Monday, April 15, 2013

Demons - Heather Frost - Blog Tour Review, Interview, and Giveaway

Kate's life is far from normal. She can see Auras, her boyfriend is immortal, and her powers make her a target. But now that the Demon Lord is hunting her, things are about to go from dangerous to truly deadly. Packed with action, mind-blowing plot twists, and characters you can't get enough of, this is a fast-paced, heart-pounding read from cover to cover.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: Demons (Book 2 of the Seers Trilogy)
Author: Heather Frost
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Format: Finished Copy
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Cedar Fort Inc for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository
My rating: 3/5

Kate is coming to terms with her new powers as a seer. She's acclimating well, but she knows that the Demon Lord is still after her. She and Patrick are in love, and she'll do anything to protect him, as he would do the same for her. She just wants everything to regain a semblance of normalcy, but that isn't about to happen anytime soon. 
I enjoyed reading Seers and was excited for Demons. However, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It felt more like a transitional read, and while there was stuff going on, and things looked dire for certain characters, it felt like it was keeping pace rather than bringing the fight to Kate. That isn't bad though, we get to see more of the relationships that Kate has with her friends and her family, as well as the relationship with her guardian, Patrick. The story does move, and it maintains a relatively fast pace, but we don't see or learn much about the demons until closer to the end. I clued into what the major plot twists were going to be, and am wondering how Frost is going to resolve things with the complications that are now evident with the new characters and situations. 
Kate is a strong character. She is resilient and you can feel the love that she has for her family and for Patrick. She has a stubborn streak as well, and even though she has a demon lord after her, she's not one to hide in the corner and let others take care of her. She wants to be part of the team, and she wants to be able to protect herself and her family. 
Patrick is equally as strong, and he will do anything and everything in his power to protect Kate and her family. He loves her, and their love is evident throughout the book. He has his own share of troubles though as he has to come to terms with the troubling fact that guardians may not be as immortal as they once thought. 
All in all, this transitional read is captivating, and will hold the reader's interest as they find out how Kate and Patrick handle the challenges thrown their way. Kate learns more about her abilities, and what she is willing to do for the ones she loves. Demons is a relatively fast paced read and provides the perfect build up for Guardians. I'm looking forward to finding out what Frost has in store next for her characters. 

Author Interview

Which of your characters would you most trust to have your back in a fight? Why them? 

I would probably want Patrick O’Donnell around in a tight spot. He’s a skilled fighter with lots of experience, and if he counts you a friend, you know he’s going to do absolutely anything to make sure you get out. 

 What one song best explains how you view the world?

It really depends on my mood. But I love “Singin’ in the Rain”—that song just makes me feel like, no matter your circumstances, you can choose to be positive. 

 If you could have any super power/ability, what would it be and why? 

Control over time—to speed it up or slow it down, and travel around the future and past. 

Do you have any quirks that you employ while writing?

I must have music—silence starves my creativity. I prefer soundtracks, or songs with lyrics that don’t distract—Enya is a top choice.

 If you could be a character in any book, who would it be and why?

Today, I would want to be Hermione Granger—she’s smart, tough, and has a wand.

Thank you for being here today, and for answering my questions, Heather! 

Heather Frost can be found on her website, twitter, facebook, and goodreads.

Author Bio: Heather Frost was born in Sandy, Utah, and raised in a small Northern Utah town. She is the second oldest of ten children, and she loves her family very much. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in English at Utah State University. Heather has always been an avid reader, and reading and writing are among her favorite things to do. She also enjoys playing the flute, listening to all types of music, and watching a wide variety of movies. Guardians, the final book in the Seers Trilogy, will be released July 2013.


Heather Frost and Cedar Fort Inc have graciously provided Lost For Words with an e-book copy of Demons for giveaway. Thank you, Heather! 

Please fill out this FORM to enter the giveaway. 

Giveaway is open internationally and will end April 22, 2013.

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Place for Us - Liza Gyllenhaal

Brook Bostock has led a privileged life. The daughter of an extremely wealthy and prominent family, she married the man of her dreams and is raising two deeply loved children. But her happy home is shattered when a neighborhood teenager is assaulted during a night of drinking with the Bostocks' son and his prep school friends. 
The scandal receives national attention—not only because of Brook’s family name, but because of the lawsuit looming against Brook and her husband, Michael, that alleges they are responsible for what went on in their house. Suddenly the small Massachusetts town they call home seems to be turning against them, revealing the simmering jealousies and resentments that have been lurking under the surface all along. 
With their once-perfect family in danger of falling apart, Brook and Michael must find a way to get through this together—or risk losing everything they love…
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: A Place for Us
Author: Liza Gyllenhaal
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: Finished copy
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Penguin Group USA for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Look for it: Amazon, Chapters
My rating: 4/5

Brook has always loved her husband and children, and absolutely loves living in her husband's hometown, away from the influence of her own family with their high society last name. She has tried to distance herself from the acclaim that comes with being a Pendleton, and has done a good job of it. One night though, is all it takes for disaster to strike. Her family is now thrust into the midst of a scandal as a teenager was assaulted in her home while she and her husband were not there. An impending lawsuit threatens to shatter Brook's once perfect family. Will Brook's family survive this trial, or will they lose everything? 
This book tackles many hard-hitting issues. Underage drinking, and assault first and foremost. Many emotions roll through the reader as they come to terms with what is happening. Outrage, anger, frustration, sympathy, and sorrow. We see the situation unfold through several different eyes. Phoebe and Liam have a history that unfolds through different flashback scenes throughout the book. We see the boy Phoebe has fallen in love with, and we see what he actually thinks of himself. Gyllenhaal writes broken characters that just resonate with the reader. I couldn't help but feel sad and frustrated with them for what they did, and what they did not do.
Another topic that comes under investigation is whether or not the onus is on the parents if they are not there to supervise. Maybe things wouldn't have escalated had they been there. Should they be held responsible for what happened in their home? 
Gyllenhaal tackles these topics and more as she weaves a complex and heartrending tale. A Place for Us is a thought provoking read, one that captures interest and will not let go until the end. Will Phoebe have justice? It is not just these characters who are dealing with their emotions and the consequences of their actions. We see Brook and her husband Michael deal with their respective pasts and see how it affects them now, and how it affects their perceptions now that they are in this situation. Would or could they have done anything differently? 
All in all, this is a harrowing read hitting on some dark topics. Gyllenhaal deftly weaves a story that will resonate with readers. Fans of Jodi Picoult's should enjoy A Place for Us

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Burning Time - JG Faherty - Blog Tour Review

An ancient evil has come to Hastings Mills, and only one man can stop it. 
Wherever The Stranger goes, evil follows. Wild dogs roam the fields. Townspeople turn on each other in murderous fury. Innocent women throw themselves off bridges. Swimmers disappear, victims of a deadly beast that haunts their waters. And the worst is still yet to come. The Stranger plans to open a gateway to the nether realms and release the Elder Gods to bring forth Chaos on Earth. 
Only one man knows the truth, a country mage whose family has fought The Stranger before. But can he defeat his ageless enemy before Hastings Mills is nothing but a smoking ruin and the townspeople become unwilling blood sacrifices to the Old Ones? With only the help of a young woman and her teenage son, he will have to use all of his arcane knowledge to thwart his adversary and prevent the final apocalypse. 
In Hastings Mills, The Burning Time has arrived.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Author: JG Faherty 
Genre: Adult Fiction, Horror 
Publisher: JournalStone 
Publication Date: January 18, 2013 
Format: Finished copy. 
Source: Many thanks goes to Dark Eva for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of JG Faherty's blog tour for The Burning Time
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository 
My Rating: 3.5/5

When the Stranger comes to town, you should probably take off for parts unknown to him. When he comes to town, all the dark and chaotic energies in the universe come out to play. Wild dogs, tempers flaring to the extreme, sinister and senseless deaths. With the body count rising, and hell coming to fruition in Hastings Mill, it looks like there will be a burning time. Only one man has a chance at stopping it. With a town set against him, will he be able to stop the Stranger from burning through Hastings Mill? 
John is an interesting character. He has been around fighting evil in all entities as well as collecting lore for years. He has lost many loved ones to the Stranger in previous years. He is weary, yet dedicated to eradicating the world of the Stranger once and for all. He is flawed, yet all the more human for his flaws. 
The premise of The Burning Time makes this book sound like a good read, and it does not disappoint. It reads fluidly, though I would have liked more rounding out of the characters and situations. The horror instilled although sinister and insidious, was not bone-chilling. The book is dark, though not dark throughout, there was enough "light" when it came to John and his newfound companions. As their story unfolded, you couldn't help but like Danni and Mitch. 
The Stranger is pure evil and chaos. He alone will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up while reading. He is fanatical in his obsession to bring about the burning time. 
All in all, The Burning Time was essentially an 'easy' read as everything unfolded. I was absorbed in the tale and didn't find the horror too overbearing. That is not to say that it wasn't dark, because it had its share of darkness and death. One would not want to go to Hastings Mill anytime soon, what with all the macabre and senseless violence happening there. Fans of horror will enjoy The Burning Time

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan - Author Interview

Marie Brennan is here today with an author interview, courtesy of the Tor blog tour for her new release, A Natural History of Dragons. Thank you for being here today, Marie! 
If you needed to choose one of your characters to stand by your side in a fight, who would you choose, and why? 

Mirage, from the doppelganger books. No contest. She’s a mildly superpowered ninja; why wouldn’t I choose her? 

Actually, now that I think about it, very few of my novel protagonists are physical badasses. Deven was briefly a soldier and Dead Rick’s probably good in a street fight, but Mirage is the only one who’s highly trained. If I’m allowed to have magic, though, I’d probably go for Julian, from Lies and Prophecy; a combat-trained psychic could take down a great many threats.

What is your favourite part to write. Do you prefer plotting, characters, world-building? 

My imagination tends to start with the world, followed shortly by a character in that world; for example, A Natural History of Dragons started out as “a Victorian kind of setting, with dragons” plus “a woman studying dragons and writing her memoir.” But for favorite bits -- the parts I think up and then can’t wait to write -- those are all over the place. They could be neat bits of setting, intense emotional moments, unexpected plot twists, whatever. 

 If you could define yourself in one song, what would that song be? If you could define how you view the world in a song, what would it be?

With the size of my music collection? No way on earth I could boil myself or the world down to a single song. I will say, though, that I make “soundtracks” for my novels, and love it when I find the perfect piece for a certain character or plot event. That’s actually part of why I make the soundtracks; once I build up that association, the CD becomes a memento of the story, and a way to relive those moments. (There’s a hazard to this, too. I stop whatever I’m doing when “Death Is the Road to Awe” from The Fountain comes up on iTunes’ shuffle, because it throws me right back into the climax of With Fate Conspire.)

If you could visit any time in history, which would you choose, and why?

 Again with making me choose just one! Republican or imperial Rome, Heian Japan, New Kingdom Egypt, one of the Classic Maya states . . . but I’ll stay a bit closer to home and say Elizabethan England, if it means I get to meet some of the major players from that time. I got a very strong sense of their personalities while researching Midnight Never Come, and deeply admire a lot of those people, warts and all.

Where do you write? Do you have any rituals while writing?

I write in my home office, and don’t have a lot of rituals, beyond the fact that I almost always write late at night. (I am a solar-powered night owl; it’s an odd combination.) The major one is that I usually have music playing; I always make several playlists for a given book, to fit different kinds of scenes, and use those to get myself in the right mood for whatever I’ll be writing that night.

Thank you so much for being here today, Marie, and answering my questions! 

Marie Brennan can be found at her website, on twitter, and on goodreads.

A Natural History of Dragons can be found at Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Powells, Walmart, and Overstock.

About the book.

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . . 

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day. 

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever. 

Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons

Author Bio:

Marie Brennan is a former academic with a background in archaeology, anthropology, and folklore, which she now puts to rather cockeyed use in writing fantasy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to many short stories and novellas, she is also the author of A Star Shall Fall and With Fate Conspire (both from Tor Books), as well as Warrior, Witch, Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, and Lies and Prophecy. You can find her online at

All art credited to Todd Lockwood.

The Ruining - Anna Collomore - Blog Tour Review

Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door. 
All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play? 
The Ruining is a complex ride through first love, chilling manipulation, and the terrifying depths of insanity. 
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: The Ruining 
Author: Anna Collomore 
Genre: Young Adult, contemporary. 
Publisher: Razorbill 
Publication Date: February 7, 2013 
Format: E-ARC 
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Penguin/Razorbill for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of the Razorbill blog tour. 
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository, Chapters 
My Rating: 4/5

Annie Phillips jumps at the chance to nanny for a family in sunny California when she realizes it would mean she could leave her current life, and family, behind. She falls in love with the Cohen family, and idolizes Libby. The adage be careful what you wish for comes into play as she realizes that not everything is ideal in her new life. She fights to hold on to her sanity as she tries to figure out if Libby is truly the person she thinks she is; or if she is the cause for all of the weird  and crippling situations that are occurring with a frightening regularity.
The Ruining has oppressive undertones that nag and worry the reader as they are reading. It is easy to see Annie's descent into madness, even though she herself cannot see it. Within the first few pages we get a glimmering of Libby's personality. However, Annie, who is completely enraptured with creating the ideal life for herself with a new family, does not see that there is something off with her 'perfect' family. 
The undertones throughout the novel continue to build this web of confusion, and madness around Annie, leaving the reader unsettled. As we find out more, we realize, long before Annie does, how dangerous Libby can be. Nothing is as it seems, and Annie will need to figure out what is going on before she loses herself, her identity, completely.
I would have liked more closure, for Annie's sake, as I felt that there were some things left unresolved. Collomore weaves a brilliant tale of madness and horror as Annie realizes that things are not alright, that she cannot trust herself, or those around her. I just wish that there had been a more visual, more tangible interaction between Annie and Libby at the end of the book once Annie comes full circle and realizes just what has happened to her. I felt the ending was a bit anti-climactic for my taste. That is not to say others won't enjoy it, I just wanted a little more action.
All in all, The Ruining is a chilling and disturbing read that does not pull any punches. Annie struggles with identity and madness. The sheer insidiousness of the book alone had me reading along wanting to know more, with the hope that Annie would realize what was happening to her before it was too late. Even now, the book has gotten under my skin, and it has left me feeling a little unsettled.      

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Paper Valentine - Brenna Yovanoff - Blog Tour Review

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls. 
For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.  
With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again. 
Paper Valentine is a hauntingly poetic tale of love and death by the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between.
Synopsis taken from goodreads. 

Title: Paper Valentine
Genre: Young Adult, mystery, romance.
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Format: Finished copy
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Penguin/Razorbill for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of the Razorbill blog tour.
My Rating: 4/5

It has been a sweltering hot summer, which makes for long days, and even longer nights. When a girl is murdered, it makes them seem all the more oppressive. Hannah knows what it is like to lose someone you love, seeing as her best friend died earlier in the year. She is still suffering the aftermath of losing Lillian. What she doesn't expect is how involved she is going to get with the girls who are being murdered. She might not be able to help them before death, but she is going to find out who is killing them before someone else ends up dead. 
The atmosphere surrounding this book showcases the oppressive heat, and the depth of Hannah's despair. Lillian's death is still affecting her, and she is gathering the pieces, trying to make sense of things. It really doesn't help that Lillian is still around, even after death. This read is a poignant one as you see how Hannah is suffering from Lillian's slow downward spiral. She fluctuates between wondering if she could have stopped Lillian, and being angry that Lillian could not realize that she did not need to be perfect. Yovanoff entwines these feelings well with the unstable and volatile feelings of a town on edge after yet another girl is found murdered. 
The budding romance between Finny, a misunderstood loner, and Hannah is also aptly appealing. The tension is there as they are getting to know each other, but when Finny is taken in for questioning, Hannah realizes she doesn't know him as well as she thinks she does. Can she trust her judgement; is he really a good guy, or is he the killer everyone fears?
The romance marries well with the mystery in Paper Valentine and gives the reader a well-rounded read. I have been a fan of Yovanoff's writing from the start. I absolutely loved The Replacement and The Space Between. Paper Valentine may have started off slow, but it picked up speed and kept me engrossed until the final showdown. This is one of those books that will keep you reading until all hours of the night as you will not want to put it down once you get into the meat of the story. 
All in all, memorable characters, and a diverse plot make this an atmospheric and lyrical read. The budding romance is perfect in comparison to the darker edges of the novel, and it balances well with all of the entwined threads. Yovanoff throws a lot of different emotions at the reader, yet they blend well to make this a near perfect read. Even though this is a slow starter, you will be burning up the pages to find out what happens next.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along! 
  • grab your current read 
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • try not to include spoilers! 
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!
This week I have a double feature. First up is the one from a YA book by Robin McKinley, titled Pegasus. This book is just full of win so far! Anyway! Teaser time! 

" She thought it looked at her with surprise and... and... What made her think it was looking at her with anything? Maybe it was just interested to see a girl for a change: the first daughter of a sovereign since her grandmother.
Pg. 55

This next teaser is from a book that just hit bookshelves today. It is from The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. James Rollins is one of my favourite authors so I'm looking forward to reading this one! 

"It's just my dig," she said, preparing to believe her lie. "It's been years of planning, and there was earthquake damage." 
pg. 67

Both of these sound fantastic. Can't wait to dive back into them both! 

Enjoy! What are you reading this week? 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I'm back!

I'm around, and have been a very lax blogger of late. My apologies everyone. =/ Life has been hectic, and I have had some devastating challenges crop up. My resolution for this new year though is to get back into blogging. I have a ton of book reviews that I need to post, and will start posting those shortly. I'm not one to share what is going on in my personal life, so I won't go into details. However, I am looking forward to new beginnings, and blogging once again. Hopefully I'll get back into a rhythm shortly, and will be back to posting every day. 

Much love, and hope you all had a Happy New Year, and hope that 2013 is a great year for you! 

Me? You'll find me reading. ;)