Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book Review: Afterlife

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Title: Afterlife
Author: Megg Jensen
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance


The fire inside Lianne threatened to consume her, but she fought back and won. Unfortunately the collateral damage of her decisions won’t stop haunting her. She embarks on a secret trip to find Mags and return her son, but her search leads her into another nest of lies.

Everyone’s safety is in Lianne’s hands as the Malborn, an enemy more fearsome than her own people, looms over them. Will Lianne be able to unravel the secrets in time to save the ones she loves the most? Or will her lack of faith in her own decisions lead to disaster?

Afterlife weaves some of the favorite characters from the Cloud Prophet Trilogy (Anathema, Oubliette, and Severed) into The Swarm Trilogy as Lianne comes face-to-face with a character introduced at the end of Severed.

Book Review: Sleepers

Title: Sleepers
Author: Megg Jensen
Genre/s: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance


An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Book of Paul Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Please enjoy this guest post by Richard Long, author of the nail-biting supernatural thriller, The Book of Paul. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

The Tarot

A guest post by Richard Long

Laura gave me my first tarot deck. It was a Crowley. A lot of people get creeped out by Crowley decks, much as they would have been creeped out by Crowley, I imagine. He called himself ‘The Great Beast.’ To me, he seemed more like a big joke.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!”

Stop it, you’re killing me.
You just read the opening lines of The Bone King, a prequel to The Book of Paul. They happen to be true. Laura gave me my first deck. I still have it and use it. In fact, I’ll be using it shortly to provide Skype tarot readings for two lucky winners of my Whirlwind Blog Tour. I’m looking forward to the readings. The winners? I suppose that depends on which cards come up.

Actually, I don’t give scary tarot readings, I just write about scary tarot readings. People have enough fear and stress in their lives without me throwing more gas on the flames. Besides, the three scariest trump cards--The Hanged Man, Death and The Tower--can all be interpreted in very unscary ways. Most of the time.

William, the narrator of The Book of Paul, lives in the East Village/Alphabet City of New York in the years before gentrification made it a much less fun and frightening place. He makes a living doing tarot and numerology readings, same as the author did at the time. Like me, he is also a collector, but that’s where the similarities end. He collects ancient occult codices, some covered in human skin. He collects other things that are even more…disturbing.

His Black Wings Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Title: His Black Wings
Author: Astrid Yrigollen
Genre/s: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Expected Publication: November 2012

His Black Wings is...Beauty and the Beast set in the future during a Victorian era revival. 

The Grand Council has brought the world peace, but will it last?Malice, revenge and lust are not easily defeated...

Claren Maidstone has been forced to flee her childhood home, following the death of her parents and a vicious attack from a man who intends to marry her. 

She assumes a new identity and finds employment as an assistant to the handsome, Fredrick Lowood. However, Fredrick's generosity isn't without a price and Claren soon finds herself forced into a strange friendship with his disfigured son. Unaware of how Claren's past entwines with his own, Etrigan Lowood begins to yearn for her love. 

Unfortunately, the past is not far behind.

Is his love for Claren enough? 

Or will Etrigan remain alone with his black wings... 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Book of Paul Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Please enjoy this interview with Richard Long, author of the nail-biting supernatural thriller, The Book of Paul. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

1. Tell us about the spark of inspiration that eventually grew into The Book of Paul.

The initial inspiration for The Book of Paul came when I wrote the first line of the first chapter called Exercises: “He practiced smiling.” I wanted to explore a character who had been so damaged by childhood trauma that he could no longer feel compassion, joy, affection, and had, accordingly, committed all kinds of horrible acts. I wondered if such a person could ever regain his emotional capacity and be redeemed by love.

2. What was the research process like for this book (which can at times deal with some pretty heady and—frankly—grotesque goings-on)? Any horror stories to share?

There are many aspects to the story, so the research was really extensive. I love doing the research almost as much as the writing, so it’s a joy for me to read and learn so many new things. The creation mythology literally goes back to square one and builds from there, tracing the history of Hermetic and Gnostic philosophy, alchemy, druidism and pagan mythology-- particularly Egyptian, Greek and Celtic traditions. There’s also a strong science fiction element involving quantum physics, artificial intelligence, life extension and what’s known as The Singularity. Other lines of exploration involved Irish genealogy and what I call the pain culture: tattoos, elaborate piercings and body modifications.

I made some gruesome discoveries along the way. The most disturbing was the Extreme Body Modification website I stumbled upon, which is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen. I first saw it in the early days of the Internet, which is pretty amazing in itself. I checked recently and it’s still there, though I didn’t have the stomach to peek inside again. I’m actually as squeamish as some of my readers about certain things, which is probably why the horror comes across so vividly. If something scares the hell out of me, it’s easy for me to convey that fear and revulsion.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Book of Paul Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway

Monday, September 24, 2012
Please enjoy this excerpt from The Book of Paul, a nail-biting supernatural thriller by Richard Long. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

Monsters: An Excerpt from The Book of Paul

by Richard Long

You tell your children not to be afraid. You tell them everything will be all right. You tell them Mommy and Daddy will always be there. You tell them lies.

Paul looked out the filthy window and watched the little girl playing in the filthier street below. Hopscotch. He didn’t think kids played hopscotch anymore. Not in this neighborhood. Hip-hopscotch, maybe.

“Hhmph! What do you think about that?”

Paul watched the little black girl toss her pebble or cigarette butt or whatever it was to square number five, then expertly hop, hop, hop her way safely to the square and back. She was dressed in a clean, fresh, red-gingham dress with matching red bows in her neatly braided pigtails. She looked so fresh and clean and happy that he wondered what she was doing on this shithole street.

The girl was playing all by herself. Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop. She was completely absorbed in her hopping and scotching and Paul was equally absorbed watching every skip and shuffle. No one walked by and only a single taxi ruffled the otherworldly calm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: If I Know Its Coming

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Title: If I Know Its Coming
Author: Nick Hupton
Genre/s: Middle Grade/ Young Adult, Contemporary


Thirteen-year-old Tim Hansen lives in a quaint little neighborhood in South Minneapolis. For the most part, he leads a normal, preteen existence. He is concerned about friendships, girls, sports and even schoolwork from time to time. But when his mother who is a nurse in the United States Army Reserve, is deployed to Iraq, Tim's relatively normal and happy existence gets flipped upside down. How will Tim cope without his mother? Will his family ever be the same? Middle school was unpredictable enough, but when Tim faces this sudden dose for mortality, the adventure is just beginning.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: Taste

Friday, September 21, 2012

Title: Taste
Author: Kate Evangelista
Genre/s: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Romance


At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: Anthology 1: The Other Side

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Title: Anthology 1: The Other Side
Author: Hamidah Gul
Genre/s: Horror, Short Stories, Science Fiction, Fantasy

A collection of stories about things that go bump in the night. Stories about the end of the world, what happens when your wishes come true, and when your emotions become your darkest enemy.

1. The Suicide Case – A story about how three lives are intertwined to balance the scales between good and evil.

2. Come Home with Me – Never invite her to come home with you. She will never leave till you are dead.

3. The Other Side – This story is written in the point of view of one man who witnesses the end of the world.

4. Mission of Mercy – This story is written in the point of view of the one who will end the world. This story is linked to The Other Side.

5. The Best Friend – Ever wondered what your best friend is thinking when she is smiling at you?

6. The Lonely Heart – A young man ponders the end of his life after being rejected by society and family but not everything is what it seems.

7. Mary had a Little Lamb – A young woman who receives a disturbing prophecy that someone she loves will end her life and the desperate measures she takes to keep that from happening.

8. Mother and the Birds - Flash fiction of what a mother wants her son to learn.

9. The Death Star – A story in the voice of a young star looking for his purpose in space and finally finding it.

10. Children of the Mist – Wishes do come true but at what expense? Five young children were given their dreams and now the time has come for them to make a choice whether they want to keep their dreams.

Guess what's in my Mailbox #4

For the 4th Guess what's in my Mailbox, here are the books that I received from giveaways and from authors.

Leisure Reading

I won Storm, the first book in the Elemental series, from Kayla @ Bibliophilia, Please. She always have an amazing giveaway on her blog so check it out.
For Review

Shakespeare VS Lovecraft is Horror/ Comedy Mash-up of Shakespeare's Character and the Horrific Creatures of Lovecraft. It was sent to me by the author, Mr. D.R O'brien.I can't wait to start and dig into this literary mash-up. 

And this gorgeous hardback copy of Flesh was sent to me by Mr. Khanh Ha for its upcoming blog tour on October 22 to November 16. My tour date is on October 24, so mark your calendar because this is going to be LEGEN..wait for it... DARY!

Monday, September 17, 2012

ARC Review: The Assassin's Curse

Monday, September 17, 2012

Title: The Assassin's Curse
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Genre/s: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal


Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Prowl Blog Tour: Review and Interview

Friday, September 14, 2012

Title: Prowl
Author: Amber Garza
Series: Prowl Trilogy
Genre/s: Young Adult, Supernatural,


Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Smith is sent away to spend a boring summer at her grandma's. But then she meets Wesley. He tells her exactly what she wants to hear and has information about her past that no one else knows. It's almost like he can read her mind.

Only Wesley isn't who he seems.

By the time Mackenzie discovers his true identity it may be too late. She's in too deep and he won't let her go. Now Mackenzie must call on the strongest power of all in order to save her life.

My Thoughts:

The thing I like about this book is that, it was believable. 

MacKenzie is your typical misunderstood teenage girl who is in constant need of love and attention. The problems she encountered in this book just reflects the problems of our present generation (i.e. broken family, bad influence, teen angst etc.). It also showed the things that could happen to a child if she were in bad company.

I think this book is a nice eye opener to teens and parents. And I really think everyone should read it, no matter what their religion is.

My Rating:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

She Wulf Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Please enjoy this interview with Sheryl Steines, author of the action-packed urban fantasy, She Wulf. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of She Wulf, and 5 copies of its companion, The Day of First Sun.

1. When you start a book do you know how it will end or do you create the ending as you go along?

I have a rough idea of what the book will be about and I have some scene ideas and a rough ending. When I wrote The Day of First Sun, I knew that a high profile, non-magical person was going to be murdered by magic. I wrote out a paragraph of things that I wanted to see in the story and began writing. I didn’t look at the paragraph again until after the book was published and realized that I didn’t keep to my original thoughts at all. I tend to work without an outline because I feel tied to the story as if I’m trying to make everything fit. I prefer to let it flow and change. I like the freedom and the discovery. Sometimes I’m wildly surprised.

2. Do your book characters ever visit you in your dreams?

Yes and no. Not as much when I’m sleeping, but I daydream about them all the time. It’s how I work out characters and storylines. It’s almost as if a movie is playing in my head and I can change and add to storylines.

3. What are your favorite authors as either an adult or a child?

When I was a kid, I loved Nancy Drew. I read every one of them, but I didn’t just want to read them, I wished I had wrote them and started to write my own detective stories when I was seven. As I grew older, I read Judy Blume and Stephen King. Both made me feel something and from that I wanted to keep writing. I still read Stephen King and was very inspired by his autobiography On Writing. It was J.K. Rowling though, that reminded me of what I loved to read and that’s what inspired me to write my own fantasy novel.

4. How do you go about finishing a chapter when you can’t get it right?

I skip it…Just kidding. No, actually I’m not. Sometimes, I make a note in all caps reminding me I haven’t finished the chapter and other notes that I might be thinking about for the chapter and start the next one. Sometimes you just need to move on. The answer will eventually hit you upside the head when you least expect it.

Back to the Books Giveaway Winner

I'm really sorry if it took me 5 days to pick the winner. I've been really busy this past few days, working on the layout of my blog and also my school schedule. So, I'm really sorry for the delay.

Anyway, I will now announce the lucky entrant who will receive a Book of their Choice worth $15. And the lucky winner is....*drumroll*



You have 48 hours to reply on the email that I sent you or otherwise I'm going to pick new winner.

Cover Reveal: Reaping Me Softly

Title: Reaping Me Softly
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Expected Release: October 30, 2012

Book Description:

Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?

I recently became a fan of Kate Evangelista when I read her novel Taste. So, I'm really excited for her new book especially now that see the cover.

I cannot wait to read this! It's so pretty!

*This cover reveal is brought to you by AToMR Tours.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

She Wulf Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Please enjoy this guest post by Sheryl Steines, author of the action-packed urban fantasy, She Wulf. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of She Wulf, and 5 copies of its companion, The Day of First Sun.

Time Travel? Yes, I think so!

A guest by Sheryl Steines

If you could go anywhere, meet any person, in any period of time, where would you go, what would you do, who would you meet? I know this is all hypothetical, but hey, I write in the pretend--in the fantasy. So suspend your disbelief, and come play with me for a moment.

Not such an easy question to answer, is it? One option would be to go and meet someone long dead--perhaps Elvis circa 1959 makes your heart swoon. Would you take the opportunity to meet a favorite entertainer, or maybe you want your trip to count for something meaningful? But what if you made a change, saved a life, corrected a wrong, how would your alterations affect the future? An interesting notion, don’t you think?

As I wrote She Wulf, my time travel adventure, I developed the idea of changing the past and how that might lead to the future you are trying to change. Maybe our interference might just be a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s when The Terminator movie struck me as so relevant and important in how I shaped my ideas of time travel.

For those who don’t know, The Terminator is a science fiction adventure where machines take over the world. The machines are human like cyborgs, ruled by an artificial intelligence program called Skynet, whose sole mission is to annihilate humanity. In opposition, the resistance was created by John Connor and they are winning the war. In an effort to prevent the resistance from being founded, the cyborgs send back one of their own, to murder John’s mother Sarah, before he’s born. To protect her and ensure he is even conceived, he sends back one of his soldiers (his father), to protect her. Got all that. So finally to my point, and I realize this all imaginary and takes place on celluloid but really, had the cyborgs never sent back the terminator, John Connor never would have sent back his father and he wouldn’t have been born. But what can you expect from a bunch of cyborgs anyway?

Guess What's in my Mailbox #3

So for the 3rd Guess What's in My Mailbox, I will show you not just the book I won from giveaways but also books which I received for review from authors.

Here they are:
Books Won

I won City of Ashes from Kelly @ Read it in Houston. She has a meme called Free Friday Swag where you can win great books and cool swag. Check out her blog. 

Books for Review


I just wanted to thank these authors for sending me a copy of their book even if I'm halfway around the world and also for signing this books for me. :)
Thank you so much!

Monday, September 10, 2012

She Wulf Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway

Monday, September 10, 2012
Today is the start of the massive whirlwind tour for She-Wulf and I'm really excited to be part of this. One reason is because this is the first tour after my blog makeover and secondly, this such a big event to participate in. So I won't keep you waiting any longer.

Please enjoy this excerpt from She Wulf, an action-packed urban fantasy by Sheryl Steines. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of She Wulf, and 5 copies of its companion, The Day of First Sun.


Someone screamed; a terrified, naked shrill cry in the distance. There were sounds of hollering, screeching, grunting, stomping. The ground rumbled under Annie as she threw several layers of animal skins to the ground.

Spencer jumped up; the coven roused themselves.

“The mead hall,” he said as they threw open the door and ran to the village center.

Chaos turned to determination as the coven traveled through the forest toward the mead hall. Annie knew the Vikings were running, screaming, panicked— but all she could hear were footsteps, and her heart pounding in her chest. Spencer had come with her; she didn’t know where he was now. She only knew the steady rhythm surrounding her as the coven followed the trail. Instinctively she went into battle mode. This was what had brought here. Her adrenaline pumped through her, her heart beat quicker, her blood boiled with rage, and she ran faster.

They were through the forest and into the clearing that surrounded the mead hall. Annie’s senses changed, grew clearer and louder. She heard terrified voices; smelled fear hanging in the air. The anxious cries of the Vikings moved through her. She listened to the growling and grunting and the rage and horror the demons brought forth. It crowded her as they broke through the wooded area.

Swords swished in the air; metal sliced through flesh. Anxious, chaotic screams greeted them as they entered the massacre.

I'm satisfied and ready to go

Ta da!

This is the product of my weekend extreme blog makeover. Isn't it a beauty?

So, what I did is I picked a template which looks simple yet easy to customize. Then, I put a thumbnail image slider like the one in my old template, because people really like that feature in my blog. And lastly, I customized the sidebar title widget, blog post title and the menu.

I'm really satisfied with what I did(for now). I swear, I searched almost all the blog tutorials just to create this. I think, I learned more about CSS and HTML codes this past 2 days compared to my web development subject in college. No kidding!

I guess, I should do this more often.

Books For YA! is finally good to go,again. More tours, giveaways and book review coming soon so watch out for that!


Friday, September 07, 2012

2nd Weekend Blog Maintenance

Friday, September 07, 2012
After 2 days of thinking about my template and how I'm so uninspired with it, I decided to, finally, change it.

So this weekend, September 8-9 expect menu buttons that doesn't work, widgets disarray and a whole lot of crazyness in my layout. Just be patient, and I'll make the wait worthwhile.

And also I haven't posted any reviews since the First Frost, so expect The Assassin's Curse and Taste reviews after the changes.

Until then my friends...


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

To Change or Not to Change?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012
"To change or not to change, that is the question."

Okay I'm going to stop right there. I might ruin Shakespeare's Hamlet if I go any further. Anyway,  that is not the exact question. The specific question is, Should I change my template or not? 

Bummer, right?  I don't know why I'm so moody. I just changed this template last month, on August 12, but I feel like I'm not satisfied with it. But because I have more than 450 followers who will be affected with the decisions that I will make in this blog, I will let you decide if I should stick to this template or not.

So, this is what we're going to do, I will show the picture of my current template and also my substitute template and then let me know what you like best through comments.

Here they are:
Template #1: Current Template

Template #2: Substitute Template

You will be the judge. What do you think?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Winners of 100 Followers Giveaway!!!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Thank you to my wonderful 364 followers for making my first giveaway successful! I didn't expect this at all. You guys inspired me to be better with what I'm doing. I really appreciate each and everyone of you.

So before I get all emotional and tear up here, I will now announce the names of the 3 winners. Drum roll please! *drumroll*


Alice M

You now have 48 hours to reply on the email that I sent you or otherwise I'm going to pick new winner.
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