Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One Ends, Another Begins: Level 26- Dark Origins

 
Happy New Year's Eve! This is the last book in the adult section of my library for the One Ends, Another Begins Book Challenge

Level 26 by Anthony E. Zuiker, with Duane Swierczynski

Review by Lauren

copy from library, all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Law enforcement personnel categorize murderers on a scale of twenty-five levels of evil-from the naive opportunists starting out at Level 1 to the organized, premeditated torture murderers who inhabit Level 25. But to an elite unnamed investigations group assigned to hunt down the world's most dangerous killers, headed by Steve Dark, a new category of killer is being defined....

Review: Level 26 is one of those books that would normally fascinate me, but I might not actually pick up for fear of being too scared. However, with this challenge, it's all about being surprised and taking a chance...so I dove into the book and found it to be one I was always reluctant to put down. Yes, it's definitely a scary novel, focusing around a serial killer that surpasses any before him. He doesn't have set targets. He doesn't use just one form of torture. But he's become obsessed with investigator Steve Dark, and suddenly, things are starting to make some more sense.

This monster goes by the nickname Sqweegel, as he has never left any DNA behind. If you look at the book cover, you can see the back of the white, latex suit that Sqweegel always wears in order to keep his secrets to himself. As for Steve Dark, he has been "tortured" by Sqweegel in the past and he is set on keeping to himself and trying to live a normal life. But when Sqweegel ups the ante, the government knows that Dark is their only hope and they'll do anything to get him back on their side of justice.

I liked that this book followed various third-person point of views because it allowed you to get a fuller look at the story, without ruining the major surprises. Obviously the book mostly follows Dark, with Sqweegel right behind. Getting into the head of Sqweegel is not exactly a good place to be, but the third- person point of view allowed a small degree of separation to keep the reader sane. If you're easily frightened, this might not be the best choice of novel for you, but I have to admit that I am a scaredy-cat for sure and I still really loved this book. Unfortunately, most of my free time to read was at night which certainly makes the book even more frightening, but it was worth it. I found the psychological aspects of the book interesting and even though there are descriptions of violence and sexual acts, nothing is overly described. There is usually just enough to get the point across.

The most original aspect of this novel is that it's the first digi-novel. The main author, Anthony Zuiker, created the show CSI, so he was able to get a variety of actors together to create actual scenes from the book. Throughout the novel there are moments that tell you "if you want to see..." then log onto the website and use a set code. Since two other books have been released since this one, things are a bit different. Now, you go to Level26.com and click the first book's title. This brings you to Youtube and the clips are listed in order by number. I wasn't always by a computer when reading so I didn't watch the clips right when they "appeared" in the book but I did go back and get caught up. If you can read something better than you can watch it, feel free to skip the clips. They are an extra to enhance the novel but you don't need to watch them. I found them interesting though and a wonderful addition.

In the end, while I was certainly freaked out while reading some parts, I'm glad I took the chance. This was an excellent thriller/mystery and I do want to read the rest! I have to know what happens next as this book leaves you with a few questions.





Monday, December 30, 2013

Guest Post: Spellbound Series Playlist

Spellbound Series Playlist
 

Today Sherry Soule, the author of the popular Spellbound Series, has some exciting news to share with us! All the previously published books in the series have been completely revamped with more epic romance, sizzling character chemistry, and thrilling new scenes! The revised novels also include exclusive bonus material.

To help promote the new editions, Sherry is doing this awesome guest post to share the update with fellow booklovers.

The Spellbound series is a great mix of Pretty Little Lairs meets Buffy, the Vampire Slayer!

Both of the star-crossed lovers are big music lovers, so there are numerous songs and bands mentioned throughout the series, like “30 Seconds to Mars” and “Rise Against.” The main character, Shiloh even has a black painted wall in her bedroom covered with random poems, song lyrics, and cutouts from fashion magazines. Her iPod is always on and playing softly in the background. So, Sherry has put together a few of the awesome songs—a collection of her character’s electric tastes in music—mentioned throughout this popular series in this post. Enjoy!

Spellbound Song List
 

 

“Distance” by Christina Perri and Jason Mraz
First song that the hero, Trent played for the protagonist, Shiloh. It is almost cute and inquisitive. Best lyric: “Do you feel the way I do right now?” 
“Never Let You Down” by The Verve Pipe
In the first book, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN (part one), this song seemed very appropriate for everything going on between Trent and Shiloh. Best lyric: “I’m getting to love the thought of having you around. And I will never let you down.”
“Lovesong” by The Cure
This song expresses their budding romance and strong feelings developing between each other. It was not insta-love for Trent and Shiloh, but more like teenage hormonal lust. But slowly over time, they both realized that their attraction was much deeper than either one of them realized. Best lyric: Whenever I’m alone with you. You make me feel like I am home again…”
“Turning Tables” by Adele
I freakin’ love this song. It has the perfect lyrics for their complicated relationship. Both of these teens are insecure and afraid to love because they’ve been burned before. Best lyric: So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me. No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me I can’t give you what you think you gave me It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables, to turning tables…”
“Leave Out All The Rest” by Linkin Park
This song is really Trent’s song about himself and how he feels about the dysfunctional relationship that he has with his father. Best lyric: I’m strong on the surface
Not all the way through. I’ve never been perfect. But neither have you.”
“Going Under” by Evanescence
This is Shiloh’s song about how she is growing up and becoming a stronger woman. One that her dad would be proud of. Best lyric: “So go on and scream. Scream at me I’m so far away, I won’t be broken again…”
“Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
This song is really both Trent and Shiloh’s plea for love and acceptance. And how they want to save each other from the years of hurtful parental rejection in their lives. Best lyric: Leading you down into my core where I’ve become so numb. Without a soul, my spirit’s sleeping somewhere cold. Until you find it there and lead it back home.”
“My Immortal” by Evanescence
This song has a special place in my heart because it represents both of the characters inner struggles to find inner peace. Best lyric: These wounds won’t seem to heal. This pain is just too real. There’s just too much that time cannot erase.”
“Just Give Me a Reason” by P!nk and Nate Ruess
This melody reveals what Shiloh feels about crushing hard on Trent. Best lyric: “Right from the start. You were a thief, you stole my heart. And I your willing victim. I let you see the parts of me That weren’t all that pretty, And with every touch you fixed them.”
“In The End” by Linkin Park
These lyrics really mean a lot to Trent. He knew lying to Shiloh was a big mistake and it almost ruined their relationship. By losing her, he finally realized how much she meant to him. Best lyric: “I tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter. I had to fall to lose it all…”
“Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
Since Trent chooses most of the music while he and Shiloh are hanging together, this song was his way of expressing his feelings without exposing them. Best lyric: “And I wonder if I ever cross your mind? For me it happens all the time.”
“Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS
The lyrics of this song are interesting and really display the strong bond that is slowly forming between the two love interests. Trent tells her in one scene: “It’s you and me against the Underworld.” And he meant it. Best lyric: “I was standing. You were there. Two worlds collided. And they could never ever tear us apart…”
“You and Me” by Lifehouse
Definitely, Trent’s song to Shiloh about how he’s feeling in regards to their relationship. Best lyric: “Something about you now, I can’t quite figure out. Everything she does is beautiful. Everything she does is right…”
“Roar” by Katy Perry
This is completely Shiloh’s song, as she gets more and more confident about her witchy powers, which culminates (thus far) in a very kick-ass battle. That she wins. Best lyric: “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire. ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar…”
“Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle
Every time I write about Shiloh missing her dad, this song runs through my head. What teenaged girl thinks about all the things she won’t get to do with her dad when he’s no longer that constant, stabilizing presence in her life? Best lyric: “Trying her wings out in a great big world.”
“Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
Shiloh has spent her entire life looking for love and acceptance. The only stable element had been her dad. With his death, even though Shiloh was consumed with vengeance, this would be her moment of clarity. When she had that ‘ah-ha’ moment and realized that she really cared about Trent. Best lyric: “All along I believed I would find you.”
“You’re My Best Friend” by Queen
This is the Ariana and Shiloh song. Shows what Ari means to Shiloh, and how they’ve been through thick and thin together. Best lyric: “I’ve been wandering round. But I still come back to you, in rain or shine, you’ve stood by me, girl…”
“Stronger” (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson
This is without a doubt, Shiloh’s favorite song right now. She plays the song whenever she needs to get ready for a fight or boost up her confidence. Best lyric: “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Stand a little taller. Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone. What doesn't kill you makes a fighter; footsteps even lighter…”
"Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air" by the Hex Girls
Shiloh loves this song because it’s about respecting nature and the environment. Link: http://youtu.be/_F5z9mUWOUM  Best lyric: “Nature is a precious gift. It will make your spirits lift. Love the earth with your fire. It's in your world—your one desire…”
Well, that about encompasses the wide range of different songs and bands mentioned in this spellbinding new YA series. Hope you enjoyed the post!
 
Deadly Witchcraft. Ghostly Threats. Doomed Romance.
They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Fallen Oaks. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.
When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Trudell takes a summer job at Craven Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes enchanted by his charms.
Finally, Shiloh’s met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent is immersed in the cunning deception that surrounds the mysterious Craven Manor. So much so that he may lose sight of what is truly important to him. And she can’t decide whether she wants to shake him or kiss him. Yet neither one of them can deny the immediate, passionate connection growing between them.
But underlying everything is the fear that Trent may be the next victim on a supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him…
With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, Shiloh will finally begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist and decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.
Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.
BUY BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN (part 1) today!
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/18NB8CG

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Who Says You Have to Start Shopping Now?

 
 
Who Says You Have to Start Shopping Now?

Immediately after Christmas (and for some, the day of), there are tons and tons of sales. You can find them online and in-stores and it's honestly a bit overwhelming!! We just spent a lot of money to make Christmas a lovely holiday for ourselves, our friends, and our families. Now we have to think about all the wonderfully priced items we could still buy? Last year I did take advantage of some of these sales for the next Christmas. It's never a bad idea to use sales to get holiday shopping done a bit early. It did help me find some great things to give. However, like I said, we just spent a lot of money and it's not always easy to find the cash or credit needed to start shopping all over again.

Yes, I did buy something from Bath and Body Works today. I did it online because the sales were too good to pass up and most of the scents I wanted were online exclusives. Otherwise, I would have gone to the store, found the same prices, and saved on shipping. Regardless, I have a few items to use for future gifts now (birthdays and/or next Christmas) and that's always a good feeling. That doesn't mean I want to go as crazy as I did last year. Planning gifts throughout the year was nice, and fun for me since I do like to shop for others, but it also allowed me to over give if you will. It's easy to find discounts and good deals, snatching them up, and then realizing you have eight or nine gifts for one person.

So, today's discussion is this: do you shop after Christmas sales? Are you buying for yourself, or others, if you do? And if you don't shop the sales, why not?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas with Frozen


Frozen Movie Review

By Lauren

IMDB Summary: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

Review: Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates and Happy Wednesday to those that do not. I saw Frozen with a couple friends of mine recently and we all just adored it. I wasn't entirely sure what the premise of the film was about, but I figured it would be cute. What I didn't realize is that it would become a new Disney favorite of mine. Both my friends and I have already said we need to buy the DVD when it's released.

One thing that I love about this movie is that many of the character's voices are Broadway stars, so they can sing as well! Elsa is Idina Menzel (RENT, Wicked), Olaf is Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon), and Kristoff is Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening). As for Anna, she is voiced by the lovely Kristen Bell. The music in this movie is just beautiful. I immediately became obsessed with Elsa's song "Let It Go." This is one movie where I could really use the soundtrack.

Something different about Frozen from other princess stories is that the love story isn't the main focus. Instead, the relationship between the two sisters - Anna and Elsa- takes much of the attention. Yes, there are romantic relationships, but loving someone comes in many forms and Frozen really focuses on that. It just shows that Disney is growing up with their movies and I think it's great!

As for Olaf the Snowman, he's a lovely addition to the film. He's an optimistic fellow, full of cheer and good humor. I love that he's a bit clueless, yet always a good friend. A wonderful animated companion!

I know many families will probably be going to see this movie today, and I hope they enjoy the spirit of it! It's a wonderful family film; perfect for all ages.

Monday, December 23, 2013

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical

Review by Lauren

To find tour dates and more, visit the official website

Official Summary: Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss' classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage. Featuring the hit songs "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas," The Grinch discovers there's more to Christmas then he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small", decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit. Celebrate the holidays with this heart-warming holiday classic.

Review: I saw How the Grinch Stole Christmas the musical a few weeks ago with my mom, but I figured the week of Christmas was a nice time to share my overall thoughts. If you know and enjoy the story of the Grinch, then chances are you will find this musical at least relatively enjoyable. It's fun, upbeat, and ends with an overall wonderful message about Christmas being about more than physical presents.

The Grinch was probably my favorite character, as he was great with the crowd. He talked to the kid's in the audience, and definitely added the overall humor. Obviously, without the Grinch, you don't have a story...but it's still safe to say he's the highlight. I just wish we got a bit more of him, to be honest!

However, the Grinch's dog, Max, was pretty enjoyable too. Older Max narrates the story, while the Young Max takes part in the re-telling. It was a cute way of telling the story. As for the narration, all of it is easy to follow and everything rhymes as if Old Max is reading a book. Definitely suitable for kids.

Finally, the music! I loved the old classic "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". I think that will be the song most people remember, especially the little ones. My big negative for the musical at large is that there wasn't a lot of original music. What I mean is that some of the songs are re-done like "Mean One" later in the musical. I don't mind songs having a reprise in musicals, but this one seemed to have a bit too many.

Beyond that, it was a really cute musical and I would definitely recommend it for families!

Friday, December 20, 2013

You Asked, Now I Answered


Thanks for all the questions people left last week. I'm finally ready to sit down and answer them for you all! My semester has officially ended, so I'm hoping to post a bit more now!

What music do you listen to when you're studying?

I don't really listen to anything when I study, but I tend to listen to music when I'm writing for fun. A lot of times I make playlists for my stories, so I'll listen to something from that to get me in the mood to write.

If you were a dog, what's the first thing you'd do?

Oh gosh, I don't know! I totally envy my dog's life sometimes because she's so pampered. LOL I'd love to just sleep all day.

What's your favorite movie?

I can't say I have one favorite movie. Some that I really like are Just a Question of Love (it's a French film), Life as a House, the Harry Potter films, Aladdin, etc.

How do you find time for everything?

I honestly have no idea. haha I suppose I try and find time for blogging in particular because I love it so much. This past semester, I really tried to schedule things in advance so I only had to focus on comments on a regular basis. I'm hoping to do that again as much as I can next semester.

What's your major?

I'm in graduate school for Library and Information Science. I hope to become a librarian. I'm interested in both public and academic libraries, so we'll see where I end up. It's all online too, so that makes blogging both easier and more difficult.

How long {pages, chapters...} will you stick it out with a book that you're not liking before you finally give up on it?

Honestly, I try and read books that I think I'm really going to enjoy so I tend to finish most things that I read. Therefore, I don't have a set page limit where I'll finally discard something I don't like. I suppose if I didn't like it about halfway, I would stop.

What are 5 books that have stuck with you long after finishing them?

Anything Harry Potter. If I have to say a particular one, I'd go with the first because it started the whole thing for me.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Keuhnert

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

What book do you love that you wish they'd turn into a movie?

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert. If you loved Perks of Being a Wallflower, I think you'd love this book so therefore, it should become a movie too!

Fav book turned into a movie?

A lot of times I read the book after I've seen the movie...so it's hard to say. Like About a Boy by Nick Hornby. I saw the movie, then read the book, but that's definitely a favorite movie/book combination for me.

Do you ever wish you'd chosen a different path/major?

I'm glad I majored in English Literature as an undergraduate, because I really did love it. However, I definitely went through some various job ideas when trying to figure things out. I like to think I could always change. You don't have to stay stuck. So yes, while I like the idea of becoming a librarian, I do often wonder about publicity or even something totally different like being involved in the behind-the-scenes stuff of a theater.

What is the one book that always manages to cheer you up when you're feeling low?

I don't usually go back to books I love when I'm feeling down, so I don't have a set example. There are plenty of stories that make me happy just reading or thinking about, though, such as Harry Potter.

Which book are you most looking forward to reading when the finals madness is over?

I have a variety of review books I need to read, but out of my own collection, I want to finally read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

Which book can you read time and time again and never tire of?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I love that book, and I used to read it at least once a year.

What is the craziest gift idea list you have put together?

I would probably say my Cereal Lovers Gift Guide, which you can find here. I like finding gifts for different themes though, so I'm hoping to do some more kooky gift guide lists in the new year.

What is the best/worst gift you have ever gotten?

I can't really think of a worst gift. As for best...difficult question too. My sister got me tickets to see Idina Menzel in concert and that was fantastic. That's just one example!

What are your goals for 2014?

I want to work on my own writing more. I haven't done too much of that because of everything else, but I have a goal to publish a novel at some point in my life, so I need to get to work!

Name the book that you put off reading for the longest amount of time only to discover it was your favorite. Also, was there any particular reason for the procrastination?

I can't think of anything in particular! There are so many books I have yet to read but it's mostly due to lack of time. A sort-of example would be Brave New World. I didn't put it off for any particular reason. I just never had to read it for school and I don't read a lot of classics for fun. I finally checked it out on recommendation this past summer and loved it.

What literary tropes bother you the most? Are there any that you like?

Hmm...some literary tropes can work quite well, depending on the novel. However, on a general basis, I'm quite tired of reading about love triangles. It's just not realistic to me and I hate seeing it over and over again. I'm also a bit tired of the guy best friend pining after the MC and her finally noticing he was there all along. Yes, it can happen. All the time? Not so much. As for the ones that I like...I can't really think of anything!

If you suddenly found yourself with nothing but time on your hands and all of the things we know you love doing - reading, reviewing cinema releases, seeking out bargains for us, blogging - were no longer an option, how would you spend your time?

Oooh, this is definitely a tough last question!! Interesting though. Let me think. Well, I love spending time with my family so chances are I would do something with them. We like to go out to eat, hang out at home (especially if the weather is nice and I can sit outside). If it was the summer, I would go swimming. During the winter, I like going to hockey games. Cincinnati has a great minor league team. I also need to scrapbook more. I used to do it all the time.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Tour/Excerpt: Forsaken by Sophia Sharp



Forsaken by Sophia Sharp

Cost: $0.99

Book One of The Forsaken Saga.  The second book is coming in January!


Buy a Copy Now:

http://www.amazon.com/Forsaken-The-Saga-1-ebook/dp/B00HAZKECM
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forsaken-The-Saga-1-ebook/dp/B00HAZKECM
http://www.amazon.ca/Forsaken-The-Saga-1-ebook/dp/B00HAZKECM
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forsaken-sophia-sharp/1117692743

Add it on Goodreads
: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19456618-forsaken

I am taking part in this blog tour via Sarah's Book Promotions. The giveaway is not mine, but rather attached to the tour at large.

Official Summary:

Nora Colburn was perfectly content in life. A junior in high school, she had good friends, a great family, and did well in school.  Nothing particularly exciting ever happened where she lived, and everything was stable.

But that all drastically changes when a new student arrives at Nora’s school. Wild rumors swirl about his past, and Nora becomes determined to find out the truth.

As she gets to know the mysterious student, he shares with her an ancient secret... one that may yet put both of them in grave danger.

And for the first time in her life, Nora is exposed to a completely unfamiliar world. She is swept away on an exhilarating journey that takes her to a place where romance and great destiny may yet await... and where supernatural powers run wild.


---

Book Excerpt:

Hunter cut off with a strangled sound, and in an instant, he was at the door. “They’re coming,” he hissed over his shoulder.

“What? Already? You said we’d have until nightfall!”

“I was wrong.” He shut the door quickly and rushed to the opposite wall. “You need to hide.” He pulled back a board to reveal a small cubby in the wall. “Quickly!”

Nora ran without arguing.

“Get in,” he told her, “and don’t make a sound.” Nora nodded. Her pulse raced, and a jolt of adrenaline kicked through her. A mixture of fear and dread came over her as she pushed herself into the wall. There wasn’t much space, and splinters and rough pieces of wood pierced her skin and got caught on her clothing. She wedged herself farther in.  Hunter replaced the board.

Light scattered in from cracks along the wall.  Nora pressed an eye to one of them. She could see the entire space between her and the entrance door. Hunter stood facing the door with his back to her. His feet were wide in a predatory stance.

Anxious minutes passed. Only Nora’s ragged breaths broke the silence, and they sounded as loud as hammers to her ears.

Slowly, the door started to move. Hunter tensed.

It creaked all the way open, and a tall figure stepped into the entrance. Nora’s breath caught. It was the same man from the dream, the same one she saw at the school.

“Where’s your friend?” the man asked Hunter crudely. He spoke with a harsh accent.

If it were possible, Hunter tensed even more. The man took a step forward. He wore the same long coat from before, the same dark hat. He and Hunter were approximately the same height. Leisurely, he started to take off his coat. Hunter still hadn’t moved.

The man dropped his coat in a pile at his side, and Nora saw that he was much thicker than Hunter. Bigger, more developed.

Stronger.

“Don’t try to hide her. I can smell her stench from here. I know she is with you.”

“You will not have her.” Hunter’s voice held a steely edge.

The man laughed. “Oh? Is that so?  And you think you’re going to stop me?” He laughed again. “You have broken the ancient creed by bringing her into our world. You will answer for your crime.  As will she.”

“You will not have her,” Hunter repeated, his voice filled with a deathly calm.

The man waved dismissively and took a step toward Hunter. “You cannot stop me,” he said. “And I don’t intend to take only her. You’ll be coming along, as well.”

“No,” Hunter growled.

“Oh, yes, I will take you both.” The man stood only a pace away from Hunter, now. “You cannot imagine what they will do to you. You will be bound in chains, locked away to never again see the dark of night or feel the cool rays of the moon. You will grow weak and feeble, forever barred from taking blood. You will never feed again.

“Your body will go first. Your muscles will wither to nothingness.  Your bones will crumble. You will become a shadow of what you once were. A shadow of what you could have been.
“But they will keep your mind sharp. Make no mistake, you will know you are suffering. An antidote will be administered, and it will stave off the madness that accompanies your deprivation. You will languish in misery, forever conscious of your mistake. That will be your sentence.  To suffer, until the end of time.”

The man took one last step, until he was nose-to-nose with Hunter. And he spoke just loudly enough for Nora to hear.  “But that pales in comparison to what they will do to her.”

Hunter snarled.

“Yes, her. Your precious human.” He spat the word. Then he raised his voice. “I know you are here, little one. Listen well to what I have to say.”

He returned his attention to Hunter. “She will suffer for your sin. A human mind and body is much weaker than that of our kind, and for that reason…she will be converted. And sentenced to suffer eternally alongside you.

“You know of the savage bloodlust that overtakes a new member of our race, do you not? Oh, but I think you do. You were once one of them, were you not? You were born a human.” Again, he spat the word. “A despicable thing. A despicable creature to risk so much for, wouldn’t you say?”

Hunter didn’t say a word, and the man continued. “I will give you one chance. One chance now, to repent. Give her up freely, and the punishment for your treason will be less severe. You will be bound for one century, before your freedom is returned.” He put a hand on Hunter’s shoulder. “You know you cannot win. Is she worth an eternity in hell?”

Nora caught a furtive movement at the door. The other hunter. “No!” she screamed. It was a trap.

On Nora’s cry, both newcomers looked in her direction. Hunter curled back from the man’s hand and smashed an elbow into his face. The thick man stumbled back.

Then he laughed cruelly and flung himself at Hunter.


---

Author Bio:


I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Actually, that's a bit of a lie. I've been writing since the third grade, when a wonderful teacher asked everyone in class to write a fairy tale, and ended up picking mine as his favorite. He didn't tell the other kids, of course - but confided it in my parents. He said I have a natural knack for writing (his exact words! and I remember them to this day), and should never stop. So, I've kept going..

I've mostly been keeping it to myself, though. I've never really thought about becoming an "author," or a "writer" (quotations because those goals are still so far away!), so never had the need to share with anyone or publicize my stories. But, I'm just finishing up my second year in college, and have really started to think about careers and life goals and such other mysterious things. And while my friends were all busy trying to get internships for the summer this year, I just kept to myself with my writing hobby. I don't have an interest in going out and working professionally in the "real world" -- I want to keep writing forever, and I want to have time to do it. The only way I see myself having that time, though, is by becoming a published author.

So there you have it. That's the abbreviated history of one Sophia Sharp. I've been working on a few young adult paranormal/fantasy novels for the past few months, and I'm putting them all up as soon as they're done! Why young adult? Because it's what I love to read. And why paranormal/fantasy? Because that genre gives the greatest opportunities for creating a magical, romantic, quixotic world that I can fall in love with.

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Blog Tour Giveaway (open internationally):

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ec89690/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcome to Free Shipping Day


Hey everyone! I'm back today to let you know about some awesome deals across the internet. It's FREE SHIPPING DAY! Not every website will offer shipping for everyone...some people have to buy a certain amount, but there are plenty of sites that offer free shipping regardless of price. At any rate, I thought I'd share some fun deals I found online. Most of these are going to try and get your item to you by Christmas, but these are also good to use if you know someone with a birthday coming up really soon (like my own brother!)

Remember, these free shipping deals are TODAY ONLY! So don't wait.
 
I found the deals below through my emails/favorites, but there is a website with all sorts of deals- Free Shipping Day

Helzberg Diamonds: want something a little fancy for that special someone? You can check out all your free shipping options here.

Shari's Berries: know someone that could use some yummy chocolate covered strawberries? Or want to buy some for yourself? They have select items available for free shipping!

Out of Print Clothing: the perfect gifts for those book lovers in your life! There are items for men, women, and children. You can get domestic free shipping now!

Urban Outfitters: they have some really fun gifts on this site!! What their site says about shipping: Free upgraded shipping. No minimum purchase value or promo code required. Select the “Fast – 3-4 business days” shipping option shown at checkout. Offer expires at 3AM EST 12/19.

Voila! Some fun, and different shops, offering you free shipping. I hope you get some nice, last-minute gifts.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ask a Question During Intermission

 
As you can see, I have not posted for the last few days. Normally I try and schedule things ahead of time but I just haven't found many quiet moments lately. Therefore, I wanted to let you all know that I won't be gone for long, but I probably won't have another new post up until next week. I'm currently in the middle of finals time (as well as a lot of work days) so things are pretty hectic around here.

To pass the time though, I wanted to do something that Krysten over at Why Girls are Weird does sometimes and I think it's fun!

Basically, you leave questions you have for me in the comments! Ask as many as you like, and sometime next week, I will have a post with all the answers! If you want to ask an anonymous question, the blog should let you...but let's keep things PG people!

Now, ask away!

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Ends, Another Begins Book Reveals

Microsoft word image, do not own
 
I meant to have this posted on Monday, but it's been so hectic, I completely forgot! At any rate, this is a mini reminder about my Two-Book Challenge! You can read all the details at this post.

What I want this post to be about is revealing the two books you plan on reading! And based on some of your comments, you CAN use your own personal collection instead of going to the library! Whatever works!

Feel free to share the books you plan on reading up until Christmas Day. By that point, it's pretty close to the link-ups so you might as well wait if you plan on taking part.

Remember, first review goes up New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) and the second review goes up New Year's Day (Jan 1st). And again, check out the post that explains all!

At the moment, Mr. Linky isn't working well for me, so if you want to make a post about the books you have chosen to read, just link up in the comments and I'll manually add them to this post so people can check it out! If you know of some other link system I can use, let me know!

Now...my book choices!

New Year's Eve Book:

Level 26: Dark Origins by Anthony Zuiker

Official Summary: Law enforcement personnel categorize murderers on a scale of twenty-five levels of evil-from the naive opportunists starting out at Level 1 to the organized, premeditated torture murderers who inhabit Level 25. But to an elite unnamed investigations group assigned to hunt down the world's most dangerous killers, headed by Steve Dark, a new category of killer is being defined....

Visit the author's Facebook Page

New Year's Day Book:

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames.

Official Summary: Welcome to the grand opening of Fromagerie Bessette. Or as it's more commonly known by the residents of small- town Providence, Ohio-the Cheese Shop. Proprietor Charlotte Bessette has prepared a delightful sampling of bold Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, delicious tortes of Stilton and Mascarpone, and a taste of Sauvignon Blanc-but someone else has decided to make a little crime of passion the "piece de resistance." Right outside the shop Charlotte finds a body, the victim stabbed to death with one of her prized olive-wood handled knives.

Visit the Author's Website

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What I find hilarious about the books I ended up pulling is that they are both mystery novels! They are also the first book in a series. I like that the New Year's Eve (for ending) sounds a bit darker than the New Year's Day (for beginning) novel, which seems more of a cozy mystery.

Now, it's your turn! Link up (or just post in the comments) the two books you plan to read!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Movie Review: Delivery Man



Delivery Man

Movie Review by Lauren

IMDB Summary: An affable underachiever finds out he's fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them file a lawsuit to reveal his identity.

Review: This is one of those movies that I actually wish was a book first. The reason being is that I would have loved to have gotten to know some of David's 533 kids a bit better. However, I still like that the movie focused in on a select few of his sons and daughters. When David first decides to track down his kids, without revealing his identity, there is a montage of moments where he interacts with them as just a regular good Samaritan and not their biological father. Yes, these moments could be deemed creepy by some people, but I think the movie handles it well.

I'm a fan of Vince Vaughn, but I'm not always into the gross/frat-dude type of movies that he stars in, so it was nice to see him in a comedic film that was also really touching. The character of David is a bit of a loser, but it's not that he doesn't care. He loves his family and he steps up for his girlfriend when he needs too. These aspects of his personality begin to grow even more when he realizes it feels nice to help other people, especially your own biological children.

Apart from Vaughn, I love actor Chris Pratt, who plays best friend and father of four, Brett. He knows what it's like to be an everyday father and a lot of the comedy comes from the chaos he deals with. It's believable and fun and a nice contrast to David's experience of fatherhood thus far. Plus, Brett also becomes David's lawyer when 142 of his children file a lawsuit to find out his identity. This role in David's life is almost the devil on his shoulder, telling him to keep his life secret and not to give into the curiosity of finding his children. As for the angel, well, David has to figure that out on his own.

Delivery Man is an enjoyable movie, and it's one I would see again. I saw it on Thanksgiving Day with my family and it was very suitable as it touches on a lot of aspects of love and family. Worth checking out, at the very least!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd



The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

Review by Lauren

bought my own copy; opinions are still my own

Official Summary: It's Dade's last summer at home, and things are pretty hopeless. He has a crappy job, a "boyfriend" who treats him like dirt, and his parents' marriage is falling apart. So when he meets and falls in love with the mysterious Alex Kincaid, Dade feels like he's finally experiencing true happiness. But when a tragedy shatters the final days of summer, he realizes he must face his future and learn how to move forward from his past.

Review: I actually finished this book awhile ago, and I never got around to reviewing it, so this won't be terribly long. Basically, if you're interested in LGBT novels with relatable characters, then I would definitely give this one a shot. I bought a copy a long time ago and finally got a chance to read it!

Dade isn't out in the beginning of the novel. He's mostly come to terms with the fact that he's gay, but he doesn't quite know how to tell his parents. However, he does have a "boyfriend" though Pablo is definitely not out. He's essentially afraid to admit to himself that he likes guys. He has a public girlfriend and comes to Dade only when he wishes. Dade puts up with it for awhile, but he eventually starts to see what his life could be...especially when he meets Alex Kincaid.

Alex surrounds himself with people that are stuck in their lives, playing music and doing drugs, but he's ultimately a good guy. I really liked the relationship between Dade and Alex a lot. They found things in each other that the both needed. As for Pablo, he's obviously a character you want to smack across the face for treating Dade so horribly, but it's hard not to feel bad for him. He's afraid of who he is and that's never something you wish for a person. The rest of the characters are eclectic and well-rounded, and I appreciated that the story didn't just revolve around a romance.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary is about a period of time in one's life where things change and evolve, making you into the person who can finally move forward. I wasn't always happy with how things happened, but in the end, I knew it was the way it should be.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Couple Deals

I haven't had any posts these last few days, and I do apologize for that. I hope to keep up with posts a bit better throughout December, though things will certainly not be slowing down in "real" life.

However, I bring you some coupon codes and deals for this week in case you're still shopping for holiday gifts.



Kohls is offering some fun discounts online. From now until Wednesday, December 4th, you can get free standard shipping. There is no minimum purchase, so it doesn't matter what you buy! I like getting gifts online but shipping can kill you, so this is great! Also good from now until December 4th is a code for 20% off.  Use Promo Code CYBERSAVE

From now until December 5th, you can get a 35% discount and free shipping from Chronicle Books. Just use the code FRIENDS

This is definitely one deal I plan on using. Again, free shipping always gets my attention and I love Chronicle Books! They have some great gift books, etc.