Earlier in the year, I joined a book group and shortly after joining someone asked if I like bonfires. I grew up camping and roasting marshmallows over a fire so I said as much. This person responded back with ‘great’ and a link to a website. I clicked on the link and it led me to an event invitation for a book burning. SAY WHAT?!?! Maybe I was naïve in not knowing that ‘bonfire’ really doesn’t mean innocent marshmallow roasting? Regardless, I was shocked! Never in my life have I been approached and asked to burn books! Once I picked my jaw off the floor I responded with something along the lines of ‘It seems I have misunderstood the term bonfire. I do not believe in burning books no matter the content’.
I could go on forever on my opinions but I will keep it short and simple. I understand that not all books are for everyone. I think that a parent has the right to restrict what their child reads, but I do not believe in banning books beyond that level. I don’t think one person or a group of people should be able to decide what others can and cannot read.
Why am I telling you this? Well Saturday is the beginning of the Banned Book Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & I Read Banned Books. For the occasion I read and reviewed Scars by Cheryl Rainfield (see my review here). I will also be giving away a copy of Scars so check back on Saturday for the hop/giveaway!
I would love to hear your opinions on banned books and/or book burning!
Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
I was a little confused at first when I started reading this book. It doesn't begin how you might think after having read the first book. But quickly enough some of your questions are answered and you're sucked into the story.
There are a few big similarities and a few big differences between books 1 and 2. I cannot tell you what they are but just know that if you liked the first book, then you will love the second! The Dead-Tossed Waves held my interest much easier and I finished it in one sitting.
Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed.
Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination—something that should not exist—and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends—a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop—Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation…before it’s too late.
After the first couple pages I was a little worried that I wouldn't enjoy this book. But I kept reading and I'm very glad I did! I was quickly drawn into Celia's story. She is in way over her head with problems but that doesn't stop her from kicking butt and taking names. I love a story with a good strong female lead and Celia is just that!
This is a great book and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.
Dimitri Arsov, the last remaining pure vampire, was thought to be dead for the past four hundreds years. Now, he is back and has a score to settle with the traitor that had tried to kill him centuries ago. But as he waits for his prey to blindly step into his carefully laid trap, his overwhelming hunger for blood is triggered when he saves a beautiful art historian.
Kerstyn Ingmar’s life was normal and straight up boring until the night she is rescued by the dangerously sexy, powerfully mesmerizing, Dimitri. Unable to resist his diamond blue eyes and intense kisses, she is drawn into his world of darkness and closer to her impending doom.
While their desire consumes them, Dimitri is haunted by images of a bloody and deadly future. As his enemies draw near, he must find a way to save his mate from her fate before destiny destroys them both.
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This is a sssmokin' cover and I love the Las Vegas skyscape at the bottom!
Click here to see my review of Caressed By Moonlight, Rulers of Darkness #1
Kendra fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
A few months ago there was a lot of controversy over this book in the blogosphere. People debating if this book and others like it should be accessible to teens.
Honestly, I am insanely glad for the controversy. Not because I agree with book banning or burning (because I don't) but because without all of the talk I may have never heard of and read this book.
This is a vivid and emotional story about Kendra. Throughout the book she struggles to fight through her past as well as her present.
Is this book perfect? Probably not, but really what book is? You are so drawn into Kendra and her torment that you don't notice anything else.
I have the utmost respect for the author, Cheryl Rainfield. She had the strength to write about a painful yet important subject. If we ban books and avoid talking about hard subjects how will we ever be able to understand? How will we be able to help a loved one if they are in trouble? We can't just walk through life with blinders on.
I also like that there's a lot of hotlines and informational websites about cutting in the back of the book.
Hi. My name is J.A. Belfield. And I hear voices in my head.
I could lie and say they haven’t always been there.
The truth is, I’ve heard voices in my head for as long as I can remember. I just didn’t do anything with them until 2 ½ years ago.
Sometimes they whisper. Sometimes they shout. On occasion they murmur husky sweet nothings.
I would say it all depends on my current situation. But I’d be lying.
The voices always arrive when they want to. They never have any consideration for me.
Maybe that’s why I’m so mean to them all when I write their stories. Gotta have some payback, right?
Take Sean Holloway, for instance. He thought he’d have it all his own way. Screaming in my mind. Yelling his name until I had no choice but to acknowledge some hot dude named Sean who wanted his story telling.
So what did he get for his demands?
My refusal to write Darkness & Light from his PoV.
In fact, his irritating attention seeking is where I got the idea for Jem to keep hearing his name inside her head. Odd where the smallest of ideas can come from, eh?
On that tiny basis, Darkness & Light was built. Of course, I always knew Sean would be a werewolf. My first, second & third novels I ever wrote were all werewolf novels and I was far from ready to break away from that mould (or obsession—depending how you look at it). I also knew they had been together before. Scenes like their reunion played out so loud and clear within my mind they were an absolute breeze to write. In fact, the entire novel grabbed me by the throat, dragged my fingers across the keys, and did not let go until I had written ‘THE END’. <<yes, the original did have those two words as closure. J
I loved writing Darkness & Light.
Me being a total pantser meant I had no plot outline. I simply sat at my keyboard … wrote the first line … then the next. And I allowed each and every scene to unfold on its own.
The biggest Darkness & Light mystery to me was the cellar. At the very first mention of it by Jem I knew there was something down there but had no idea what. Then there was the second incident when she ventures down to check it out—even then I knew it held something ‘special’ but it just hadn’t revealed itself to me. I didn’t sweat over it. I simply carried on writing. Then, around 80% through the novel, whilst writing a scene completely irrelevant to the cellar, I paused mid-sentence and said: “Of course—that’s what’s down there.” Yes, I did say that out loud. Yes, I was sitting in my bedroom alone at the time. Then I smiled … shrugged … and went back to the scene I was in.
From start to finish, Darkness & Light evolved in this way for me. I lived, breathed, dreamed Sean and Jem for 6 weeks (my family are VERY understanding), and 161,000 words (at 1st draft) later, Darkness & Light was born. My baby. The first novel I’d written that I 100% believed in.
And now I’m finally able to share it with you (thank you, J. Taylor Publishing). You all have NO idea how freakin’ high that makes me feel.
So … the morale of this story is: If you have voices in your head, do what they say ... unless, of course, you're on medication for it.
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If you want to stalk...err...I mean learn more about J.A. Belfield, you can find her at the below links.
Jem Stonehouse, a housewife with a neurotic husband bent on keeping her in line, dreams about werewolves in, what she believes, is a bid to escape boredom.
Sean Holloway is a werewolf, living a charade within the human race, whose mind drifts to a bond he shares with a woman he hasn't met--at least, not in this lifetime.
Apart, the two are safe but live unfulfilled lives.
Together, they'll become prey to rival packs just as they have been for hundreds of years.
When their worlds collide, and not for the first time, instinct takes over. Dreams become reality. Futures are uncertain. To keep history from repeating itself, Sean must teach Jem about his heritage, convince her of her role, and win her love.
Can Jem accept her destiny before it's too late, or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?
I'm keeping this short and sweet.
This is one of those books. You know the type. It draws you in, mesmerizes you, and captures your breath until the very last word. It sticks with you well after you’ve finished reading and wills you to back into its pages.
After reading this book I noticed that there is a prequel and also a short story of one of the scenes from Darkness & Light told from Sean's perspective. I will definitely be reading both in the future!
Werewolf Sean Holloway treats the village marketplace like a sexual buffet, though his charm does little to win over his latest entrée of choice. Whether because of Jem Stonehouse’s unique scent, her headstrong nonchalance, or the fact he is forbidden to see her by his pack’s rules, Sean wants her.
When Jem is nothing but flippant toward his advances, he pursues her with vigour, stealing moments alone with her without a libido-driven agenda.
The new and heady experience for him drives their relationship beyond romantic interest, and straight toward love.
That is, until Jem learns the truth about Sean’s heritage. Knowledge of the existence of werewolves leads to only one outcome: death.
In this prequel to Darkness & Light, we are taken back in time, to the very beginning of Jem and Sean’s love-across-the-centuries relationship.
Did it end there? Or did Sean defy his own pack to save the woman he loves?
A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next." Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside. Now she's at Sea Pines, a "residential treatment facility" filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn't want to have anything to do with them. She doesn't want to have anything to do with anyone. She won''t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long
I'm sorry to say that I wasn't too impressed with this book. The book follows Callie's stay at a help facility after it's discovered that she cuts. You would think you would get emotionally involved with a book about cutting, but it didn't happen for me. There were a few pages towards the end that were a little more touching but overall I wasn't attached to Callie.
I posted back in February about Maria V. Snyder's upcoming book, Touch of Power. Well there's now a face to go with the name so to speak. The newly released US and UK covers are below. Which cover is your favorite?
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...