Monday, April 28, 2014

The Angel and the Warrior ~ Review

Title: The Angel and the Warrior
Author: Karen Kay
Publication Date: September 6, 2005
Pages: 304
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction, Historical Western

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Eighteen years ago, Swift Hawk was sent to the earthly realm to try to break an enchantment that curses his clan to a half-life in the mists. As his allotted time runs short, a vision gives him a glimpse of his last chance to free his people. A delicate young woman with translucent white skin and star-like hair.
He never thought his sacred vision would possess the tongue of a shrew.
Angelia Honeywell and her brother Julian fled Mississippi amid a hail of rotten tomatoes and flying bullets. She only fired back in self-defense, but now they are on the run as their father pleads their case to the governor.
With Julian trying to pass himself off as a wagon train scout, Angel knows they need help. When the handsome, black-eyed Swift Hawk agrees to save their skins, she can’t help but be drawn to his compelling gaze. But as they come together in a blaze of desire, the dark shadows of the curse descend, threatening to divide them forever.

Siiigh. I could read historical romances forever. Even if they're not wonderful, I still love everything about them. A piece of history, usually a scandalous love affair, and some steamy paragraphs, mmm. Oh, sorry, don't mind the drool.

Ever since I read Warrior Moon by Sara Orwig, I've loved Native American fiction. Something about their culture really intrigues me. Same with Indian culture as well. It's just so exotic, completely different from my own "normal." But I digress.

The story is told by both Swift Hawk and Angelia, or "Angel" (Gods, how I despise that name!) Swift Hawk isn't just any normal Native American, oh no. As it says in the summary he's part of a cursed tribe and he's their only salvation to regaining some sort of real life. Funnily enough, Angel isn't all that normal herself, that is she isn't the hoity-toity type of woman you'd expect from the era. Raised as a travelling preacher's daughter, she's opinionated,  fearless, and quick to tell you what's what. I really loved both of these characters, and how they resonated off the pages!

There were also some secondary characters that I think deserve a little shout out, because they were awesome! Julian, Angel's brother, is what I imagine my little brother will end up like. He's handsome, arrogant, but clearly loves his sister! And Swift Hawk's side kick/tribe member/ I'm-not-even-sure, Red Fox made me laugh so many times with his dry wit. I wish they were a bigger part in this book, because I treasured the scenes with both the secondary people.

As far as plot, I was expecting a lot more of a "evil" presence. There's not much strife. Don't get me wrong, there are several conflicts within the story. But there is an antagonist introduced in the beginning and we don't see anything else until much later on. Our characters sort of float along until the very end. That's when we see more of a confrontation. I know there are more books in this series, but they focus on other characters. I was really hoping for more of a resolution with this one. With that being said, I'm still interested in the other books and look forward to reading them!

So let me know, what are some of your historical romance favorites? 

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Firebolt Book Tour + Giveaway (Part 2/2)

Glad to see you made it back! Like I said in the last post, with Part Two we'll actually get a sneak peek into the book with a scintillating excerpt. I'll follow up with my review, and then! And only then will I reveal the precious giveaway. (Or you can scroll down to the bottom. But I warn you, there will be stuff down there and you'll be all wtf? And then you'll have to scroll all the way back here to make sense of it all.) Are we good? Ok, good, because here comes the excerpt!


A girl singing her heart out about a miracle boomed inside my ear. A miracle would get me what I needed: a chance at a semi-normal life.
     The bedroom door hitting the wall expelled the thought from my mind. With his hand tangled up in his copper hair and with huge brown eyes, Dad's figure filled the entire doorway. “Pack your bags.” He had that set to his jaw, the one that meant there was no way out of this. He bolted out of the room just as suddenly as he had appeared.
     My teeth ground hard against each other, and the sharp pain behind my eyes, I guessed from the lack of sleep, grew stronger. Every fibre of my being wanted to explode.
     Ever since I could remember my name, Dad and I had been on the run. From what? Beats me.                  
     For the last two weeks, I'd been pacing up and down through the house, struggling to fall asleep at night, waiting for this day.
     For the love of blue berries, no sixteen-year old should live this way!              
     I climbed off my bed, and the first step I took left my toe tangled in the wide leg of my jeans.  I tried to regain my balance as the closet inched closer, but with wildly flailing arms, I came crashing down. The thud reverberated across the wooden floor, and it sounded as if I'd broken something.
     Dad darted back into my room. "Are you okay?" He lifted me back onto my feet as if I weighed nothing.
     Tears lurked in the corners of my eyes, threatening to burst, as I stared up at him.
    "Don't give me that look, Elena. Please, we need to hurry.” He pulled my suitcase from the top shelf and chucked it haphazardly onto my bed. “We need to go. Now.”
     He started to grab my clothes from the shelf and tossed them messily inside my small suitcase. Then he paused, sighed, and looked up with soft eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek with his hand gently. “This wasn't the right place, bear. Please, you’ve got to trust me.”
     His hand reached back to pull everything off my shelf, while my hands curled up into balls of fury. My heart pounded fast as those two words bounced inside my skull. “Trust you, Dad?”
     "Elena, we don't have much time,” he yelled. “Pack your bags! You can ask questions later." He left, and the hollow “doof” sound from his footsteps stomped loudly as he made his way into the hall.
     Ask questions? Yeah right! I’ll only get answers that don’t reveal why we are on the run for the gazillionth time.' “Trust me” and “I'll tell you when the time is right” were the only two answers Dad gave. 'Guess time with him will never be right.’
     It was no use arguing with him anyway. The last time, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me out without any of my things.
     So I grabbed the stuff I needed: my mp3 player, a photo of Mom that Dad didn't know I had, and my journal from underneath my bed. I tossed them into my backpack. It wasn't much, but it was the stuff that made my miserable life felt less pathetic. I zipped up my suitcase and took a deep breath. Looking around my bedroom for the last time, I said goodbye to my sixtieth-something room.
     Dad almost ran me over in the hall with his army bag slung over his shoulder. He grumbled, which I assumed was an apology, took my suitcase, and ran down the stairs. He always rented these huge old houses, pre-furnished and near the countryside, and we always left after three months.
     The pickup's horn honked as I shut the front door. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Just two more years, then I'll be eighteen and free from this freak show. Huge raindrops fell hard onto the ground. The smell of wet dirt filled the air. It was my favorite smell.
     The water that pooled on the ground covered all the gaps in the driveway, forcing me to hopscotch around all of them. My shoe got caught in one of the gaps and I smacked down hard in a huge puddle. By the time I reached the truck, my jeans and shoes were soaking wet. 
     Warm heat from the vents inside the truck hit me full blast as I jumped in; a million goose pimples erupted across my skin.  As soon as I shut the rusty door, Dad floored the gas pedal. Tires screeched and the truck spun away as if the Devil chased us.  My lower lip quivered softly as he swerved onto the road. The streetlights flew by in a blur as I plugged in my earpieces. The same stupid song about a miracle boomed from my mp3, drowning the sound of the engine and the hard dribbles on the roof, a percussion that became the perpetual soundtrack to my misery.
       A feeling of utter loneliness consumed my heart as I stared out the window. Homes with white picket fences and the convenient store whizzed by in a flash. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said goodbye, and my breath on the glass created a foggy condensation. Reaching out my index finger, I drew a small heart. These were the reasons why Mom had left. She couldn't handle his paranoia, but why she’d left her daughter to deal with it was a mystery. Dad constantly reminded me of the latter, and that was the only time he ever spoke of her. If he ever discovered I had that picture, he would kill me. That was how much he hated her for leaving us.
     The lights of a vehicle in the upcoming lane shone directly into my face. I shut my eyes, waiting for it to disappear. As a little girl, I used to watch Dad as we drove away from yet another house. He would glare into his rearview mirror every five seconds, every muscle in his face clenched, and his knuckles white on the steering wheel. I hadn’t been able to force myself to peek out the window then, as it used to scare the living crap out of me to consider the possible reasons he was fleeing from, or who might be following us. Now, I didn't look at him or care much for what he was going through. He created this problem. With me becoming the luggage. It was a ritual I endured every three months, and nothing over the past sixteen years had ever changed that.
     The “Interstate 40” sign flew by in a whirl, and the pickup slowly moved onto the turnoff lane.
     My eyes started to burn as I stared at the rain running down my window. Each rivet resembled another town, another place I would never again call home. Exhaustion consumed me and my eyelids felt heavy. I laid my head against the window and struggled to stay awake.
     Suddenly, a dark and huge figure flew past me. Dad swerved to the left, which made me crushed into the side of the passenger’s door. My entire body pumped with adrenaline. I jumped straight in my seat and wrenched the seatbelt over my shoulder to buckle myself in. I tore out my earpieces as I tried to process what had just happened.
     “What was that?” I looked at Dad.
      He stared straight ahead with huge eyes. Beads of sweat rolled from his hairline down to the side of his temple. He looked terrified, something that conflicted with his personality. I'd never seen Dad look that scared in my entire life.
     “Did you see where it went?” he asked, attempting to inject calm into his voice, but I could hear the fear lacing each syllable.
     “See where what went? Dad what was that!”
     “You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”
     “For once in your life, just tell me!” I screamed. Sixteen years of frustration exploded from my lungs. I couldn't take the unknown anymore.
    “Fine.” He mumbled something else that I didn't catch. "Do you remember the stories I used to tell you?"
    “Stories? What stories?”
    “The ones about Paegeia, Elena.” He looked in his rearview mirror again with huge, unblinking eyes.
     Vaguely, but I didn't tell him that. "What does that have to do with this?"
     “They're real.”
      I froze and I stared at him.
      “All of it, it’s real. The dragons, the magic, the wall, everything is real.”

my reaction to that last sentence

And now ladies and gentlemen, I give you my review! 

Title: Firebolt
Author: Adrienne Woods
Publication Date: November 17, 2013
Pages: 306
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn't know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn't even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales - a dragon. With her father's death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia. Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia - Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him - the King of Lion Sword. When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn't think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.

I really love dragons you guys! No, I mean it. Dragons and me, we would make an awesome team. So when Ms. Woods offered me a spot on her book tour, I couldn't resist! 

Okay, so we start off with Elena in the real world. She's sick of her dad's paranoia and she just wants to live a normal girl life.

Yeah okay.

Problem is, Elena is pretty darn special (and I think I know why!) We're not told in this novel why exactly she is so special, only that she has a very rare birthmark, and that in itself is special.  -Cue the halfway successful assassination attempt (which no one questions?)-

So just like in a lot of Disney movies, Elena's father dies early in the beginning and she mysteriously ends up on the other side of the Bermuda Triangle, also known as the country as Paegeia. Which has dragons.

And the best part is there are more than just one type of dragons, there are also different abilities that dragons can have! And they have riders which are called Dragonians. Undoubtedly you can tell me what Elena is. I'll give you a hint, she's not a dragon.

Wait, did you say she's a Dragonian? DING DING DING! You are correct! There are some complications to her claim as a Dragonian but I'll leave that for you guys to find out!

I want to get into characters and plot really quickly. There's a big band of characters, and I enjoyed all of them, even if I didn't necessarily like them all! Every character was a bit quirky and I can't wait to see these characters come into play more as the series progresses. I really enjoyed the sweet moments that Elena had with Lucian, even though they were all short-lived. Something always happened to ruin those moments! 

A lot of the first book is on Elena and how she is coping in the new realm. I mean, this is an accurate portrayal of how a human being would react in a new land! They would be freaked out!!! There's also that feeling of a meandering plot, it goes from one scene to the next without any real importance but overall,

Thank you Effie

The first half of this novel is pretty slow, which is expected when it's the first book of a new series. There's quite a lot to cover, especially when there are DRAGONS involved! The second half picks up the pace and the ending, oh that ending. I mean sure, a lot of bad things happen to Elena, but may I just say that I would love to switch places with the girl. Especially if what I think is going to happen in the next installments actually happens. (Some of the plot twists are pretty clear, other stuff, eh-not so much.)

I do have to point out that there are A LOT, I mean a lot, of questions raised as the story unfolds, and we get hardly any answers in the first book. I would've liked a few of them answered at least. A few isn't too much to ask, is it?

Why indeed? I know, I know. It's to get me hooked so I will keep reading. 
Me: But answers!!! 
Firebolt: No.
Me: :(

Okay, lovely people. That's it for my review. As promised, here is the information for the giveaway.

Enter to Win! 

Printed copy of Firebolt
Custom made bookmark

Five e-copies also up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Firebolt Book Tour + Giveaway! (Part 1/2)

Welcome, welcome, welcome! So the day is finally here, and you my special little ducklings will get to learn all about Firebolt, book one in The Dragonian Series! So without further ado, 

I know you guys have been in agony over this book, and want to know what's what. So in Part One, we'll start with some information about the book and move onto the author interview! Part Two will feature an excerpt and my review as well as the entry point for the giveaway!

Look at that cover! That is a nice cover there!

Title: Firebolt
ISBN: 1491244658
ISBN13: 9781491244654
Author: Adrienne Woods
Series: The Dragonian Series
Publisher: GMTA Publishing Mythos Press
Release Date: November 20, 2013
Back blurb:

Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year-old Elena Watkins was no different.

Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.

Now Elena is in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a prince wants Elena's heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh and the only way Elena's going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.

Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales. Now it's time for Elena to believe in...herself.


For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn't know it. Forced to travel from home to home every three months Elena’s life was a never ending blur of new towns and new faces, that is, until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia.
Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians, she begins to feel a sense of belonging in this strange world; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Elena is soon swept up in the rigor of her new life and the new set of skills she now needs to survive: Latin, Art of War, and Enchantments.
Entranced by her new reality Elena learns about the dragons and humans who inhabit her new home. There are two classes of dragons that soar through Paegeia distinguished by their instinctual pretense for either good or darkness. The distinction between these two very different species is vital to Elena’s success in her new world because she has been marked as a Dragonian, a human preordained to ride and tame a dragon of her very own.
With the help of her new friends, Elena is able to navigate the complexities of her new home. Her new roommates Becky and Sammy are even more amazing then she could have ever imaged and to top it all off, Sammy was a dragon. Sammy is also the devoted sister of Blake, the most attractive boy at school and the Rubicon; the only dragon of his kind with the abilities of all the dragon species with a pretense for evil. Elena soon finds the love she always wanted with Lucian, the Prince of Tith, who actively pursues Elena throughout her time at Dragonia Academy, winning her heart with his absolute adoration and unshaken dedication.
Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer to ever practice his evil arts in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. The first step in his menacing plan is to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword.
When the sword is stolen Elena doesn't think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home. She travels to the Sacred Cavern, and discovers the nefarious actions of an unknown man leads to the swords destruction as she follows the trail revealed in the prophetic waters of the cavern.
Elena and her friends engage the mysterious man revealing their existence to Goran and fighting for their very lives.

Pretty sure that sounded awesome to you. I know it did because I'm psychic. The mastermind behind all of this is one of the sweetest people I've ever e-mailed! So we're going to take some time here and introduce the author!

All About the Author
Adrienne Woods

I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. I always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now I can’t stop writing.

In my free time, If I get any because Moms don’t really have free time, I love to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, I’m a very chilled person.

My writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series.

I do write in different Genres, I have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then I have a paranormal series, called the Watercress series. There are about ten novels in that one.

So, plenty of novels to come out, so little time.

I hope you are going to embrace the Dragonian Series as much as I loved writing them.

Kind Wishes,

Adrienne Woods

Author Links

Name: Adrienne Woods
Occupation: Author of The Dragonian Series
Age: Turning twenty one for the Thirteenth time
Country of Birth: South Africa
Status: Married
Children: 2 little girls, Maddison and Jamie-Leigh
            The Aswang Series (To come)
            The Dragonian Series
                Book one: Firebolt
                Book two: Thunderstruck (Fall of 2014)
                Book three: Frostbite (Early next year)
                Book four: Moon Breeze (2016)
            The Pregnancy diaries to come 2015
            The Aquarian series to come in 2016
            The Elemental Series to come in 2017

The Dragonian Series: It follows 16yr old Elena Watkins and her father Herbert fleeing from their home. Dragons attack them on interstate40 and killed Herbert. Elena gets saved by another dragon and got whisk away to Paegeia. A hidden world protected by a magical wall. She has to deal with dragons and magic and how to use her abilities when she ascends. To make matters worse Elena is born with the mark of the Dragonians and now she has to learn how to tame a dragon and ride them. Becky a fellow Dragonian and Sammy a Fire-tail dragon try to help her accepting this world’s reality and how to become a true Dragonian. She finds love with the Prince of Tith although she has a strange awkward feeling when Blake, The Rubicon and hottest guy in school is near. To see how Elena deals with all of this and why she chose to search for the formidable sword called the King of Lion, grab your copy now.

Thunderlight, book 2 of the Dragonian series will be available on Amazon in December of 2014

Get your copy of Firebolt Book 1 of The Dragonian Series now:

Friday, April 18, 2014

You should be excited

Because I am so excited! 

Next week, I'll be hosting Adrienne Woods, the author of Firebolt, Book One in The Dragonian Series!

This is especially exciting because Firebolt is the first book tour to be on my blog, so double yays!

Starts April 22, 2014
And A Goddess Reads is the first stop! I'll have all sorts of goodies lined up for the event including an author spotlight, excerpt, and a full review which I can't wait to release! 

Make sure to clear out your calenders people! I'll go ahead and list the other blogs that will be on the tour below so you can check them out!

Tour Dates
Tuesday the 22nd April: Spotlight and Excerpt and Review
A Goddess Reads  -  with Shayna (That's me!)

Monday the 28th April: Spotlight and Excerpt
Sakuchus Blog  -  with Jasmin

Tuesday the 29th April: Spotlight and Review
All The Bookish Love  -  with  Monique

Wednesday the 30th April: Spotlight and ?
A Gypsy Heart  -  with Terese

Thursday the 1st May: Spotlight and Review
Fire & Ice Book Reviews  -  with Jaqui

Friday the 2nd May: Spotlight and Excerpt
Follow the Yellow Book Road  -  with Emily

Monday the 5th May: Spotlight and Review
Deyse Says It All  -  with Deyse

Tuesday the 6th May: Spotlight and Excerpt
Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Screamer  -  with Melissa

Wednesday the 7th May: Spotlight and Excerpt
Two gals and plenty of books  -  with Erika

Thursday the 8th May: Spotlight and Review
Pretty Little Pages  -  with Kristen

Friday the 9th May: Spotlight and Excerpt
What's Beyond Forks? 
-  with Gabby

Monday the 11th May: Spotlight and ?
Saad's Books World  -  with Saad 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn ~ Review

Title: Complicit
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Pages: 256
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary: Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know this one simple truth: She’s not the crazy one and never has been.

Have you ever been mad at book? No, seriously, like pissed the fuck off at a book?! That was me. With this book. At the end. THAT ENDING!!! I was ranting about this finale for days. My boyfriend told me to get over it, it's just a book. But it was so much more, he didn't understand!

Thank you book grandma, you have summed this up nicely. Although I read it on my kindle, so no paperbacks for me. Honestly, if it were an actual book it would've ended up trampled on. I wanted to kill it.

But those are the great books, am I right? The kind that evoke some feeling whether they be happy, depressed or hulk-angry. I'm surprised how quickly I read it though. Within the better part of a day, it only took a couple sittings to get through. I'd put it down to do something and find myself coming right back to it, eager to find out what happens. The funny thing is there isn't even that much action in it until very near the end. We're mainly stuck with Jamie and his day to day thoughts. But it wasn't boring. I never felt bored, which was such a fantastic change! I'm typically a fantasy reader, so I was worried when I saw how internal everything was.

But let us get to the good stuff. You know, like what actually happened in this god-forsaken book.

Obviously, I liked it quite a bit. 4.5 stars, dayum. The writing was incredible. I sunk like a stone in Stephanie's little world and I never felt off-kilter. Characters were spot on, they were likable, unpredictable, and very very life-like. What's not to love? And that plot. Oh, that finicky, slithery snake of a plot. It loops, it twists, and at the very last fucking second it squeezes everything out of you. Fuck this plot snake. 

Jamie's crazy sister, Cate is finally out of juvie, and she has a secret so dark and consuming, there's nothing she can do to stop it. She has to tell Jamie, before it's too late. Throughout the whole book you're reading along and thinking damn, she is crazy. But then you remember the synopsis. What does it mean, she's not the crazy one?! Look at all this crap she's done. Well, about halfway through the gear sin your head will start turning and you're going to say to yourself, wait just a second.... However, most of the stuff that happens you will not see coming. I'd tell you to be prepared, but you can't. There's just no way. All I can tell you is you never really know a person, sometimes you never really know yourself.

Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!