this one is for you! It is a great mix of Russian history, mythology and folklore that kept me entertained and engaged. Dark Goddess is rated PG-13 for violence.

Book Review- Deadly Little Games

30 Jan, 2011 by in book giveaway, book review 36 comments

Deadly Little Games
by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 28th 2010

by Hyperion Book
ISBN 1423131606
series Touch #3
4.5 stars

Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: They both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to sense things through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control and hurting people. Camelia’s gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn’t yet comprehend.

Before either teen has a chance to fully grasp these abilities, an unresolved family tragedy resurfaces in Camelia’s life, irrevocably changing everything she cares about…

I will admit that Laurie Faria Stolarz has me wrapped around her finger with the Touch series. The covers are a little piece of heaven with raised designs and otherworldly photography. They are among my very favorites in YA. Laurie’s writing has the suspense the tension and the characters I can’t get enough of. Deadly Little Games follows many of the same plot patterns as the first two in the series but I was never bored. There’s just the right touch of creepy and mystery for me.

In this third installment Camelia has discovered her psychometry and the ability to sculpt events of the future into clay. Things are rocky between her and Ben due to the appearance of his old rival Adam. I grew to really love Ben (again). He has depth and layers that I have a feeling are about to unfold even further in book #4.

I got carried away into Camelia’s life with a health nut yoga teaching mom, her quirky sidekick best friends Wes and Kimmie and a truly caring father. Stolarz knows how to fully flesh out each person she introduces. There’s also more back story of her maternal aunt and the haunting gift she and Cameilia share. The elements that tie off the package for me are all of the pottery scenes and the gripping suspense. I will be reading book #4, as far as I’m concerned Laurie can just keep writing in the Touch sequence and I’ll never grow weary of Camelia and Ben.

Here’s your chance to start reading the Touch series and discover for yourself why I adore them. Comment below for your entry to win book one, Deadly Little Secret. Giveaway ends February 28, 2011 and is open internationally.

Cinda Williams Chima Giveaway & Author Interview

08 Dec, 2010 by in Uncategorized 9 comments

The Exiled Queen
By Cinda Williams Chima
Published by Disney Hyperion
Cinda’s website: http://www.cindachima.com/

Book Summary: (from Goodreads – Warning contains spoilers if you haven’t read the 1st book in the series)

You can’t always run from danger…

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

Here a few fun questions with author Cinda Williams Chima:

If you could travel by hot air balloon, what would you fly over?
Castles, mainly. I actually took a hot air balloon ride once, and ended up landing in the middle of the Interstate. So maybe I should stay on the ground.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
I’m looking forward to the American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (December 2011.) In the meantime, I would like to see the Swedish versions, now I’ve read all the books.

Who is your favorite author?
That’s totally unfair.

Do you prefer to write on the computer or with paper?
On the computer. Definitely. If not for the computer, I would have no books. I am a flaming fast keyboarder, and have crude and ludicrous handwriting.

What kind of book do you read when you get sick?
I don’t read when I get sick. I don’t want to associate reading with getting sick.

What are your favorite comfort foods?
Soup of any kind. I love to make soup in the winter time. Also stews.

New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming.

Chima’s YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) with The Gray Wolf Throne scheduled for fall, 2011.

To Enter to win a copy of The Exiled Queen courtesy of the author and Disney Hyperion, please fill out this form. Open to US and Canada as part of BIR 2010. Giveaway ends December 15, 2010.

Waiting on Wednesday- Deadly Little Games

27 Oct, 2010 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Our Waiting on Wednesday is the third novel in the Touch Series by L Stolarz. If you are looking for a cliffhanger action packed series this is the place to look! It’s one of my favorites.

Deadly Little Games
By Laura Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion
To Be released: December 28, 2010
ISBN-10: 1423131606

Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: They both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to sense things through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control and hurting people. Camelia’s gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn’t yet comprehend.

Before either teen has a chance to fully grasp these abilities, an unresolved family tragedy resurfaces in Camelia’s life, irrevocably changing everything she cares about…