Monday, January 28, 2013

Morrigan by Laura DeLuca - Review and Giveaway!

I befriended Laura on facebook by entering a few giveaways that she has held in the past. I posted that I was interested in starting a book blog and have gotten so much help and tips from her that I can't even express my gratitude. She sent me a copy of her book, Morrigan, which I am going to review now. Keep reading, there's a little surprise at the end of this post for my new fans!

“Guardians!” A low snarl emanated from the back of his throat. “What are you doing with Guardians?”
“Stop it! Sit down!”
Morrigan wasn’t sure who she was addressing, the man or the animals. Luckily, they both obeyed her command. She stepped in between them to avoid any further confrontations. The cats took a seat on either side her legs, but their posture hardly relaxed. They still glared warily at the newcomer, even though their hisses died down to an occasional soft growl.
“Dirty, filthy beasts!” Tiarn snarled as he climbed to his feet. “I hate Guardians.”
“They’re just little cats,” Morrigan told him. “What’s the big deal?”
“Just cats! Hah!” He was standing at a careful distance, even though they had started licking their paws nonchalantly. “They are much more than simple cats! Though even those I find distasteful.”
 Morrigan narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“Never mind. It does not matter.” Tiarn dismissed her question with a wave of his hand. “They are not coming with us.
 “They most certainly are coming!”
Tiarn growled again. “I beg to differ with you, Your Highness. They would only get in the way.  Possibly even get killed.”
Danu raised her head from her grooming to hiss at him again, as though she had taken that last statement as a personal threat. The strange reaction of her faithful sidekicks made Morrigan wonder again just how much Tiarn could be trusted. She also wondered why, when she wasn’t sure she could trust him, she still felt the undeniable urge to wrap her arms around his neck and kiss him.
 “If they stay here alone, they’ll definitely get killed or at least sent to the pound,” Morrigan told him. “I can’t let that happen. So, they’re coming. End of story.”
Tiarn’s eyes flashed dangerously, and he looked like he wanted to argue, but thought better of it. “Very well, Princess. Bring your mongrel felines. Just keep in mind that Guardians and lycans do not mix well.”
“Lycans?” Morrigan repeated.
A sick feeling started to settle in her stomach, as the truth of his words sunk in. It all started to make sense—his hairy arms and chest, his reaction to the cats, even his earlier comment about smelling her out. Her dark knight had a much darker side than she had ever seen in her dreams.
 “Why yes, Your Majesty. Did you not realize? You are a witch and a sorceress. And I, your faithful traveling companion, am a lycan—a werewolf.

If you're a fan of YA and fantasy, this is a book for you. I'm not usually a huge fan of fantasy, but I really enjoyed this book. Would be perfect for fans of books like The Mortal Instruments and The Immortals.
The story follows Morrigan. She was orphaned basically at birth and has spent the past 17 years jumping from foster home to foster home. We find out that she has all sorts of special powers and can manipulate the elements, mainly fire. She has two trusty sidekicks in the form of two cats.. which we later find out are her guardians and can do some pretty fantastic stuff. Morrigan goes on a scary and emotional journey to help her mother and restore peace to her homeland. We meet werewolves and witches a long the way. Learn a little about magic... a little love interest.
There is a very good twist to this story that keeps you turning the pages. Nothing is as it seems. I have to say that this story has an absolutely wonderful ending. I loved it.
Laura has a very good talent for describing every element of the story. Makes you feel as if you are there and you don't have to strain your brain too much trying to visualize the world that Morrigan has found herself in.
Would I recommend this book? Yes!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

Laura is a fantastic lady! Get to know her a little better..

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan and Player.
Help spread the word about Laura's works by sharing, liking, and following on any or all of her social networks.

Right now you can pick up a kindle copy of Morrigan on Amazon for only $3.99. Couldn't think of a better investment.
Morrigan on Amazon $3.99 for kindle
Morrigan on Barnes and Noble $3.99 for Nook, $12.30 paperback
Morrigan on SmashWords $3.99 on a variety of digital options

And now for a giveaway!!
Laura has offered up a signed copy of Morrigan! 
All entries will be verified!
Please give rafflecopter time to load!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Deadlocked 1-4 by A.R. Wise

I chose to review this series together. They are 4 short novellas that equal one big story. I absolutely loved it! It's not often I find a book (or series) that I continue reading because the characters get a hold of me and don't let go.
I'll start with book 1 - Deadlocked
This story follows David. He's a married father of two that has just found out he has cancer. He has an office job that he doesn't love, but it provides for his family. This man loves his family. The story starts with him watching the news at his job. An infection has broken out and people are being crazy. He has to get home to his family. I won't spoil by telling everything he goes through to get to them, but let's just say it's not easy. A long the way he meets a man and his son. The boys name is Billy.. we'll get back to him. The father-son duo have a boat. The plan is for David to get his family and make it back to Billy and his father so they can ride out the riots taking place in the city from the infection. David borrows a truck and sets off. He finds his wife and daughters on top of their house trying to get away from their infected neighbors. Again, no spoilers, but he saves them and they head to a school to gather food for their trip. They get into some trouble at the school that follows them back to the boat. David and Billy's father pay the ultimate price to make sure the girls, David's wife and Bill get out alive. End of story 1.
In the short amount of time it took to read this book, David got to me.
Book 2 - Deadlocked 2
This story picks up right where #1 left off and focuses on David's wife, Laura. She's left on a boat with a boy she doesn't know and her two daughters. They meet some other survivors who prove not to be worthy of being around. They meet some cops who turn out to be not so nice. Trying really hard not to spoil here. We'll see more about those cops in a bit. Laura fixes a meal for Billy and the girls from the food she and David scavenged from the school. They learn from the cops that the food is tainted and may be a starting point for the infection. Laura becomes worried that she has infected everyone. Billy wants to find his mother, who is in the city. Laura doesn't want to make the trip back to the city with all the infection and rioting going on, but eventually gives in. Along the way they encounter an explosion as they pass under a bridge. Laura's youngest daughter Annie is thrown from the boat. This is the point where I really start to like this woman. While saving her daughter she is bitten by a shark. What are the odds? Billy has a plan to dock the boat at a friends place where Laura and the girls can hide while he goes off to find his mother. They make it, but Laura is badly injured. Billy finds a pharmacy and gets her some antibiotics and pain killers. Annie isn't feeling so good... Billy leaves. They've heard on the radio about a possible cure in the form of an antibiotic. Annie continues to get sicker. Laura leaves her daughters to go to the pharmacy to find the medicine she needs. Of course, it's not easy on her. She comes into some trouble that follows her back to the boat... End of book 2.
Laura is my kind of lady.
Book 3 - Deadlocked 3
This book picks up where Billy is leaving Laura and the girls to find his mother. As you have probably guessed, this story will follow Billy. Billy runs into trouble right off the bat. A horde of zombies behind a fence. He thinks quick and gets around them. Has a run in with some military men and a life changing event happens for him. He meets the leader of the military group, Reagan, and kidnaps him to help find his mother. Along the way they meet up with Hero, who is going to find his brother. Of course, they meet zombies along the way and dispose of them. Reagan sounds like a hardass in the beginning, but we quickly learn why he is they way he is. Hero finds his brother and Billy is disappointed when finding his mother. Reagan makes a deal with Billy, Hero and Mark to get the military guys off their backs so they can make it back to Laura and her daughters. The have a lot of obstacles in their way, but overcome. They make it back to the boat just a few minutes too late, as Laura's oldest daughter, Kim, has been kidnapped by one of the bad cops. End of book 4.
Book 4 - Deadlocked 4
This story starts a little differently, but still picking up where the others left off. The difference being that all three of the other stories followed one person, where this book will follow all of them. We find ourselves in a "hospital" with Reagan. He is escorted to an office by an old friend, RC, who is also apart of the military. Here is where we learn how the outbreak started, why, and who did it. I really started to like Reagan in this segment. Laura and her daughter Annie are also at this hospital. Billy and Hero have kidnapped yet another person to go off and save Kim. We find out the truth about these "cops." Horrible guys. Reagan saves Laura and Annie from the "hospital." While at the hospital we meet another character, Ben.. but he's not really that much of the story.. yet. Reagan, Laura and Annie take off in a helicopter to assist Billy and Hero in saving Kim. Lots of bad things are happening to Kim. Of course saving her isn't easy on Hero and Billy, but they get the job done. In one of the final scenes, we learn that Kim is a carrier of the disease. We are left to think that everything will be happily ever after. End of book 4.

Now, my favorite thing about this author was how he wrote about the book at the end of each book. We learn the symbolism he uses and why he feels such a connection with each of his characters. This helped a lot in my connection with them. We get an extra glimpse into the life of each one and I absolutely loved that. I wish more authors took the time to do this.
I've also learned that there are two more books out now, starting with Deadlocked 5. This will be set 20 years in the future and follow Ben. Told ya we'd get back to him. I can't wait to read the rest of this series and see where things go.

Would I suggest this book to others? Definitely!!!
Will I read more of the series? Yes!! Cannot wait to get my hands on the rest! More reviews will follow when I do!
I give this series 5 out of 5 stars!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snareville & Snareville 2 by David Youngquist

From goodreads:
"We have a saying. "You're either dead and chompin' or alive and hidin'." In Snareville, neither is an option. Lemme tell you big city folks a story... You think you knew all about us small-town folk, didn't you? Laughed at us bushwhackers, your poor country cousins out in the sticks. That all changed when Z-Day came. That was when we realised that growing up in a small town gave us an advantage you folks didn't have. Small towns are easier to defend - from the zombies, if not the other enemies... Of course, our survival has a price. Hell, what doesn't? The story I'm gonna tell you will shock you, may even terrify you. Yep, I've got two wives, I got more guns under my command than you can ever dream about. We got a whole new system of justice and morality that may jar with some of you liberal types - just ask the rapist who we sent packing... But lemme tell a world where folk we thought of as human can pimp out zombies as hookers, you know morality has taken a back seat. This is my story. The story of a small town and how we prevailed. Against the zombies and a far worse enemy. The story of me and my Raiders: Pepper, Catfish, Tony, Jinks, Star...and Jen. Read it. And then you'll know why they call me Captain Death. Welcome to Snareville."
Snareville 2: Circles
Survival was just the start…we’ve got a way to kill off every zed in the world. We just got to find a way to get it out there.
Now I know why commanders all look like old men. Surviving ain’t easy; staying human is even harder.
Some gave up. We came across a female gang called the Cock Blockers and their “choke point” still gives me nightmares. We fought a biker gang that call themselves the Mongol Hordes and make ol’ Genghis look like a pussycat. And we met a group of Amish who have extreme ideas on damage control.
We got a new problem now. Ella said to me, “When the world died, we all became family.” Guess that applies to the zombies as well.
Because Cindy’s been having strange dreams ‘bout a guy who calls himself King Death. Guess it’s a psychic connection, because we got reports of this guy heading out east, with his Queen and a nightmare in her womb. Yep, the unborn undead are coming to Snareville.
The fight’s coming to us. Coming home, to Snareville.

I was pretty excited about Snareville. I'm from a small town in the south. How could I not be? My excitement kinda went south too after I finished both books. The series started out well. Caught my attention. Made me wonder what caused this outbreak and how these people were going to survive. The author tried really hard to make a connection with the main character, Danny. The entire story is told from Danny's point of view. I just never made the connection with him. He's a decent character, but he lacks a lot of depth. Book 2 took care of some of this, but not as much as I would have liked. 
Not long after the outbreak happens Danny shacks up with a lady. Not long after that he shacks up with lady #2.. then #3... and then #4.. and they're all wanting babies. I understand that the author was trying to convey that things have changed in the world and we have to repopulate, but 4 women in 3 years was a little overkill for me. The man didn't even take time to grieve wife #1 before hooking up with wife #3.
Wife #3 was infected. They find a cure (amazingly!) and she's good to go. This is where my biggest problem with the books came in.
 After she is cured they go on a raid to another city to obtain some military equipment. While on this raid they encounter another infected who has not turned zombie. This guy can get into Cindy's head (wife #3)... the author writes in a way that makes you think this is going to be a big arc in the story. The infected guy with mind controlling powers makes the zombies attack the group on the raid. The raiders, of course, survive and make it back to their hometown. When they get home infected guy gets into Cindy's head and attempts to make her (and another infected woman) kill their unborn babies and be his wives. The closer he gets to the town the stronger his connection gets. The whole time I'm thinking wow this book is taking a turn for the better and finally some action coming.. then it's over. The author gets rid of this guy in one chapter. All of the suspense leading up to this crazy stuff that can happen just falls flat. I was really disappointed. After this guy is done away with it's never mentioned again anywhere in the series that infected that haven't turned zombie can control the minds of others. What was the point in adding it to the book? It didn't go anywhere and didn't add anything to the story.
The story continues after this just like the rest of the book(s).. more raids to find supplies and survivors. More men/women finding other spouses and making babies. Every single time the author added something big to the story he killed it in just a few chapters. Very disappointing. 
Did I like the books? Somewhat. Probably won't suggest them to anyone.
Will I read another in the series? If Snareville 3 pops up, I'll most likely read it to finish what I've started.
I give both books 2.5 out of 5 stars.

All kinds of newness going on

Welcome to my blog! This is a first for me. I've never attempted reading books, but I'm always reading and always suggesting to others what to read. I figured it would be much easier to keep my thoughts on books all in one place instead of spread out over numerous other sites. You won't find any sugar coated feeling here. I'm a very blunt and opinionated person.
I like all kinds of books, but mostly focus on YA. You'll most likely find my nose stuck in a book that follows dystopia and post apocalyptic. These are just my preferred genres, doesn't mean I do not read anything else. 
So, if you're an author and would like a book reviewed I'd be more than happy to do it!

My goodreads goal this year is to read 100 books! Help me achieve my goal.