Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a crucial gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and talk to ghosts. This mysterious ability had always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she could undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because Dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't really help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart. . . and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Title: Shade (Shade #1)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Source: Own. 
My rating: 5/5

Aura, like every other person born after the Shift, can see and hear ghosts. Aura would give anything not to be able to hear, or see them, until her boyfriend ends up dying. Though he is now dead, he still wants to pursue their relationship, barring a few minor complications. Aura would love nothing more than to be with him, but she has to move on. When Zachary enters the picture, things simultaneously become easier and harder for her. She'll have to decide who, or what to choose. If only she could figure out the secret behind the Shift. 
The premise for Shade is quite unique and intriguing. Every child and teenager Aura's age and younger can see and hear ghosts, while the adults can't. The ghosts know this and constantly badger everyone they guess can see them. In many other books, just one character is usually afflicted with a questionable ability. In Shade, everyone has the same ability, and though they can't do anything to bar themselves from seeing the ghosts, they can bar the ghosts from communicating with them by wearing red. The involvement of red in their wardrobe distorts things for the ghosts so much that they can't handle being near the colour. This puts Aura in an interesting position as she needs to come to terms with Logan's death, and the reality of his new ghostly being. As a devout fan of the colour red, she trades in her red clothes and accessories in favour of being with Logan. When she is assigned a partner to help with her science project, she can't help but be dismayed as she expressed that she would rather do her project solo. Things heat up when she finds out her new partner is an incredibly good-looking, accent-toting Scotsman. She doesn't want to fall for him, but the chemistry between the two sizzles and roars to life. 
Aura is a well developed, and well scripted character. Her situation evokes sympathy from the reader as they realize how hard it must be for her to live with her boyfriend's death, and then see her living in stasis as he isn't moving on. When Zachary is partnered with her, it is interesting to see the fluctuation of emotions that Aura starts feeling. She starts having feelings that she thought would be dormant forever after losing Logan. I found her completely credible and couldn't help rooting for her to choose Zachary over Logan, though I am still torn between the two. 
The love triangle between all three characters is poetic at best as Logan is the one she wants but can't have. Zachary is on the sidelines displaying his affection openly. He realizes that she is pining for Logan, but wants her to realize that she needs to have a relationship with someone living. Relationship woes aside, there is the very real mystery of the Shift that Aura wants to solve. With both Zachary, and Logan's help, she just might be able to, but she'll need to work in secret as there are government agencies keeping a close eye on those born after the Shift. 
I loved the plot line, the romance, the pacing, all of it. The story was suspenseful, heartfelt, moving, and illuminating. Those who enjoy urban fantasy, romance, and mystery will love this book. The sequel, Shift, doesn't come out until May 2011, so it will be a long wait to find out what happens next. I, for one, will be waiting impatiently to find out what direction Smith-Ready is planning to take the series in. This is definitely a must-read.

100+ Reading Challenge - Finished

I finished the 100+ Reading Challenge hosted by Home Girl's Book Blog earlier this week. (Previously known as J. Kaye's Book Blog.) I'm posting my list of books here. All links go to the reviews. I'm happy I finished this challenge, as I know I won't be finishing the other two challenges that I signed up for. Last year I read 99.5 books, so I think it's safe to say that I'm reading more this year than I did last! ;)

2010 100+ Reading Challenge

1. Wings - Aprilynne Pike
2. The Faerie Path - Frewin Jones
3. Vacations From Hell - Libba Bray et al.
4. Blue Bloods - Melissa De La Cruz
5. Masquerade - Melissa De La Cruz
6. Revelations - Melissa De La Cruz
7. Once A Witch - Carolyn MacCullough
8. Break - Hannah Moskowitz
9. Ghost Town Stories of Ontario - Maria Da Silva & Andrew Hind
10. Ghostgirl - Tonya Hurley
11. Immortal - Gillian Shields
12. Moonlight - Rachel Hawthorne
13. The Life of Glass - Jillian Cantor
14. Abandoned - Cody McFadyen
15. Dreamland - Sarah Dessen
16. I Heart You, You Haunt Me - Lisa Schroeder
17. The Hollow - Jessica Verday
18. Going Too Far - Jennifer Echols
19. Need - Carrie Jones
20. Give Up The Ghost - Megan Crewe
22. You Are So Undead To Me - Stacey Jay
23. Once Was Lost - Sara Zarr
24. Shadowland - Alyson Noel
25. Ima Nobody Becomes Somebody - Brenda Poage
26. Undead Much? - Stacey Jay
27. Worst Case - James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
28. The Van Alen Legacy - Melissa De La Cruz
29. Full Moon - Rachel Hawthorne
30. Dark of the Moon - Rachel Hawthorne
31. Fallen - Lauren Kate
32. First Daughter - Eric Van Lustbader
33. Hate List - Jennifer Brown (Top 10 of 2010)
34. Last Snow - Eric Van Lustbader
35. Mieradome - Kate Hegarty
36. Chasing Brooklyn - Lisa Schroeder
37. Arson - Estevan Vega
38. The Prophecy - Gill James
39. Radiant Shadows - Melissa Marr
40. The Third Rail - Michael Harvey
41. Her Sanctuary - P.Q. Glisson
42. The Clearing - Heather Davis
43. Blood Oath - Christopher Farnsworth
44. The Oracle of Dating - Allison van Diepen
46. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
47. Manifest - Artist Arthur
48. The 9th Judgment - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
49. Wind Warrior - Cynthia Roberts
50. Bullet - Laurell K. Hamilton
51. Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton
52. How to Wear Your Hair - Morgan Gantt
53. Promises to Keep - Jane Green
54. The Secret of Indigo Moon - G.P. Taylor
55. The Mermaid's Mirror - L.K. Madigan
56. Winter's Passage - Julie Kagawa
57. Out of Sight - Stella Cameron
58. All the Way Home - Mary Suzanne Lopez
59. The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams
60. The Left Hand of God - Paul Hoffman
61. The Castaways - Elin Hilderbrand
62. Scent of the Missing - Susannah Charleson
63. The Emerald Talisman - Brenda Pandos
64. Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure - Allan Richard Shickman
65. Gold Medal Murder - Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon
66. Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country - Allan Richard Shickman
67. It Started With A Dare - Lindsay Faith Rech
69. The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
70. Hemingway Cutthroat - Michael Atkinson
71. The Red Queen - Philippa Gregory
72. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson
73. Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
74. Ondine - Ebony McKenna
75. Past Midnight - Mara Purnhagen
76. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
77. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
78. The Thousand - Kevin Guilfoile
80. The Haunted - Jessica Verday
81. City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
82. Extraordinary - Nancy Werlin
83. No Way Out - Joel Goldman
84. Scars - Cheryl Rainfield
85. Pretty Little Things - Jilliane Hoffman
86. Thomas and the Dragon Queen - Shutta Crum
87. The Absolute Value of -1 - Steve Brezenoff
88. Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready
89. Split - Swati Avasthi
91. Fairview Felines - Michele Corriel
92. The Intern - Jess C. Scott
93. Pies & Prejudice - Heather Vogel Frederick
94. Dust City - Robert Paul Weston
96. Jumpstart the World - Catherine Ryan Hyde
99. Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
100. Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In My Mailbox -41-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

It's been an incredible book week for me, and I can't wait to dive into these titles! Right now I'm working my way through Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and I'm liking it so far. I'm heading out with some friends tonight so I'll reply back to any comments for sure tomorrow. We've been trying to get together for ages, but due to all of the stuff happening around here, I haven't been able to make it out with them. Tonight, I finally will! 
For Review
1. Merle's Door - Ted Kerasote
2. Pukka The Pup After Merle - Ted Kerasote
3. Indulgence in Death - J. D. Robb
4. Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
5. Black Sun - Graham Brown
6. Werewolves and Shapeshifters - Edited by John Skipp
7. Annexed - Sharon Dogar
8. The Sapphire Talisman - Brenda Pandos
9. Night School - Mari Mancusi
10. Out of Time - Monique Martin (not pictured)
11. The Sacred Oath - D. C. Grace (not pictured)
12. Good Morning, Darkness - Ruth Francisco (not pictured) (Forgot to add in last week's IMM.)

Many thanks goes to Anna - FSB Media, Laura - Penguin Canada, Beth - Penguin Canada, Dana - Kaye Publicity, Anita - Thomas Allen & Son Limited, Brenda Pandos, Mari Mancusi and Penguin USA, Kari and Kelsey at Teen Book Scene, Monique Martin, D.C. Grace, and Ruth Francisco for the books I received this week. 

I hope you all had a great week and are having an amazing weekend. Are you doing anything special this Halloween weekend? :)

That's what I received in my mailbox this week, what did you get in yours? Happy reading! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blog Tour: Free Fall - Anna Levine - Interview

Anna Levine, author of Freefall, is here today courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour. Her book has a unique premise, with the main character joining the Israeli army. It sounds like a fabulous read. For more information about Anna Levine, and her works, you can visit her website here. You can also follow along with the rest of the tour here

What is your favourite line from Freefall?

More of a favorite paragraph…but here’s the last line of it. “The thing is you never know how it’ll be until you step out and take the chance.” For Aggie, it’s taking her first step out of the plane, for the rest of us it’s understanding that we have to always try and challenge ourselves and not be afraid to take a chance.

What would you have done in Aggie's position, would you have been enthusiastic about having to join the army, and what area/position would you want to train in?

Like Aggie, I think I’d want to test myself and see if I can stand up to the physical, emotional and psychological demands that you need to be a soldier. The thing is, in Israel you don’t have a choice about joining the army. Because the country is surrounded by borders that need to be defended all eighteen-year olds have to do military service. But the army knows that not everyone is cut out for every position. Some of the soldiers work in schools, in hospitals, and as nature guides.

If Aggie had a theme song, what would it be, and why that song?

Right now I’d say “New Soul” by Yael Naim ( but I might change my mind tomorrow.

What would the front page headline of a newspaper say about you?

Local Author Makes New York Times Best Seller List

What kind of tree would you describe yourself as, and why?

An orange tree. When I first came to Israel I worked on an agricultural farm (a kibbutz). I absolutely adore the smell of citrus flowers and though I was happy to leave kibbutz (I’m not made to be a farmer) whenever I catch a whiff of the citrus flowers I am infused with memories.

I love your answers, Anna! Thank you so much for being here today and answering these questions! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar. 
Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him--despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.
If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything--and everyone--she trusts. 

Title: Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Angels
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: October 19, 2010
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Loretta from Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
My rating: 4/5

Nora is back in this second installment, and though she's sure of her feelings for Patch, things are decidedly taking a turn for the worse. Their relationship at best, is conflicted. She is taking a summer school course for chemistry and is partnered with her archenemy, Marcie Millar; and, to top it off, Patch is hanging out with Marcie--a lot. Nora is absolutely horrified, and depressed that he would do this to her. When an old friend from grade school moves back into the area, Nora starts spending time with him, to fill the gap left by Patch's absence. As if her relationship woes weren't enough, she is haunted by visions of her father. His murder remains unsolved, and she'll do anything to solve it, regardless of the consequences.
There is palpable friction between Nora and Patch. Everything she is learning is leading her to question him, and their relationship. As mistrust grows, he steps farther back out of her reach. The tension sizzles between the two, and when Nora lashes out by hanging out with her old school friend, it intensifies. Though their relationship is a large part of the story, it doesn't consume the book. Nora still is trying to find out what happened to her dad, and who murdered him. She needs to be careful though, as the more she learns, the more danger she is in. 
Vee returns as her trusty side-kick, and though she is spending a lot of time with her new boyfriend, Patch's best friend, Rixon, she still helps Nora out when Nora needs a favour. The hi-jinks that ensue when the girls are together adds a much needed edge of humour to the book. 
Patch is in a word, conflicted. Though he is her guardian angel, he appears more feral and dangerous in this installment. He is maintaining his distance from Nora, and though his feelings are tamped down, they are still there. The information Nora digs up will leave you wondering if he really is the angel she fell in love with.
The plot is layered in intricate detail. Everything mentioned is used to further the plot. People aren't who they seem, which leaves Nora with more questions, and growing apprehension that her life is in jeopardy--again. This sequel to Hush, Hush will leave you questioning, wanting more. Crescendo is a fantastic follow up and it just amps up the action. Taut with suspense, and more riddles, you'll want to read along to find out what happens next. I absolutely devoured this book, and cannot wait for Tempest.
All in all, a remarkable sequel that solidifies Fitzpatrick's writing style, making her presence known as an author to watch for. If you haven't read the series yet, I urge you to give it a try. Take the plunge. 

As with Hush, Hush I couldn't help but notice that Adam Lambert could be an incarnation of Patch. As I was reading the book, a song started playing on my ipod that I thought encapsulated the characters almost perfectly. It, incidentally, is sung by Adam Lambert as well. Whataya Want From Me? - Adam Lambert. What do you think? Click the song title to be transferred to youtube.

Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment. 
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen--and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

Title: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Angels.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Source: Own.
My rating: 4/5

When an impromptu seating re-assignment lands the dark and mysterious Patch as Nora's new lab partner, she is less than thrilled. Things take an even creepier turn for her when she realizes that he knows more about her than he should. Outside of class, she can't help but notice that he seems to pop up everywhere as well. Nora is dealing with conflicted emotions, and doesn't know whether to give in to them or not. Something about Patch draws her ever closer to him, like a moth to flame, but she also senses that there is something dangerous about him. When she learns the truth, she is left with a choice. Either one could prove to be the wrong one. 
I'm falling on the bandwagon a little late, but I've had Hush, Hush in my possession since it first released. It had huge displays at my local Chapters, and I couldn't help picking it up and buying it. Knowing how many books I have on my reading list, I held off on reading it. In some ways, I'm glad I held off, because I could read Hush, Hush and Crescendo back to back, but in other ways, I wish I had read it right off the bat.
Nora's a great protagonist. She's not perfect, but she's real. She has decisions to make that aren't necessarily healthy for her. She's attracted to the "bad boy" and needs to figure out her feelings for him, as they are mixed. She also needs to figure out who she can trust. I liked her friendship with Vee, and I enjoyed her interaction and chemistry with Patch. 
Vee is Nora's best friend. She's laugh out loud funny, and adds a dose of humour to the book. She stabilizes Nora when Nora is upset, and is an all around great friend. She tries to set up Nora with other guys and doesn't trust Patch. She is there for Nora even when Nora makes decisions that she doesn't agree with. 
Patch is a complex character. He's got the bad boy persona down, but he has a sensitive, tender side as well. It's hidden, but it's there. He seems feral, and edgy at times, and he'll do whatever it takes, but when it comes to Nora he softens up a bit. His history is intriguing, and some of the stuff that he's done or does should have Nora running away screaming. Whether she does or not is another story. I have to admit, I loved Hush, Hush, and had a fan girl crush on Patch. I could see Adam Lambert as Patch if they ever made Hush, Hush into a movie. 
The secondary characters added more to the storyline as well, as they established plausible doubt, and kept me guessing as to what their involvement in the story was, and how that would affect Nora.
All in all, a compelling story, and an excellent debut. I wish I had picked it up earlier as I enjoyed it so much. Memorable characters, and a well-scripted plot will keep me coming back for more. This is definitely one that I'll be re-reading. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog Tour: Under My Skin - Judith Graves - Guest Post - Giveaway

Judith Graves is here today courtesy of Teen Book Scene to promote the first book in her Skinned series, Under My Skin. You can follow along with the rest of the tour here. To learn more about the series, you can visit Judith's website here.

Seeing that it is October, the month of thrills and chills, and knowing that Judith is an avid horror movie buff, I decided to ask what her 10 favourite "supernatural themed" movies are. I've only seen two of the titles listed, but loved them. I ask everyone reading this post, which ones have you seen?

What are your top 10 favourite supernatural movies?

I’m a big horror movie buff, so it’s tough to limit myself to a top 10. How about the Top of My Head 10?

Fright Night
The Exorcist
The Shining
American Werewolf in London
Ginger Snaps
Let the Right One in
Amityville Horror
The Lost Boys
Young Frankenstein (Reanimating the dead counts as supernatural, right? Plus – this film is just a kick in the pants.)
Evil Dead

Thanks for that post, Judith! I've watched Ginger Snaps and The Lost Boys. I loved The Lost Boys. Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, and Kiefer Sutherland. What's not to love? ;)

All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life...

Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children. The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn--in fact, she's lethal.

But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding--human Alec. And then her world falls apart.

A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale.
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)


I've decided to give away a copy of Under My Skin. Contest is international (through the Book Depository) and will end November, 12, 2010.
Giveaway has ENDED. Thank you to those who participated!
Please fill out THIS FORM to enter. 
I would love it if you commented but comments aren't required to enter. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox -40-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.
For Review
1. In the Company of Others - Jan Karon
2. Side Jobs - Jim Butcher
3. Dark Prophecy - Anthony E. Zuiker with Duane Swierczynski
4. The Templar Salvation - Raymond Khoury
5. From the Dead - John Herrick

Many thanks goes to Laura and Barbara from Penguin Canada, as well as John Herrick for sending me these books for review. 

1. Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
2. Unholy Ghosts - Stacia Kane
3. Unholy Magic - Stacia Kane
4. City of Ghosts - Stacia Kane

Covert Youth Agency Winner

Just a quick note to say that the Covert Youth Agency giveaway has ended, and the winner has been picked using Congratulations goes to Kai @ Amaterasureads. Kai has won an e-copy of Covert Youth Agency by Jason Ancona. Thank you to all that entered the giveaway. I have several more giveaways listed on my sidebar, I hope you check them out and enter them. :) 

That's what I received in my mailbox this week, what did you get in yours?

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Conversation with Ted Kerasote, author of Pukka: The Pup After Merle

Ted Kerasote is the author of several books; most notably Merle's Door and Out There. His most recent title is Pukka: The Pup After Merle. He is featured here today, courtesy of Anna from FSB Media. Read on to find out more about Pukka, as well as Ted's fall book tour schedule. If you are in the area during any of the tour stops, go see him, and get some books signed. For more information about Ted and all of his books, visit his website here.

A Conversation with Ted Kerasote

How long was it after Merle died before you felt ready to welcome a new dog into your life?

It took almost five years to get over Merle’s death and feel that my heart was at last open enough to embrace a new dog.

What drew you to Pukka?

I searched long and hard to find a dog that had some of Merle’s characteristics or, more generally, the characteristics I wanted in a dog when I met Merle: Someone who was very athletic; who could navigate deep snow; who could swim big rivers; who could camp out with me in any landscape. I also wanted a dog who, though active, could be laid-back in the house; who was affectionate; and who also had that certain reddish-golden tinge to his fur that reminds me of fall, of September light.

What does “Pukka” mean, and why did it seem like the right name for your new dog?

“Pukka” means first class or genuine in Hindi, and it seemed like a good name for the pup I met in Minnesota. He immediately took to traveling in the car; he knew how to use rest stops; he climbed the stairs in the motel with no problem and wasn’t afraid of children, swimming pools, and traffic. Plus he was a snuggler and affectionate.

What was it like to write the book from Pukka’s point of view?

I didn’t really write the book from Pukka’s point of view. As was the case in Merle’s Door, I watched my dog, I spoke with him, and I translated what he was telling me. It really is Pukka’s book.

How would you explain your philosophy of raising a puppy?

A lot of puppy-training manuals are all about confining the pup: to a crate so as to house-train it; to your own waist via a tether; to a playpen so it can’t get into mischief. But people have been raising puppies for about sixteen thousand years without these devices. Pukka had the run of the house and, yes, made a few mistakes about peeing and pooping. Did these turn into lifelong problems? Hardly. I picked him up midstream and said, “Outside.” He soon got it and has made no mistakes since he was a wee little fellow. I solved his teething problems by spraying furniture legs with a solution called bitter apple. Dogs don’t like the taste. He also had plenty of real bones to chew on. At the same time, pups, like children, need to learn manners—sitting, not bothering people, coming when called. But if these are made fun, and there’s some elk jerky and praise when it’s done right, the pup soon learns. My attitude is not to get too bent out of shape, and you and your puppy will be happier for it.

What have you and Pukka learned from each other?

I learned that one of the things I liked doing—running rivers—was not a great idea for a young, active pup. He wanted to be moving, to be roaming, and being confined to a raft was so borrrrrrrrrring! Pukka has learned from me that just because other dogs can do certain things—bark at the UPS man, for instance—that doesn’t mean he can. This has been a point of contention between us, he saying, “Why can’t I bark? All my friends are barking!” People who wring their hands over the company their children keep will understand this very well.

Goodreads Summary:
Since the publication of the best-selling Merle’s Door, Ted Kerasote has received thousands of e-mails asking two questions: “Have you gotten another dog?” and “Are you writing a new book?” Pukka: The Pup After Merle answers both, in the most heartwarming way.
Told in Pukka’s charming voice and accompanied by more than 200 photos, Pukka: The Pup After Merle tells the story of how Ted found Pukka, recounting the early days of their bonding as they explore Kelly and the wider world. Walks become hikes and hikes become climbs, their adventures culminating in a rugged wilderness journey that teaches both Pukka and Ted something new about the dog-human partnership.
Filled with stunning images of the West, Pukka is a love story as well as Ted’s take on raising a puppy. It will do pictorially what Merle did with words—show how dogs thrive when treated as peers while illustrating the many ways that any dog opens the door to our hearts.

Pukka’s Fall Book Tour

Wed, Oct 27, 7 pm Teton County Library Jackson WY

Sun, Oct 31, 1 pm Costco, Littleton CO

Mon, Nov 1, 7:30 pm Boulder Bookstore Boulder CO

Tues, Nov 2, 7:00 pm Book People Austin TX

Wed, Nov 3, 7:30 pm Library/Elm Street Books New Canaan CT

Thurs, Nov 4, 7:00 pm Porter Square Books Cambridge MA

Fri, Nov 5, 7:00 pm Barnes & Noble Princeton NJ

Sun, Nov 7, 2:00 pm Book Passage Corte Madera CA

Mon, Nov 8, 7:00 pm Barnes & Noble Emeryville CA

Tues, Nov 9, 7:00 pm Rakestraw Books Danville CA

Wed, Nov 10, 7:30 pm Barnes & Noble Seattle WA

University Village

Thurs, Nov 11, 7:30 pm Powell’s on Hawthorne Portland OR

Mon, Nov 15, 6:30 pm Kansas City Library/Rainy Day Books Kansas City MO

Thank you for being here today, Ted. (Thank you Anna for allowing me to post this conversation for you!) What a great interview. I loved it, though I will say that I've met dogs who love the taste of bitter apple spray! (Surprising, I know!) 
I hope Pukka does well for you, and that you have an amazing book tour. Pukka sure is a cutie!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Knight Angels: Book of Revenge - Abra Ebner - Blog Tour Review

Task One: Kill Her

"I glanced at Jane, thinking of Avery once again. Avery had been my attempt to fit in with their world and accept my fate. Jane had been my reason to leave it, and find purpose within my seemingly endless life..."

Title: Book of Revenge (Knight Angels #2)
Author: Abra Ebner
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Crimson Oak Publishing
Publication Date: October 2010
Source: Received from author courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to both Abra Ebner and Kari from Teen Book Scene for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of the official Knight Angels: Book of Revenge blog tour.
My rating: 4/5

Knight Angels: Book of Revenge picks up where Book of Love left off. It is just a few days later, and everyone is heading back to school. However certain side characters are revealed now in a different light, and come more to the forefront. There are also a few other new characters, Avery for one. She has a past history with Max and is jealous of his relationship with Jane. She'll do anything to get revenge. Wes and Emily are working out the kinks in their relationship as Wes is having a hard time with Emily knowing everything he even thinks. Things become more interesting for the two of them when several new characters arrive and complicate matters. 
Book of Revenge continues with the narration changing between the four friends, Jane, Max, Emily and Wes. Though there are no chapter headings in this installment either, the book continues at a swift pace with a sense of urgency maintained throughout. It was interesting seeing what certain characters knew before others, and how it affected the group dynamics. 
With four characters narrating the story one would be worried that the story line would get lost, or further confuse readers, however that is not the case. Each voice is distinct in this installment, as well as the previous one, and I found that I enjoyed this volume more. I also found myself more in suspense with this one as I didn't know what would happen in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending of this book as it wasn't what I expected and it leaves things wide open for the next volume in the series. More questions arise, and I can't wait to read how things are resolved. I really hope we get to see more of the new characters, and can't wait to see what is in store for them all. 
All in all, a strong follow up to Book of Love. I can't express how much I enjoyed this novel, and the situations the characters found themselves in. I really can't wait to find out what Ebner has up her sleeve for Jane, Max, Emily and Wes, as things have been amped up for them. If you haven't read Book of Revenge I urge you to give it a read as the new characters bring more to the story. 

Knight Angels: Book of Love - Abra Ebner



When four teens enter Glenwood High, none of them knew the secrets they held were about to become their only defense.

Love, hate, and friendship now binds them, but what they don't yet know, is that this is just the beginning...

Death is calling them home. 

Title: Book of Love (Knight Angels #1)
Author: Abra Ebner
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Crimson Oak Publishing
Publication Date: April 26, 2010
Source: Own
My Rating: 4/5

When Jane sees Max for the first time in the halls of Glenwood High, she is immediately drawn to him. What she doesn't know is that he has a secret, and can help her with hers. Ever since she almost died in the car accident that took her father's life, she has had horrible dreams. Dreams of death and those about to die. She hasn't told anyone; not her best friend, Wes, or her sister, Emily. Jane and Max aren't the only ones keeping secrets though, and they'll have to rely on each other to figure out what is happening to and with each of them. When Max's nemesis, and brother, Greg shows up, things get a little more complicated.
Book of Love is narrated mainly through four of the characters, Jane, Max, Wes, and Emily. Some of the side characters have a few pages written from their point of view as well, but they are few and far between. The format of the book is not set up in chapter form, it carries on through the different characters when the voice switches. Each of the characters are established readily and their voices are distinctive. It was quite easy to follow along and keep up with the different voices as the characters were so well defined. The narrative style chosen worked well as we saw how the characters viewed each other, and themselves. It gave a well-balanced view of all of the different characters, and showed us how they might have seen each other, and what they might have misconstrued as well. 
Without chapters, the plot could have become convoluted, but that was not the case with this book. The plot flowed fluently through the voices of each of the main characters. It didn't falter when changing view points.
The characters themselves were written quite well. Jane is supposed to be the main character, but she shares the spotlight with Max. She is a character that I liked immediately, and then distanced myself from a bit. She's always been the responsible one, and is always looking after her sister Emily. When we read from Emily's point of view we see that though Jane may be the responsible one, she also treats Emily with callous disregard. She is more wrapped up in what is going on in her life that she doesn't take an interest in what is going on in Emily's life, or for that matter, Wes' life. 
Emily and Wes both have their own problems that they are sorting through, so it was neat to see how they interacted and reacted to everything that was thrown at them. I found that I really enjoyed their characters as well as they seemed to be more developed, and surprisingly more mature at times than Jane.
Max and Greg are opposites, which might not be a good thing as they are both angels. Their destinies are intertwined due to the fact that they are twin brothers. Their personalities are at odds with each other, and it was interesting to see how they pushed each other, knowing that they could only push so far.
All in all, Book of Love captures the lives of four teenagers and the supernatural abilities that they are growing into, or are learning to control. This book has something for everyone as it deals with angels, shapeshifters, and a whole other realm of beings. A promising start to what looks to be a great series. Whose side will you take?