Thursday, July 19, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

From The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.
The Clave's magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can't stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith's magic has wrought - Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.
Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can't help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell - a risk that could claim their lives.
And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing not just her own life, but Jace's soul. She's willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
I’ve said it many times and I’m going to say it again, Cassandra Clare brings an authenticity to her writing that transports the reader to the world she’s created—real or imagined. 
For example: “They released one another, and Clary glanced around. She had been here before, in this dark brown, shining corridor that looked as if it had been carved out of a tiger’s eye gemstone. The floor was smooth, worn down by the passage of thousands of years’ worth of faerie feet. Light came from glinting chips of gold in the walls, and at the end of the passage was a multicolored curtain that swayed back and forth as if moved by wind, though there was no wind here underground. As Clary drew near to it, she saw that it was sewed out of butterflies. Some of them were still alive, and their struggles made the curtain flutter as if in a stiff breeze.” ~City of Lost Souls, pg 32-33. Cassandra Clare. 
The above is one of many intricate details that make Clare’s books incredible. She makes it seem effortless, creating fantastical worlds within a our real one, and taking the reader on a journey that lingers long after the book is closed.

City of Lost Souls is the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series and, in my opinion, the most thrilling yet. The beauty of being the fifth book is that we already know the backstory and can jump right into the action. And this book is packed with action. There is barely any rest for our characters and even when it appears they might get some rest, there is something lurking behind the corner, readying itself to pounce. 
I read this book in a matter of days and it only took me that long because I have a job, a puppy, and I’m required to sleep. If not for those things I would’ve read it in one sitting—that is how intense it is. It read like a thriller, with the writing sharp and fast, and the stakes at an all time high for the characters. There is a continuous question plaguing the reader throughout, “How are they going to get out of this one?” And that is a page-turning quality. 
The romance is also intensified in this book, between all characters, and each has a different kind. Some are new relationships, some are re-kindled, some are strained, and others are solid. It is refreshing to see a variety of types and it amps up the tension in a fantastic way. 
Clare continues to amaze me. Just when I think no book can be better than the last, boom! She hits me over the head with another incredible read that leaves me hungry for the next. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Write Club

I'm new to this but it sounds awesome! If you're a writer you should rush over to

and check this out! Here are the rules of Write Club.

1st RULE: You MUST talk about WRiTE CLUB - Spread the word far and wide so we can involve as many writers as possible.  Display the WRiTE CLUB banner prominently on your own blog.  Write a post about it.  Tweet it.  Mention it on Facebook.  Encourage people to submit or vote.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about WRiTE CLUB – Once the competition begins you are not allowed to solicit votes.  All of the writing entries are anonymous, and we want it to stay that way.

3rd RULE: If someone taps out, WRiTING is over - Tapping out means a WRiTER can decide at any time during the 12 week competition to withdraw their name from the pool.

4th RULE: Only two people to a WRiTE - This is a head-to head competition, no ganging up allowed.

5th RULE: One WRiTE per week - No matter how many submissions I receive, there will only be one WRiTE per week.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes - Come on, tell me you didn't giggle at that one.

7th RULE: WRiTES will go on until Oct5th - On that date the 12 winners will be matched up against one another on daily posts until the ultimate WRiTER is chosen.

8th RULE: If this is your first week at WRiTE CLUB, you HAVE to WRiTE - Each week newsubmissions will be placed in a "newby" pool from which one half of the WRiTE will be made up.  The other WRiTER will come from the existing pool.  If there are no "newbies", bothWRiTERS will come from the existing pool less the previous winners.

So, what’s new for 2012?  As I mentioned above, anyone who wants to participate (submit a writing sample OR to vote) will need to add their name to the Magical Link list below, officially becoming a member of the WRiTE CLUB.  Not on the list…no voting or submitting allowed.  The second change is that we’ve increased the word count for submissions up to 500 words.  And the most exciting change of all….

The winner of the final round will be picked by a panel of publishing industry professionals!  Agents, Editors, Marketers, and published authors!  

There is more information of DL Hammons' blog! Check it out :) 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting

In the end, all that’s left is an echo.
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. 
When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye...
THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting is the third book in The Body Finder series and they are books you shouldn’t miss. If you haven’t read them please go out and grab some copies because the story is amazing.
Derting is an incredible writer with a firm grasp on character development, setting scenes, and building tension. These qualities are enough of a reason to read her work, but her concepts are also beyond intriguing and unique. 
Violet--the main character in The Body Finder series--has the ability to find the remains of those who’ve been murdered. She does this by sensing “Echos” which can come in all shapes and forms--some come to her as a taste, a smell, or even a sound--and she can’t find peace until these bodies are properly laid to rest. If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, Violet is also an exceptionally real character. I say real in the sense that she jumps of the page with the true emotions of an adolescent girl going through life with this special talent. 
Violet is complimented by a set of exceptional secondary characters that are so well rounded I would pick up a book written from any of their perspectives. 
Her boyfriend (and long time childhood best friend) Jay is a heart-stealer. And not just Violet’s, but the reader’s. He is witty, handsome, passionate, and always there for Violet. What I truly love about Violet and Jay’s relationship is that it is authentic and fresh. Jay was never a jerk to Violet and she helplessly fell in love with him anyway--as we see so often in YA novels. Instead their relationship has been blossoming since they were kids and has developed into the kind of love everyone searches for. Their make-out scenes are also incredibly pulse-pounding and their quick back and forth banter offers comic relief during tension filled chapters.
Speaking of tension, these books tend to have me biting my nails and staying up late to read the next chapter. Derting expertly weaves in another perspective intermittently throughout her novels. This alternate perspective is through the killer’s eyes. These books always have a killer, but each one is vastly different from the next, and each new voice is incredibly creepy (in a good way) Derting takes readers into their minds and the tension mounts as the killer carries out his grotesque desires and gets closer to our heroine and vice versa. 
I could continue raving about how much I love this series and this author, but I doubt anyone would read on for five more pages--so I’ll end stating this with absolute confidence. 
Each novel Derting writes (she has another book called The Pledge which is a series as well) is filled with brilliant writing, intriguing and fresh concepts, and characters you’ll find yourself missing once you’ve closed the book. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A long overdue Review: Falling Under and Dreaming Awake by: Gwen Hayes

From : Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

From She fell for him in a nighttime world. But the time for dreaming is past—and the here-and-now can be just as fragile their love…

When Theia Alderson first encountered a mysterious, handsome boy in her dreams, she never imagined how finding Haden Black—and falling in love—could change her life. To save Haden, Theia sacrificed everything. And the dangerous bargain she made could have lasting repercussions.

Now Theia has returned to Serendipity Falls, and she finds herself struggling with the same deadly hungers that have tortured Haden. When students at their high school fall prey to a mysterious illness, Theia can’t help but wonder if Haden’s control is slipping—and how much longer she’ll have a grip on her own.

And still the nightmare realm of Under won’t let them go. Someone from Haden’s past is determined to destroy Theia from the inside out, starting with those closest to her, forcing Theia to choose between family and friends and a love that may have been doomed from the start…

Before I launch into my review I'd like to officially say I'm back. It took me longer to read the adult fiction series I started in May, but I'm glad to say that I've now finished the many novels in that series. It was a nice break from YA, but I'm returning to my true love. I thought I'd start by reviewing two novels at once to catch up on lost time. 

Gwen Hayes's FALLING UNDER series is a phenomenal supernatural adventure. The covers alone are eye-catching but the words within don't disappoint. 

Hayes creates a startlingly vivid nightmare world, bending the borders that separate our known world with the world that haunts us in our sleep. Who knew that there is a place where nightmares are born? And who knew that such a hot romance could fall between this one and the next? 

Hayes's imagery is incredible throughout both books. The descriptions are crisp, on point, and most of the time you feel like your taking a gut-wrenching stroll through this vivid nightmare world she's created. It's terrifying, delicious, and incredible all at once. The images grab you and don't let you go.

Add to that beyond believable characters and a heart-pounding romance and this series is one I stayed up late to finish. 

At first I was afraid that Theia (our wonderful female lead) would be too much of a wallflower for me. In the beginning she is shy, coy, and downright scared of her own emotions! I wanted to shake her out of herself from the get-go...fortunately the author did that for me by introducing Haden Black...a half demon half human over-the-top hot boy that falls for Theia in a soul-mate sort of way. The romantic tension between the two is tight from the start and continues to pulsate throughout the story. They've got's twisted and dark, but it's also passionate and bright. It simply works. Theia brings out the best of Haden and Haden wrenches out a strong and confident girl from Theia. They make each other more exciting characters and they grow together throughout the story.

The secondary characters are well developed as well. The best friends of Theia (Donny and Amelia) are such strong personalities and compliment Theia well. They fit together like a puzzle and their presence made this series not only about forbidden romance and the consequences that come with that, but the relationship between the three girls made this story about true friendship and how valuable it can be. I believe that is something that is missing from most YA novels and it was a refreshing change of pace. Not only do you get a heart-wrenching romance, you get a heart-warming bulletproof friendship as well. 

The trials these characters face are out of this world...literally. Theia continues to find herself enthralled with Haden's home world--the wickedly devilish place called Under where his mother (Mara) is the Queen of Nightmares--and her friends get caught in the crosshairs. All Theia wants is to be with Haden and to keep her loved ones out of harms way and all Haden wants is to keep Theia safe, but nothing is that easy when demons, hell-deminsions, and true love are involved. 

Hayes's series is filled to the brim with action, passion, tension, frustration, fear, and all the great stuff inbetween. This is a roller coaster series and one ride you really shouldn't miss.