Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Emlyn Chand's "Farsighted" - (Farsighted Series, Book 1)


Title: Farsighted (Farsighted Series, Book 1)
Author: Emlyn Chand
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
Length: 218 Pages, eBook Format
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult (YA), Multicultural

Blurb:

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

In this enthralling debut novel, Emlyn Chand creates a world in which friendship, perseverance, and a handful of psychic powers come together to fight against what appears to be the inevitable and all-too dangerous future. This is a book you won’t want to put down—even after you finish it!


Saph's Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a different approach to introduce a character that is blind.  Not only is Alex blind, he's a developing psychic that can see the future and the present.  Alex is a sophomore in High School and friendless until Simmi and Shapri move into his town and school; Simmi coming from India and Shapri coming from New Orleans.  Shapri's mother buys the vacant store next to Alex's mom's flower shop and opens a shop that focuses on the psychic abilities that Shapri's mother claims to have. This book has revelations throughout; even one concerning his lineage and others in his family sharing in the same types of "gifts."

When Alex starts having visions concerning Simmi that endanger her life, and Dax, the probable cause of such endangerment, he starts visiting Shapri's mother.  He wants to same Simmi from the impending doom his visions foretell.....Is he strong enough?

The characters, main and secondary, were very strong and the plot was solid.  I don't buy into psychic abilities (don't get mad-I'm entitled to my own beliefs) but Ms. Chand really does a great job explaining them and writing the entire book about them.  The story line was complex but not unduly so.  I enjoyed every minute I spend cuddled up on the couch with my iPad reading this wonderful novel.

The ending is definitely not what I expected and made the journey to the last few pages such a wild ride.  If you like Young Adult books and the paranormal--you will LOVE this book!! 

I can't wait to read the next installment!!

Rating:

 

 Buy Links:

Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91611?ref=Sapphyria

Amazon:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: E. Van Lowe's "Boyfriend From Hell" (Falling Angels #1)

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 407 KB
Print Length: 261 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983632901
Publisher: White Whisker Books (August 13, 2011)
Language: English
ASIN: B005HAY79S
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com

Synopsis Courtesy Of Goodreads:

Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together.

“But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not…”


The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago.


Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships.


But neither of the handsome pair is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL.


Saph's Review:

This was a pretty good YA book.  When Megan's mom, who's been single for as long as Megan can remember, decides to start dating, Megan's not quite sure that's a good idea.  I love the tight relationship that Megan and her mom, Suze, have in this book.  When Suze dates her first guy, Megan is not at all impressed by him.  Megan send a small prayer, wishing her mom to find someone worthy of her.  Shortly thereafter Guy, a new guy to Megan's school, who is hotter than sin itself, comes to town and has his sights set on Megan.  And enter Armando--everything she wished for her mom to find except now that Suze is dating Armando, Megan doesn't like it.

It has such hysterical elements and antics that are so typical of a teenager.  A definite indicator of the age group of the teens (around 15-ish) is the maturity level - or immaturity level - of them.   I wasn't sure of Guy throughout the novel but the end helped me put him into perspective.  Megan made an interesting heroine.  She humiliated herself so many times in order to help keep her mom safe and alienated herself from her best friends, Matt and Erin.  And they, Matt and Erin, along with Armando and Guy, are NOT what the seem or who they say they are.  This was a nicely played out mystery with some twists that, while easy to keep straight, kept me intrigued from start to finish.

It was nice and easy read and can't wait to start Book 2, Earth Angel.  I will post my review of that one when I'm finished.

Rating:



Review: Darynda Jones' "Second Grave On The Left" (Charley Davidson Book #2)

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312360819
ISBN-13: 978-0312360818
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
Review Copy Courtesy Of: My Local Library and MEL.org

Synopsis From Inside The Dust Jacket:

If you hang around with dead people, life can get pretty complicated. Take it from Charley Davidson,


When Charley and Cookie (her best friend/receptionist) have to track down a missing woman, the case in not quite as open and shut as they anticipate.  Cookie's friend Mimi disappeared five days earlier.  Mimi then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling cookie to meet her at a nearby coffee shop.  The coffee is brewing, but Mimi's still missing.  There is, however, a clue Mimi left on the bathroom wall:  a woman's name.  Mimi's husband explains to them that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old high school friend had been murdered.  The same woman whose name Mimi had scribbled on the bathroom wall.


Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley.  He's left his body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer.  But Reyes can't let that happen.  Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven.  And if they have a portal to heaven...well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.

Saph's Review:

This is the 2nd book in the Charley Davidson "PI and Grim Reaper" series. I loved this one as much as the first book in the series First Grave On The Right. In this installment we still see the snark, hilarity, and sarcasm associated with Charley Davidson but we also get to see a little more of the serious side. This novel takes place only a couple of weeks after where First Grave On The Right left off and has quite a few story lines that are fully developed and handled expertly by both Charley and Ms. Jones.

When one of her assistant Cookie's friends goes missing after finding out about the death of a High School classmate, Charley takes the case to find Mimi. It is then she discovers that several of Mimi's former classmates have been found dead in various ways. Finding out who is killing off this group of classmates isn't the only problem plaguing our Grim Reaper.

When Cookie and Charley are following up on a lead, Charley discovers a ghost in the trunk of the Taurus owned by Cookie. And to make things more interesting, Mr. Dead In The Trunk comes home with Charley and only shows up when she's in the shower and never says a word; that is, until they figure out who owned the car before Cookie and confront the person.

And then there's Reyes; hot, sexy, Son of Satan...In order to protect Charley, Reyes takes his corporeal body and hides it from her (the demons are torturing him all the while the book progresses) and tells her that he's going to kill it. She, of course, can't leave well enough alone and makes it a priority, along with everything else, to find his body, even though that will clue the demons in to where she is.

Another great ride in the land of our funny girl, Charlotte "Charley" Davidson.

Contains "adult themes."

Some Of Saph's Favorites Passages:

#1 - "Having been born the grim reaper, I couldn't remember a time when dead people weren't knocking at my door--metaphorically, as dead people rarely knocked''--asking for my assistance with some unfinished business. It amazed me how many of the dearly departed forgot to turn off the stove." (D. Jones, 2011).

pgs. 1 and 2.

#2 - "My breath fogged in the air, and vapor bounced off the shower walls.  I resisted the urge to look toward the heavens and raise my arms slowly while steam rolled up around us in waves, but pretending to be an oceanic goddess would have been cool. I could totally have thrown in some opera for effect." (D. Jones, 2011). pg. 29.

#3 - Chapter 7 quote from a T-shirt:  "I stopped fighting my inner demons.  We're on the same side now."  pg. 101

#4 - "I know, but she knows something. I know it. And when I know what she knows, we'll all know a little more. Knowledge is power, baby." (D. Jones, 2011). pg. 128

#5 - Chapter 15 quote from a bumper sticker: "Where am I going and what am I doing in this handbasket?"
Rating:



Amazon Mass Market Paperback:




Amazon Kindle Edition:



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: Judy Powell's "Hot Chocolat"

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 425 KB
Language: English
ASIN: B0066UUR6A
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com

Synopsis Courtesy Of Goodreads:

Hot and sweet - a delicious combination!

Lisa Evans has always been an independent woman, running her own show as Director of Sales for a multinational corporation. Then in steps Rod Malone, a stunningly handsome high-powered executive from the New York head office, and her world is turned upside down - in more ways than one...

Rod has travelled to many countries for corporate assignments but he has never met anyone like this firecracker. The New York tough guy comes to show who's boss but little does he know what lies in store.

A battle of wills with a delicious outcome!


Saph's Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  There were many different storylines that played out through the book and the author did a good job keeping everything straight.

Lisa is a Sales Director for the Jamaican division of an international company based in New York.  After a year of less than desirable sales volume, the New York big wigs send in Rod, an executive, to evaluate Lisa's branch of the company.  When Rod says "layoffs," Lisa goes into defense mode.  These employees are her responsibility and she makes a deal with Rod to turn sales around in a specific period of time and he agrees. 

In the meantime, Rod and Lisa become close and they each war within themselves on the relationship that is forming. 

Intertwined with the main story of Sales and Romance is the fact that Lisa also has commitments with the AIDS hospice where she is a committee member and Rod tries to find his father; the father that didn't know had a son.  The AIDS hospice actually is threaded throughout the book and is a nice situation that ties some of the book together. 

When New York decides that Lisa's strategies aren't sustainable and that layoffs must by done, Rod forces Lisa to go to New York and plead her case, in person.  While there she receives news from the CEO of the company that Rod has been made President of international operations and would be soon heading to Russia.  The pages that follow had me in tears.  I felt Lisa's despair, confusion, and disappointment.  Are Rod and Lisa meant to be together?  You'll have to read the book cuz I'll never tell.

This book contains "adult scenes."

Rating:

 


Review: Melissa Marr's "Graveminder"

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 17, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061826871
ISBN-13: 978-0061826870
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
Review Copy Courtesy Of:  My Local Library (through Mel.org)

Synopsis From Inside Dust Jacket:

Three sips to mind the dead...

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence.  There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual:  She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words:  "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier.  She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for odd traditions.  It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D.  If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living.  Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker--in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past--can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

Although she is still grieveing for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her maybe far worse:  dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility--to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Saph's Review:

I'm starting off this review by stating that this book wasn't nearly as good as I thought it was going to be. 

Rebekkah's character lacks, for lack of a better term, character.  She is definitely considered the main character in the book and I just didn't like her.  She lacks depth and her whole attitude toward Byron is very high school, even though both her and Byron are far from that age.  I realize that she's suffered many tragedies but she's the person that runs from everything instead of dealing with anything.  In doing that, she has hurt others and done injustices to herself. 

Now Bek finds herself back in the small town of Claysville because of the death of her grandmother Maylene.  Little does she realize that now that she's back she can never leave again.  She is the person in position to take over the duties of Graveminder from Maylene.  But, interestingly enough, the roles of Graveminder (previously Maylene) and Undertaker (currently William, Byron's dad) were never explained to either Bek or Byron.  Rebekkah knows the rituals that Maylene performed at each funeral and for several months afterward but that's it.  Byron knows even less than Bek, until the day his father is attacked by a reanimated dead girl.  After it is determined by William and Byron that Daisha is dead but roaming, William takes Byron to the tunnel that is in the Funeral Parlor and into the land of the dead where Mr. D resides.  Byron signs a contract officially making him the new Undertaker (so as to be paired with Bek, the new Graveminder). 

After Byron tells Bek the history of the Graveminder and the Undertaker they set out to find Daisha and figure out why she was left unattended.  All-in-all the mystery part of the story was fantastic.  Who was killing innocents, preventing them from getting taken care of by the Graveminder, then sending them to the Graveminder to kill them?

Rating:

 



Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Katie MacAlister's "Confessions Of A Vampire's Girlfriend"

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451232593
ISBN-13: 978-0451232595
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches Review Copy Courtesy Of:  My Bookshelf

"Confessions Of A Vampire's Girlfriend" contains 2 Young Adult books written by Katie MacAlister as Katie Maxwell:  Got Fangs and Circus of the Darned.

Synopsis From Back Cover:

SHE'S LOSING HER HEART TO A BLOODSUCKER...
GOT FANGS?

When you're traveling through Europe with psychics, magicians, and other really bizarre people, normality is hard to come by, but something Francesca longs for.  Until she meets Benedikt.  He's actually taller than her, rides a motorcycle, and doesn't think Fran is the least bit weird.  On the dark side, he's also a vampire--and Fran is supposed to redeem his soul.  But when Ben's kisses turn out to be anything but normal, Fran starts to embrace the freakiness that is her life.

...AND LEARNING THAT VAMPIRESD CAN KEEP SECRETS FOREVER.
CIRCUS OF THE DARNED


With a witch for a mom, it's no surprise that Fran might not fit in, but having a vampire for a boyfriend is doing wonders for her self-esteem.  And now, even though she suspects Ben is keeping things from her, her only concern is finding some time--and something to wear--for their first actual date.  But Fran's own mysterious talents seem to get in the way when she accidentally conjures an entire battlefield of warring Viking ghosts.  Two's company--a dozen is a crowd....

Saph's Review:

"Got Fangs" introduces us to Fran, an Oregon native suddenly part of a European traveling Goth Faire currently set up in Germany when her mother takes a job with them.  Fran's mother is a witch with a booth where she sells potions.  Fran actually fits in with the strange and unusual crowd at the Goth Faire.  When the safe that houses all the Goth Faire's money is robbed, Fran's gift gets used in order to help find the perpetrator.

Fran also meets Benedikt while helping a friend prepare a stage for an upcoming concert and her life is forever changed.  Ben is a Dark One...a vampire that needs Fran to redeem his soul. 

"Circus Of The Darned" has the Goth Faire in Sweden now and Fran is now in possession of a pendant given to her for safe keeping; TheVikingaharta Valknut (meanins "heart of the viking").  Little does she know that there is much power held withing the pendant.  That is until she a "blot" circle and inadvertently raises an army of viking ghosts.  When Fran attempts to send the Vikings back by summoning Loki, the God of Mischief, she gets more than she bargained for.

Amid all the chaos, Fran, while in love with Ben, has a hard time with the "Beloved" concept of a Dark One.  Especially when she thinks he's hiding things from her.  Will she or won't she accept her destiny?

As will all of the Katie MacAlister books I've read (Dark Ones series, Dragon series, etc.) there is a ton of humor & sarcasm in "Confessions."

The plot in both books flows well and is very exciting.  I didn't find any slow spots and I found it hard to put the book down. 
The viking ghosts are great!!


Rating:



 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Quinn Loftis' "Blood Rites" The Grey Wolves Series

 


I have the pleasure of Quinn Loftis on the blog today.
She is sharing with all of us the important songs off of her playlist for Blood Rites.

Welcome Quinn!!

Important songs from my Blood Rites Play List

1. Alone In This Bed (Framing Hanley)
2.Apologize (One Republic)
3. Be Mine (David Grey)
4. Bound to You (Christina Aguilera Sound track Burlesque)
5. Cry (Jason Walker)- Used this song when Fane is in Jacque's room alone.
6. Cut ( Plumb) -Jacque in the hands of her captive.
7. Haunted (Taylor Swift) Fane finding out about Jacque's father and what his plans are.
8. Down (Jason Walker) Scene between Decebel and Jen where we see a more vulnerable side to Jen
9. E.T. (Katy Perry) The bathroom scene with Jen
10. F**kin Perfect (Pink)
11. Fall for You (Second Hand Serenade) Blood Rites Ceremony
12. I Need You (Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) The time while Fane and Jacque are separated.
13. Forever (Fireflight) The car crash, Fane and Decebel's arrival/ Decebel in the ER with Jen.

These are just a few of the songs that helped shape my story. Music is very influential on my moods so I find that if I'm having a difficult time with a particular scene the right song can make all the difference. I always love getting new song suggestions so please feel free to let me know any you recommend!

Sincerely,
Quinn Loftis

Thank you sooo much for sharing such a wonderful collection of songs from the Blood Rites playlist!  Thank you for taking the time to be here on Sapphyria's Book Review Blog too!!


Blood Rites

By Quinn Loftis

Genre: Paranormal YA

With the challenge complete and the corrupt Alpha of Coldspring defeated Fane is now free to complete the mate bond with Jacque and perform the Blood Rites. Although the challenge is done, the affects are far reaching.  Once it is known that Vasile, one of the strongest Alphas in the world, is in America, specifically Coldspring, TX, there is one Alpha who cannot over look the significance of this. 

An Alpha who happens to share Jacque's DNA, but is this the one she needs to fear?
With her mom driving and her two best friends, Jen and Sally in tow, Jacque set off for her happily ever after. She will soon realize a plan has been put in motion that will change her course and possibly tear her from Fane's grasp forever. It will take a wolf pack, her mother's love, her two best friend's unrelenting determination, her own will to survive and the undying love of her mate to bring her home.
The question remains, if she fights, if she endures, who will she be, what will be left once she is back in her mates arms?
 
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/GcjJU2vI3tI


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

To enter your name for a chance to win an ecopy of "Blood Rites" by Quinn Loftis,
please leave a comment below with your name and email address. A winner will be
selected on January 2, 2012.

About the Author:

Quinn is a 31 year old wife, mother, nurse, and writer, not necessarily in that order.  She lives in beautiful North West Arkansas with her husband, son and Nora their Doberman pinscher. She loves writing, reading, and crocheting. Her favorite holiday is Christmas, favorite book(s) is Pride and Prejudice, The Alpha and Omega Series by Patricia Briggs, and the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. She loves to be silly and have fun, loves music and thinks there is no greater sound than the sound in the world than that of her little boy's laughter. 

www.quinnloftisbooks.com

@quinnloftis (twitter)


blog http://www.quinnloftisbooks.com/blog.html

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quinn-Loftis-Books/125313847569360

Goodreads author page

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5014564.Quinn_Loftis

Buy Links:

Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/106406?ref=Sapphyria

Amazon: