Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #9: Sweet Peril

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

April 2013 honestly cannot come soon enough. If you haven't read Sweet Evil yet, what are you waiting for? I loved it so much that Wendy Higgins made her way into my list of favourite authors, and after I get my hands on Sweet Peril, she'll probably go up a few places! I love Anna, Kai and Kopano, and I can't wait to see how their relationship develops in the second book of this awesome series.

Add Sweet Peril on Goodreads here.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features top ten lists of various topics.

Man, this is a good one! I'll try hard to narrow this down to just ten books :P
These aren't in order or anticipation, since that would be way too hard. Okay, they are, but only roughly.

1. The Rising by Kelley Armstrong - The Darkest Powers series is one of my favourite series of all time, and I'm so excited to see the characters from there make an appearance in this book! Plus, this is the final book of the Darkness Rising trilogy, and I really want to know how it all ends.

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - This is another final book of a trilogy (The Infernal Devices), and I think all the teasers will end up killing me before the book comes out! After that cliffhanger at the end of Clockwork Prince, I'm DYING to get my hands on this one.

3. Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout - As you guys should know by now, Jennifer is my favourite new author, and the Covenant series has become one of my favourites. This being said, it's pretty obvious how desperate I am to read this!

4. Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi - This is the second book of the Under The Never Sky trilogy, and I'm SO HAPPY to say that I won an ARC of this book! Yes, that's right. It arrived yesterday, and it's SIGNED! And it came with signed swag too! I'm so excited to read Through The Ever Night and delve deeper into the world that Veronica Rossi has created.

5. Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins - Another one of my new favourites. I love Wendy's writing style, and her characters too. Sweet Peril is definitely going to up the stakes, and I'm dying to know what happens!

6. Requiem by Lauren Oliver - Being a huge fan of Dystopian novels, how could I not love this series? Being the final book in the Delirium trilogy, Requiem will tie up all the loose ends and we'll get to know who Lena ends up with (ALEX ALEX ALEX PLEASE). The cliffhanger at the end of Pandemonium almost made me tear my hair out, and I will only be 
fully calmed down when this book is in my hands.

7. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris - OMG. I loved Unraveling so much, the concept as well as the characters. Especially the characters. Janelle and Ben are amazing, and I honestly cannot wait to read more about them! This book is definitely going to be unputdownable.

8. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis - Another final book in a trilogy (wow there are a lot coming out in 2013!). Across the Universe and A Million Suns were both beautiful and captivating, and I think Shades of Earth is going to top that. That being said, I know how much I'm going to love this book, though I'll be sad to say goodbye to Amy and Elder.

9. Awaken by Meg Cabot - The final book in the Abandon trilogy. I love any book with Greek mythology, and in my opinion this series is one of the best ones (along with the Covenant and Percy Jackson series). Meg Cabot is one of my favourite authors, and I have high expectations of this book.

10. Rise by Andrea Cremer - I loved the Nightshade series, and I think I'm going to like the Nightshade Prequel series even more. It's impossible not to love Ember and Barrow! This book promises a lot of action, and I know it's going to keep me at the edge of my seat throughout.

I wish I could add more, but I've kept a strict limit of 10. I realize I haven't included any standalone books or debut series in this list, but I guess that makes sense because the ones I most anticipate are the ones that are part of a series I have read.
So I'll just mention a few standalones/debuts I'm looking forward to - 
Unchained, Invisibility, Just One Day, The Collector, Touch of Death... Just to name a few.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Review: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

I was going to write this review a week ago but I was completely SWAMPED with schoolwork. Better late than never, right?
Finale was beautiful. Extraordinary. Everything I could ever want in the final book of a series. I've been with Patch and Nora since the very beginning, and it was heartbreaking to finally say goodbye to them. I've waited for this book for a full year, and let me tell you right now that it was definitely worth the wait.

The stakes are higher than ever in this novel. Nora has to make a very difficult choice - one that will affect not only her, but everyone and everything in her life. Which side will she pick? I'm obviously not going to tell you that! I am truly blown away by Nora's character in this book. She's grown so much over the course of the series, and she's so much stronger now, so much more independent. She's a pureblood Nephilim now, thanks to Hank, and she spends the most part of this book training to develop her newfound strength. There were a lot of moments where Nora annoyed me, though. I don't agree with a lot of her decisions, but I understand why she made them.

And now to Patch. Oh, Patch, why can't you be real? Patch is hands down one on the best YA guys I've read about. Even though he can't physically feel Nora's touch, his constant love for her is admirable. No matter how many stupid things she does, how much she argues with him, he'll always love her. He's extremely protective of her in Finale, within reason. Patch and Nora's story has a beautiful and perfect ending, and I was really happy about that. Just a few Patch/Nora lines I loved - 
“I want to wake up with you every morning and fall asleep beside you each night,” Patch told me gravely. “I want to take care of you, cherish you, and love you in a way no other man ever could. I want to spoil you — every kiss, every touch, every thought, they all belong to you. I’ll make you happy. Every day, I’ll make you happy.”
"You’re mine, Angel. Every last piece of you. I won’t let anything change that.”  
“Every time you strip my sword, I owe you a kiss. How's that sound?" I bit my lip to keep from giggling. "That sounds really dirty." Patch waggled his brows. "Look whose mind just rolled into the gutter.” 
"Be my girl, Nora. Be my everything.”  
I've always felt that the Hush, Hush saga had some of the best supporting characters in YA literature. I still strongly support my opinion. I absolutely love Scott! He's my favourite character in this series (other than maybe Patch), because of his loyalty, goofiness, strength, and ability to make anyone laugh no matter what the situation is. Scott is a bright and shining star in this otherwise dark novel. And I mean dark in a good way! The same goes for Vee - she brings humour to the book. Vee is exactly the same as before, and I love that she stuck with Nora through everything. They've been through so much together even though Vee never knew the full story, and they're incredibly lucky to have each other. We find out a huge secret about Vee, something I never saw coming! You'll have to read the book to find out what it is ;)
Dante is a new character to the series, and he's very enigmatic in the beginning. I didn't know what to think of him. I really started to like him though, because of his sarcastic personality and dry sense of humour. Dante is in charge of training Nora as a Nephilim, and he takes his job seriously. Well, most of the time. There's a huge twist in Finale involving Dante, but I won't say anything more about that either.

Speaking of twists, there are so many in this book! It's like a roller coaster, and I had to be focused in order to keep up with it. Some are anticipated, some are unexpected, and some just come out of nowhere and knock your socks off! All of them contribute greatly to the plot of Finale, and I think they wrap up the series very well.

There is a reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5. A very big reason. You'll know it when you come to it. Clue: It's towards the end. Okay, that's not much of a clue, since the big stuff always happens near the end of a book. The climax is bittersweet, but overall I'm happy with how everything turned out. 

Becca Fitzpatrick provided a perfect closure to this phenomenal series, and I have no doubt I will be re-reading these books for quite a while. Also, I can't wait for Fitzpatrick's new book in 2014! I love her writing, and I miss it already. I miss Patch and Nora and Scott and Vee, and I still can't believe their story is over. I can't really get my head around that fact. I just can't. When a series I really love comes to an end, I feel lost. That's exactly how I feel right now, and it might take me a while to get over it.

Finale is truly an amazing end to the Hush, Hush series. Filled with action, suspense, and humour, this book will completely blow you away and leave you stunned at the end. Fitzpatrick has created such loveable characters in this series, it actually hurts to realize there's no more of this. Becca Fitzpatrick, I bow down to you and thank you for the amazingness that is the Hush, Hush saga.

Rating: 4/5

OPAL giveaway!

Okay so you guys should know that Jennifer Armentrout is one of my favourite authors EVER, and the third book of her Lux series, Opal, is coming out on December 18th this year.
Jennifer has just received print copies of Opal (see picture below), and she's very generously decided to give away THREE copies along with LUX SWAG!!

And yes, this giveaway is international.

So what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway on Jennifer's website HERE!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #8: Shades of Earth

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Release date: January 15th 2013
Publisher: Razorbill

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceshipGodspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? 
Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


Shades of Earth is the final book in the Across the Universe trilogy, and I'm desperate to find out how it all ends. I probably have to re-read A Million Suns before beginning this, and I will do that over the holidays! I wish the covers hadn't changed, though. The old covers were so beautiful! Anyway, there's just under a couple of months for this book to come out, and I honestly can't wait!

Add Shades of Earth on Goodreads here.

Book Trailer Reveal: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I'm so excited to be a part of the trailer reveal for Opal, since the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favourite series EVER. And I've always loved the book trailers for this series! 

Opal (Lux #3)

Available in both print and digital version on December 18th 2012. Pre-order now!

Official Opal Book Trailer 

Isn't it amazing? I love Pepe and Sztella! Only a month left for Opal to release, but it feels so long to me... And this trailer makes me even more impatient for it!

Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pre-order Promotion - Hooked by Liz Fichera

Release date: January 31st 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Want to win a Harlequin Teen gift basket?
-Includes a bunch of Harlequin Teen YA titles, two copies of Hooked, and swag!

All you have to do is pre-order Hooked by December 31st, and you will be entered to win.
The contest is international!

Email your proof of purchase to Liz at no later than December 31st.

Click here to view the contest page if you want more info.

Want a guaranteed signed and personalized copy of Hooked? Purchase it from The Poisoned Pen (it ships worldwide)!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Promotional Tour & Giveaway - Exiled and Shift by M.R. Merrick

Power Will Flourish

Lives Will be Lost

Nothing Will be Forgotten

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped. 
Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. 
Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them however, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

I’d had several jobs in the past year. This one I’d managed to keep for a few months. Most of my employers frowned on me coming to work with cuts and bruises all the time. It made for “poor presentation,” they’d say. I was thankful it hadn’t interfered with this job, yet.
I finished up my shift and had started my walk home from the burger joint when I felt it. A hunter doesn’t mistake the feeling that demons are around. It moves down your spine and chills your bones. Feeling it proved I was indeed a hunter, even without an element.
The August air was warm for the late hour, and a thick layer of sweat made my white shirt cling to me. I stopped and unzipped my duffle bag, locating the silver dagger inside. Silver was great no matter what you were fighting; it could do serious damage to anything of the Underworld.
The tingle shot down my spine again. If I focused, I could feel each hair on my neck rise. I saw a blur of movement across the street and watched it disappear into a shadowy alley. I moved across the street in a low crouch, resting my weight on the balls of my feet. I slowed my breathing and pulled the dagger from my bag before I slipped around the corner.
My senses were alive and strained to see movement, or hear the sound of feet shuffling against loose rocks. As a hunter, I could see well in the dark, though the only light came from a single flickering street lamp.
I was almost to the end of the alley when it hit. I couldn’t tell what “it” was, but it struck my back and launched me forward. My feet tumbled over my head and my back smashed hard into the concrete wall at the end of the alley. Hands grabbed me and lifted me to my feet, dragging me a few steps before throwing me back the other way. I flew through the air, hit the ground and rolled out into the street.
I used my momentum and came up on one knee to recover. My back burned where pavement had grated the skin off, but I pushed the pain aside as the figure stalked towards me.
“Your death will bring me great glory, hunter. Killing the son of Riley Williams will make me a legend among the Underworld,” the low voice gloated.
“That’s really great, good luck with that,” I said.
He smiled and the fangs that slid down from his gums were long and sharp. His pale skin started to thin as the vampire changed into his demon form.
Milky skin faded into transparent flesh, revealing the moving muscles beneath. Veins ran black through the vampire’s face and limbs, pushing against the thinning clear skin. Strange muscles in his hands pushed bony talons out over his finger nails, and the whites of his eyes disappeared, filling with an inky blackness. The dark orbs stared at me as his fanged mouth curled into a smile, and in a blur he sprang forward, talons swinging.
I ducked as they sliced through the air over my head. I brought the knife up into his stomach and twisted the blade before I pulled it out. Blood spilled onto the ground, but I knew the wound wasn’t enough to kill him. Cut off his head or pierce his black heart – those were my options. I could light him on fire, but I was fresh out of matches.
I brought my foot up and kicked the vampire back to give myself some room. I steadied myself, waiting for him to charge, but his body jerked and the point of a silver blade appeared in his chest before he could move.
The vamp’s body went limp and collapsed, then exploded in a flash of orange light. It burned away into a cloud of ash and littered the pavement, revealing the girl – of all things – who had beaten me to the kill.
Raven hair spilled over her pale shoulders with hints of red highlighting the occasional strand. A tight leather top revealed a sliver of toned stomach and a tease of cleavage. Black pants hugged her hips and long slender legs and met knee-high boots. Her skin glistened in the light, but the most noticeable of her features were her eyes.
Bright green orbs sparkled with an odd glow: demon’s eyes. They had the slit pupils of a cat that I’d never seen on anything other than a house pet or a shifter in animal form. I slipped back into fight mode. I’d never watched one demon kill another, but I suppose for the fame of killing me, why not?
I lunged and threw a punch at her face, but she dodged it with ease.
“You almost messed up my kill,” she snarled, and I had barely enough time to dodge her powerful kick.
“Your kill? You stole it from me!” I swung my fist and hit her stomach. She bent over, winded, before she stepped back and caught her breath, regaining her stance and composure.
“Stole it? Please, I’d been tracking him for blocks.” She spun and caught my chin with the heel of her boot, snapping my head to the side. I rubbed my jaw where she’d hit me and smiled.
“Well then, I guess it’s a good thing I was here to slow him down. Who knows if you would have been able to catch him?”
She moved in for another kick but I was ready. I grabbed her foot and pushed her back. She fell to the ground but quickly came to her feet. “I would have gotten him just fine on my own. Hunting is an art. It would’ve gone on as long as I deemed necessary.”
“Call it hunting if you want, but a filthy demon killing her own kind is still just that: a filthy demon.” I could tell I’d offended her even before she hit me.
My eyes watered when her fist smashed into my nose and her foot connected with my stomach in quick succession. I jerked back to avoid the knee that flew towards my face and pushed it to the side, but she was already moving towards me. Her hands hit my chest hard and I soared through the air for a long moment before I hit the ground. I felt a sharp pain shoot up through my spine and I could hear her laughter as I struggled to my feet.
“I have to admit I expected more from you, Chase, being the infamous son of Riley Williams and all.”
I gripped my dagger until my knuckles turned white and spoke through gritted teeth. “I’ll try not to disappoint.”
My fist hit her jawbone and made a loud crack. I came back with my other hand and wrapped it around her throat. I stepped into the movement and threw her forward in a burst of hunter’s strength. She slammed into the ground but recovered faster than I anticipated. Before I could brace myself she was on top of me.
I pulled her body down and we rolled over each other against the cold concrete until I was on top. I kept a handful of her hair wound tight in my fist and pushed my blade against her throat. “More what you expected?”
“Not really.” She smirked.
I felt the point of a knife pushing against my stomach. Before I could react, a commanding male voice came from behind us.
“Enough!” it boomed.
I didn’t take the knife or my eyes off the demon beneath me.
“But we were just starting to have fun,” she complained. The smile on her face was anything but threatening. If this was her idea of fun, I didn’t want to know what she considered boring.
“Rayna, enough,” the man repeated.
She sighed, sticking out her bottom lip in a pout before the knife left my skin. “Truce?” she said with an innocent face.
“Not a chance,” I replied, pushing the knife harder against her throat.
I was pulled away from Rayna and pressed against a wall, thick hands around my throat. I raised my blade but my opponent blocked and twisted my arm at an awkward angle. The man ripped the blade from my hand and I squirmed.
“Calm down, Chase. We are not here to hurt you,” the voice said. A complete shadow hung around the figure, moving as he moved.
“So she attacked me for fun?” I snapped.
“If we wanted you dead, you would be,” he said, releasing his grip, and I fell to the sidewalk. He stepped back slowly and the shadow peeled itself from his body. As it faded, it revealed a large man whose magic I’d never sensed before.
“If you don’t want to kill me, what do you want?” I asked.
The man reached forward, a large dark arm holding out my dagger. I wrapped my hand around it in confusion. The contrast of our skin was drastic; my pale flesh glowed against his midnight color and the size of his hand alone made me feel small.
“What Rayna told you was true. We were tracking the vampire, not you. Although I’m happy to finally meet you, I’d imagined this moment under different circumstances,” he said.
“There are ways to meet people besides attacking them.”
“I agree. You must forgive us; Rayna is quick to lash out when insulted.” My eyes met his and I couldn’t read his expression. I knew I hadn’t been polite, but I wasn’t about to apologize to a demon. “You know, your father would not have hesitated to kill her, no matter his position.”
“Congratulations, you’ve discovered I’m not my father. What the hell would you know about him anyways?”
He turned his head to the side and as the light hit his neck it revealed a tattoo. It was the one every hunter received after their ceremony. The one I never got.
The tattoo made me realize why he could bend the shadows; he was an air elemental and a powerful one at that. I had heard stories of hunters being able to work with shadows, but I’d never seen it done firsthand.
I looked him over, not sure what to think of a hunter working with a demon. He was taller than me by an inch, around six-foot three. His head was smooth shaven, though there was a small patch of hair under his lower lip. His skin seemed like a smooth dark chocolate. His body was large and square, broad shoulders making him a massive column of strength and power. He filled out a sharp black suit jacket and wore black loafers, leaving the only color on him a flash of bright blue dress shirt.
“You’re a hunter.”
“Once upon a time, yes I was.”
He broke eye contact and cleared his throat, extending his massive hand towards me. “Look at my manners. Let me introduce myself. I am Marcus Starkraven.”
My eyebrows shot up; I knew that name! “You’re supposed to be dead.”
“Is that what you heard?”
“You used to hunt with my father.”
He nodded slightly, but otherwise ignored the comment. “You already met Rayna,” he said, taking his unshaken hand back.
I looked at Rayna and got caught in the depths of her green, slit eyes.
“What are you doing with a demon?” I said, spitting out the last word like a curse.
“How’s your nose?” Rayna asked.
I touched it and looked at the blood on my fingers. “Lucky shot.”
She chuckled and stepped towards me. “Care to go again?” Marcus put an arm in front of her.
“Not what we’re doing right now,” he said.
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“She is my student. And my friend.”
I couldn’t respond. I didn’t believe it. A hunter being friends with a demon was unfathomable.
“I would have thought, being out in the real world, you’d have come to understand, Chase. Some Underworlders don’t fit the Circle’s black and white image of good and evil,” he said.
“The only Underworlders I’ve come across have tried to kill me.”
“Your name is feared by many in the Underworld. Your father has created quite the reputation for himself, so they fear you as well,” Marcus said.
I smirked. “As they should.”
He shook his head. “That wasn’t a compliment.

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.


3 signed copies of SHIFT available to be won.
All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below!
Ends December 3rd