Friday, August 31, 2012

When all is said and done: Vanquished by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie


Hi guys!
Happy Friday to one and all.
Thank you for making Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers a part of YOUR day…it makes me smile inside and out.  Speaking of smiles, don’t forget to get your entries in for the TWO CONTESTS currently running on the site.  One ends today and the other in a week or so….but the early bird catches the worm, or rather the prompt reader gets their entry in before the deadline, so be sure to check out all the fun before its too late!  Now, on to today’s post…


 So, it’s the LAST DAY of August; can you believe it?  2012 is sure flying by…at times, other times it drags its feet like a two year old in a candy store.  I couldn’t let the month close without getting in a review of a recently released title (just this week!) from an author duo that hasn’t let me down yet.  It’s from the Young Adult genre and features a paranormal (and normal) cast that covers the whole spectrum of creatures…okay, maybe not the WHOLE spectrum because then we’re looking at Cabin in the Woods and for those that saw the movie, we KNOW how well THAT turned out (*-*)...but at least a good portion of them reside within these pages.  It’s book three in a trilogy, as in THE FINAL BOOK in the set, so if you haven’t checked out the first two, I certainly suggest making a beeline for that YA section of your local bookstore because you’re gonna wanna read this.  For a quick refresher, you can check out my review of book 1 and book 2 right here on the site (<- just click the links, it’ll whisk you right over).  If not, let’s do this!  Kicking the weekend off with a BANG and diving into today’s book of choice…


 Crusade, book 3:
Vanquished
By

From the publisher
Hope is in short supply, but courage runs deep as the Salamancan hunters recover from a devastating loss. Jenn knows she must rally her team against the Cursed Ones, but her focus is shattered. She’s torn between passion for Antonio, who once fought by her side, and hate for the bloodthirsty vampire he’s become. His volatility is tearing apart their team...and Jenn’s trust.
 As the Cursed Ones amass new strength, Team Salamanca must strike together if they hope to survive, let alone defend humanity. Jenn wants to believe Antonio’s loyal to their cause—and their love—but she’s slowly losing her heart to Resistance fighter Noah. And if Antonio’s not careful, he may just end up with a stake in his.
 This gripping conclusion to an epic trilogy pairs steamy romance with heart-stopping action, and delivers an ending as dramatic as it is unexpected.


…you can say that again!  The ending is COMPLETELY unexpected especially considering how the odds were stacked against…not to mention how impossible it is that…well, okay, if I finish those thoughts, I’ll ruin the story!  Let’s just say the ending is going to catch you by surprise, make you pause for a moment or two, laugh out loud but then hopefully join the jolly crew of fans satisfied from the read.  (Like moi!)  But the ending is the ending, let’s get back to the beginning…

Author Nancy Holder
So, we have a varied cast of characters that through changing viewpoints we get to keep tabs on throughout the series.  This book carries on that tradition even with the additional ones we’ve seen both come AND go, with remarkable success; KUDOS to both of the authors on that!  It’s hard balancing a multi-viewpoint novel when it’s two or three people, let alone six plus on the side of good AND three or more on the side of evil…but balance they did allowing readers to capture a well rounded view of all parties involved.  You’ll root for your favorites and jeer those that need jeering right up to the final battle scenes.  Speaking of favorites…

Yours are bound to change throughout the course of the story, even MULTIPLE TIMES when you consider the series as a whole…and that’s okay!  It’s normal.  You don’t have to feel like a traitor.  I know I didn’t.  Let’s catch up on where we’re at and with whom in this installment.  First, we have Jenn; leader of the Salamancan hunters (FINALLY) reeling from the betrayal by her father, the loss and turning of her sister, the reappearance of the “BAD bad boy” side of Antonio (fighting partner and love interest) and the reality that all things are starting to come to a head…for better or worse.  Things are looking pretty dire and yet she manages to find the strength to carry on and continue fighting (you go girl!) but she’s not out of the woods just yet.  She has trust issues now and a darkness settling on her soul.  If she (or her team for that matter) is to be successful in her mission, the bonds of these two will have to be broken one way or the other. 

Next we have Antonio; devilishly good looks (*swoon*) and the ability to never age a day (vampire…yup…only he can touch crosses and is studying to be a priest, go figure!) only get you so far….especially when those you ran with formerly (Aurora and crew) are pure evil and out to exact their revenge on you for anything and everything, not to mention you’ve set your eyes on a Higher Power and yet your heart still belongs to Jenn.  Yeah...troubled roads ahead for you buddy, and that’s not even taking into account the torture you’re about to endure AND inflict; messy situation indeed.  Then there is Skye; a witch able to harness the powers of the goddess and Mother Earth (and kick some major butt!) but with a past that would shake you to your core hot on her heels.  You see, once upon a time there was a dashingly handsome warlock that captured her heart….and then ensnared her mind while tricking her into pledging allegiance to the dark side (not Vader, dark MAGIC). Thank goodness she woke up in time…but he’ll never forget her betrayal or the hurt she inflicted upon him and if he can’t have her, NO ONE will.  (Hey, Estefan!  There’s a soap opera guy that I think you might get along with quit nicely…name is Stefano; look him up!)  This is of course the method behind the madness in which we first encounter Skye in this novel, in the clutches of Estefan; but don’t worry readers, she’s a force to be reckoned with even when in a weakened state. 

Author Debbie Viguie
Next up, Jamie; the Irish brogue that wants to be the leader so bad he can taste it but is held back by his hot temper.  Surely a solo mission should suit him well, right?  Umm, sorta.  He’s entrusted to find and save Skye….if indeed she needs it when he finds her (dun dun dunnnn)…as well as gather forces both magical and otherwise for the battle to come.  Now if he can only play nice and make friends...*sigh*….but that is why we love him anyhow and his “conclusion” is definitely worth seeing.  (No spoilers!) Now we’re going paranormal again and taking a look at Holgar; werewolf and Salamancan hunter, now there’s a combination!  His protective nature gets him in trouble a time or two as does his heart (aww…) but he is determined to be there for his team anyway he can, even if it is to his detriment.

Rounding out the team, we have Father Juan; a mystery in and of himself.  Who is REALLY is has always been hinted at but never truly confirmed….until now…and the reality of such as well as the sacrifice he is about to make casts a shadow of sadness on things, but fear not for he does these things with full knowledge and a happy heart, something we can hopefully all say on our final day.  (Oops!  Semi-spoiler…but only just.  ^_^)  He’s there to guide the team the best way he knows how and while he’s not your average priest, since he casts runes as well as rosary beads, he has their best interests and the best interests of the world at heart.  I say the world because he doesn’t hold the nature of the “beasts” against them, rather he looks for the good and if recognizable by both viewer and viewee, he’ll take the plunge to try to bring it back to life; if not, good riddance.  Gotta love the no nonsense nature there…. ^_^

Now we have…oh wait, you thought I was done?  Yes and no.  I could go on and on and on.  For example, I could tell you how Noah’s past comes to light and Heather is found…sorta.  I could mention how AWESOME Jenn’s Grandmother REALLY is and how still waters really so run deep.  I could say that there is a party to die for with attire fit for queens…that none of the attendees can see on their own persons.  I could even say that Lucifer himself is in attendance when things REALLY go down…though not who you’re thinking of exactly.  But you see fair readers…I won’t.  I won’t because it would make the post unnecessarily long and because it would spoil some of the curiosities yet to be uncovered in this book.  I won’t because I want you to see it with fresh eyes, untainted by my full fledged observations and share with others (me included!) your experience.  I won’t because it’s simply more FUN this way…hehe.

So, in conclusion, a thrilling end to what has turned out to be a fabulous series.  You’ve got action, romance, danger, magic, and all the quiet moments that filter in-between coupled with a cast that you won’t soon forget and a story that will keep you hanging on its every breath…I’d say that’s a win!  Recommended for mid teen through adult readers for content and concepts explored.  If you’re looking for an exhilarating ride from start to finish, this should definitely be on your wish list.

Review copy received courtesy of author’s Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, publisher Simon & Schuster and the fabulous that is the Ms. Holder’s assistance, Erin!  (THANKS everyone!)  For more information about this title as well as a look at the publisher’s complete catalog, feel free to visit them online, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  Feel like adventuring into the world of Nancy Holder?  You’re in luck!  Check out her official website, one of her MANY Facebook pages (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and of course, her Twitter feed!  Let us not forget author Debbie Viguie who is also reachable online at her site, on Facebook and the illustrious Twitter.

Until next time…have a fantastic weekend…and happy reading!



Thursday, August 30, 2012

To PROTECT the books, we must SHARE the books...


Why hello there!
Welcome back to another EXCITING day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…where the reading is always hot and fresh right from the literary oven.  *blows steam from book*  Quick reminder….two contests still up and running here on the site so be sure to check out the right hand sidebar before you leave for all the details.  Now, down to business…


Today’s post is a two-fer as in TWO reviews for the post of one!  I don’t do this often, but when a series presents itself and someone apparently didn’t post about the one book once upon a time (*glares at self*), the PERFECT opportunity is presented to right the miss and get YOU acquainted with two titles you need to read to believe.  Both books come to us from the fab folks over at Peachtree Publishers (Hi, Emily!) and with the second one just making its debut, there’s no time like the present to get the literary ball rolling.  Without further ado, today’s books of choice are from wit and wonder of author Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by the creatively drawn mind of Michael P. White….





When Sunrise Elementary School advertised for a thick-skinned librarian with a burning love of books, Miss Lotta Scales knew she was perfect for the job. Who could guard books better than a REAL dragon?
 
"She kept a fiery eye out to make sure no one removed any books from the shelves.... The very thought of sticky little fingers touching and clutching, pawing and clawing, smearing and tearing her precious books just made her hot under the collar."
 
The teachers, singed and scorched, formed a delegation. But not even sweet Miss Lemon could convince Miss Lotta Scales that "the library belongs to the children."
 
Fortunately, nearsighted Molly Brickmeyer stumbles onto a copy of Snuff the Magic Dragon and reads the tale out loud. Her storytelling beckons the children back to the library and brings them face to face with the Library Dragon. Can an open book temper the flames of the school's hotheaded librarian?



Really…can you IMAGINE if your librarian was REALLY a dragon?  I’d say there would be a far shorter line at the entrance or at least more folks donning suits of armor.  I’d play Joan of Arc and don the suit because NOTHING stands between me and my books.  *grabs jousting stick….oops!  Wrong end!* 

Miss Lotta Scales has good intentions at heart….she just wants to keep the books safe.  NO fudgy fingerprints on the pages.  NO tattered covers showing up from abuse and mis-use.  NO lost volumes that need replacing.  She simply wanted her library in order and for it to stay that way….but alas, she didn’t realize that not EVERY child will use a book as a hockey puck. Not EVERY child will tear at pages and write in the margins.  Some children simply want to embark on an adventure and let their imaginations do the heavy lifting.  Some children thoroughly enjoy reading and being read to; the shared experience enriching both parties along the way.  Some children even look up to librarians that are perhaps a bit overprotective of their domain and realize that underneath it all, beats the heart of a literary friend that will last through a lifetime of reading.  It takes one special little girl to open Ms. Lotta Scales’ eyes to the possibilities she was ending for the young readers in her care.  With her help, she is able to find a happy medium, allowing others to discover the worlds within the pages she protected and continue to share the enjoyment that reading brings to all those willing to take the journey.

Now for book 2….





After 557 years of faithful service, Miss Lotty is retiring from guarding books. But before she can check out of Sunrise Elementary for good, disaster strikes. Someone has ordered all the books removed from the library and replaced with machines! It's enough to make Lotty feel a little...dragon-like.
 
When she bursts into a fiery rage, only one thing can make her shed her scales: assurance that someone will fight to keep her precious books in the hands of Sunrise's children. Miss Lotty is convinced she'll have to battle the Cyberbeast herself, until a surprise visit from her old friend Molly Brickmeyer reassures her that the library is safe for now and will remain a place where kids can UNPLUG, for the love of books.


Sound familiar?  I know it does when I think about our local bookstore.  Ebooks this and ebooks that and…I understand the need for them, even the desire to have them (hey, I’ve read them too!) but there is a time and place for everything and the invention of a NEW WAY of doing things shouldn’t make the other an outdated form, at least in this case (we’re not talking 8-Tracks here).  I LOVE “unplugging” after a long day at work.  The time I spend reading a paper book is part of my “Me time”…my escape from whatever may be hampering, hindering, or haranguing me in life.  It’s a joy that can be done wirelessly in the sun, or a quiet room in a big comfy chair.  It’s an adventure that takes no gas to become a part of nor air miles to reach the final destination.  No batteries required, nor instructions needed….all there is is YOU and the BOOK.  *sigh*  Anywho…back from my literary fantasy and into the story…

Ms. Lotty’s concern is completely understandable and with her ire up, she becomes lost in the grip of transforming into her dragony self once again.  Thank goodness for the new librarian!  She helps guide Ms. Lotty down from her fiery heights with the wisdom of youth (a phrase not often able to be put to use) and the hands of understanding.  She comes to realize that with a little help from her friends the torch CAN still be passed to the next generation while ensuring the flame glows brightly for all to see calling readers far and wide to the adventures that await them within the pages of a book. 

Though both tales are filled to the brim with heart felt sentiment from a true reader, they also have many unexpected laughs and smiles to share.  From the titles of books on the shelves to the posters that line the walls, the name plate on the desk to the expressions on the faces of those readers in potential peril, each illustration contains something more than first meets the eye.  Let us not forget the final smile du jour when Molly announces her official title…I won’t spoil it for you, but it will warm your heart.  ALSO, be sure to check out the inside of both the front and back cover of the print book!  Why? Because!  They are covered with bookish quotations from more than a few notable names…many of which I’m certain will be showing up randomly here and there as bookworms the world over discover this little gem.

In conclusion, two wonderful stories fit for readers of all ages, shapes, and sizes.  There’s a dragon, books, technology, and the like….but most of all, there’s a celebration of reading regardless of its form and an acknowledgement that there is room in our bookish worlds for one and all.  So how will you be reading today?  Grabbing a book off the shelf or a file from the old ereader?  Wherever your wandering eye takes you, I wish you happy reading!

Review copies received courtesy of Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on these titles as well as their complete catalog,  feel free to click on the links embedded in this post, check out their website, like them on Facebook, check out their blog, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about author Carmen Agra Deedy as well as her complete body of works (she also wrote another of my favorites…The Cheshire Cheese Cat), seek out her official site or the Twitter feed of her site manager.  If illustrations are your forte (and these are completely wonderful in their own unique way), Michael P. White and his assembly of creature creations can be found online at his official site.

Until next time…


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

EVERYBODY does a little something...Penguin's Hidden Talent by Alex Latimer


Hi there!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please both you AND me (it IS my site after all…hehe)…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  (For those that might recognize the post title, yes...it came from a song; obviously no copyright infringement intended...and I expect no judging on your part. I like musicals...so? ^_-)


Quick reminder…there are still TWO contests running right now on the site that are as different as can be but EXCITING nonetheless. One gives you a chance to venture back to Treasure Island in a brand new adventure…and the other deals with some heavy hitting issues in a YA package that will leave you tied in knots.  Can’t lose either way you go, but why choose when you can SO enter BOTH?!  Just click on the links embedded herein after today’s post and you’ll be whisked away to the bookish contest goodness.  Now, speaking of today’s post…

We’ve already greeted the day with a COVER REVEAL that is certain to land yet another title on many a YA lit fans wish list….now we’re about to step back to the land of Children’s Fiction where storybooks RULE and picture-less works are reserved for another day.  It’s a newly released title (just this month in fact!) brought to us by the wonderful folks over at Peachtree Publishers (Hi, Emily!) from an author whose building a reputation in the right direction both story wise and illustration wise.  Without further ado, today’s book of choice is…


By

From the author’s site
Basically it’s about a penguin who wants to enter a talent show - but can’t figure out what he’s good at. After trying a range of skills - including appliance juggling and alphabet burping, he happens on an awesome skill of his own.


Yes, I went with the author’s site description there as opposed to the publisher simply because I didn’t want to give TOO much away…easily done with a storybook. 

So, first things first….the cover.  TOO adorable, right?  I mean the critters depicted along with the “talents” they are practicing are simplistic in design and yet have a life of their own.  I can smell the fish, feel the sizzle of magic, duck from the potentially falling objects in the juggling act, and hold my nose from the suspicious “breeze” headed my way.  In the forefront is our little penguin, all lost in thought and confused.  Poor Penguin…don’t you just want to give him a hug?  (Go ahead…no ones looking!)  Don’t distress dear readers, he comes into his own but not before we are treated to a visual smorgasbord of illustrations that are sure to have little ones in stitches and bigger ones yucking it up too.  (I know I was.  ^_^)  Now for that story…

Short and sweet but memorable!  That’s how I would summarize, if I were one to just cut to the chase….but I’m not, so prepare for a brief ramble on Why I Think This Book Rocks.  *ahem*  The variety of characters we meet is vast for such a short story, yet all of them receive ample time in the spotlight.  The talents on display are wide ranging and certainly not your run of the mill piano playing skills and yet each animal makes it their own…in often humorous ways.  The talent Penguin discovers within himself by book’s end is a delightfully unexpected find that will not only inspire youngsters trending along the same route but ALSO make this work as the PERFECT gift for many in a particular field…(SPOILER ALERT:  Advertising and Promotions).  Really, I can think of PLENTY of friends that this would make an adorable nod to their talent AND their trade….sorta like graduates getting Oh the Places You’ll Go

In conclusion, another adventure through the work of a talented author and illustrator saturated with the feel good message of finding ones TRUE self that I count myself lucky to have taken.  If you are looking for a little boost of confidence while on the road to self discovery, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a reminder that EVERYONE has a talent, some are just harder to discover than others; this is the book for you.  If you are simply looking for a good story with smile inducing artwork to wile away the hours either by yourself or with a younger audience, this is STILL the book for you.  After all, maybe you’ll find out YOUR talented at juggling unusual objects like Bear, or belching the alphabet like Fox…then again, maybe not, but at least it will get you moving in the right direction to discovering what golden aspects of you you bring to the world…and what could be better than that?

Review copy received courtesy of Emily at Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog of goodness, feel free to seek them out online, check out their blog, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  Anxious to explore more of author Alex Latimer’s world?  Visit his official site, or see what the topic of discussion is over at his blog.  Oh and one more thing…if his name looks/sounds familiar, it should!  He’s also the mind behind The Boy Who Cried Ninja…another title featured here at the site.  Feel free to click on over for a quick peek should your curiosity get the better of you.

Until next time…happy reading!


READ ALL ABOUT IT: The Angel Chronicles, Book 2 cover REVEALED!

Hi gang!

Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the place to be when it's rocking and rolling outside, but you just can't resist the temptation of another book.  By rocking and rolling, I'm referring to all those (perhaps including myself, one never knows what the weather will bring) affected by Hurricane Issac.  Hopefully you are all safe and dry; if not, you are in my thoughts anyway so I'll send friendly wishes your way.

Today's post is part of a celebration spreading throughout the blogosphere for the second book in a great new Young Adult series, The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor.  Perhaps you've heard of it?    If not, here's a peek back at book 1....


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The Angel Chronicles, book 1:  Until Next Time

How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?
Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.
When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.
From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.




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Sounds good, right?
It SO was!
Don't believe me?  No worries.  I thought of that too.
Just click HERE for my review of book 1...and when you're done with that, KEEP SCROLLING for a peek at the book 2 scheduled for release from Tribute Books this November!


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The Angel Chronicles, book 2:  Gilded Wings

The Beloved Angel/Warrior Team from Until Next Time Returns!
When Matt and Emily are sent on their second mission they have no idea how truly dark human nature can become… 
Emily never wanted to face humans again. With the heartache that went on down below, she’s still trying to figure out how to save souls that don’t deserve saving. The only one she wants to see again is Jason - the young man she fell in love with who became the soulmate she simply can’t forget…
Matt was trained to protect and defend the souls down below. Longing to feel the heartfelt emotions that come from being human, Matt wants nothing more than to have just one life - one chance - to live and love the girl of his dreams…
The powerful team find themselves in a brand new century, living in the Gilded Age of New York City. Emily takes over the body of Anya, a young Russian girl who arrives on Ellis Island after a hideous tragedy. There she meets up with a strangely familiar young man by the name of Drew Parrish, who helps Anya survive in an unknown world of luxury, snobbery and…obsession.
What Anya’s inner angel doesn’t know is that the soul she loves is also back. This time around Jason goes by the name of Max Carrow. Once a quiet and kind boy, he’s now part of the ‘Four Hundred Club,’ and wants nothing more than to be among the most admired as he climbs the shaky ladder of society’s elite.
As two worlds merge, Emily and Matt struggle under the weight of their “Gilded Wings.” Not only will they have to figure out who they should fight to save, but they must also face a romantic choice that could destroy them both.


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Nice cover, fits perfectly with the first in my opinion.
Well you know this one is on MY wish list....how about yours?
For the official cover reveal post from Novel d'Tales this past Friday, click here.  

Until next time....helping you add to your wish list one book at a time....I wish you HAPPY reading!


^_^



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

READ ALL ABOUT IT: FREE READ from Author Julia Dweck - TODAY ONLY!



Friends....family...mere acquaintances....lend me your ears....or rather EYES since you are reading this as opposed to hearing this.

I know I've inundated you today with bookish wonders, but the bloggy clock waits for no man or woman and so I'M BACK with one more post to note before I call it a day.  Sound good?  Sure hope so because WHEW...I'm beat!

It's time for another rousing edition of READ ALL ABOUT IT....the post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers that invites you to scream, shout, and in general get EXCITED about a newly found bookish treasure you're surely gonna want to check out.  Today's featured find is a Children's EBOOK title...that's right, ebook...that's sure to please both the young and the young at heart...and perhaps even get you in the mood for (or at least CLOSER to the mood for) the upcoming holiday festivities.  If you're like me, you're ALWAYS looking for new seasonal reads; somehow it just extends the merriment of the season, you know?  Anywho...let's take a peek at the book, shall we?

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by
Illustrated by
Terry Sirrell

Christmas is coming, but the thermometer is rising to 100 degrees. Janie looks at her green yard and fills up with woe. One day ‘till Christmas with no sign of snow! Not a fleck, not a speck, not a white spot around. Each blade of grass sticks straight up from the ground. When a curious freckled-box arrives on Janie's doorstep, she opens it, releasing a whirlwind of mischievous freckles. Join Janie as she follows the freckles on a wild chase to save Christmas. 







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There's another SPECIAL feature about today's chosen title you should know...though you've probably guessed it from the post title.  ^_^  TODAY ONLY you can download a FREE COPY of it to your Kindle or Kindle Reading App from Amazon!  That's right!  Pretty cool if I do say so myself, and I do.  Just click HERE to be whisked away to grab your copy post haste.  I've got my copy and will be checking it out soon....how about you?

Heads up received courtesy of author Julia Dweck.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her other works, check out her full profile page on Amazon, her official website with even more bookish wonders, like her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter


Until next time...happy reading!

^_^

Taste Testing Tuesdays





Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

On the menu this week...a fairytale of sorts that has a lot more spunk than your average Tink.  Ready for a taste?  Here we go!


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Temp:  An Accidental Fairytale
by

Her mind sank into the familiar pages as she retreated into a tale of warlocks and distant lakes and ordinary closets that led to extraordinary places.  The story wrapped itself around her like a blanket, but then there was the ache of longing that always came hand in hand when she read a favorite tale.  She could pretend that she was somewhere else and someone else, but life was not for pretending.
-- pg 28


An interesting tale to say the least, thus far I am rather enjoying Bee's character as she tries to find a better direction and possibly uncovers some hidden talents of her own (wonder where they came from?).  Also, I gotta say that Gilda, her boss, is a hoot!  Unicorn obsessed and dresses like a teenage reject from a bad 80's film...a REALLY bad one; unfortunately for her, her fashion faux pas provide much laughter for all (which is fortunate for us!).  Can't wait to see how it turns out....



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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

*Grab your current read 

*Open to a random page 

*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 

*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 



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Until next time....happy reading!


In My Shopping Bag (120)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Through her guidelines, your post does not actually have to be named the same and thus my post shall be..."In My Shopping Bag". (just fits with the "foodie" theme a bit better in my humble opinion)

Normally seen on a Sunday, this week it shifts to Tuesday. Why?  Because it's my right as a blogger to move things around...and my other days were taken but I couldn't resist sharing these recent arrivals with you.  ^_^

Let's take a peek inside this week....



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For Review


The Santa Trap by Jonathan Emmett
Release Date:  October 2012
(unbound edition courtesy of Emily at Peachtree Publishers)

Can't WAIT to get into this one...in fact, I might just NOT wait.  Really, how can you resist that cover?









Silver:  Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion
(courtesy of Jonathan at Crown Trade / Broadway Paperbacks, Random House)

Look familiar?  It should.  It's the same book YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN but not for much longer so don't miss out!







Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country
Dael and the Painted People
by Allan Richard Shickman
(courtesy of Bonnie at Earthshaker Books)

This is book 2 and 3 in a series I started once upon a time (just click here to check out my thoughts on book 1).  Will be curious to see just what happened to our friend as this adventure continued....





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Rescued


The Innocents (book 1) by Lili Peloquin
Release Date:  October 16, 2012
...from Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group USA

Okay, so this wasn't so much of a "rescue" as a "lay claim to" as the BREATHLESS READS promo box arrived in store and was quickly devoured.  Managed to get out with my life and this copy.  Looks good!










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That's it for this week.

So, what did you get?
My wish list is ready...do tell!


Until next time...happy reading!




Monday, August 27, 2012

Heavy Hitter: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry


Psst!
Readers!
Are you awake yet?

Come on…open those eyes, its Monday.
Time to greet the week and here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…we’ll help you get off to a bookish start.

Quick reminder before you jump into today’s post, there are two count em TWO CONTESTS running right now that you need to know about.  The first gives you a chance to win a hard hitting Young Adult book releasing tomorrow by author Alyssa Shienmel (ends 08/28); the second takes you back to Treasure Island, where the likes of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins once roamed, in an all new adventure fit to shiver your timbers.  So, what are you going to do after you finish reading this post?  Say it with me….CLICK ON THE CONTEST LINKS TO FIND OUT MORE.  If you do, you’ll make me eminently happy and get yourself a chance to win…now what could be better than that?  OH, I see…you want today’s post.  Okay, okay…you’ve been patient, here goes…


I was looking over my recent reads of late when I realized that there have been several heavy hitters in my repertoire as of late; books that deal with weightier subjects.  Strange seeing as how it’s the end of summer and most are embarking on their final flights of fancy, but for me I suppose it works because flights of fancy are what I take EVERY day; the direction as long as its bookish matters not.  ^_^  Today’s featured book fits right in with the heavy weights though to read the title or take in the cover image, you might beg to differ.  Believe me, I can totally see your side of things….but take a listen to my side and you might change your mind.  Today’s book of choice is….


Pushing the Limits
By

From the author’s site
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.



Sounds crazy intense?  It is…in more ways than you are probably imagining right now as well.  First things first, we all recognize the publisher name of Harlequin…but this, my friends, is the TEEN division.  That’s right!  TEEN as in Young Adult; you know, that genre most of you (and of course I) love?  So, if you wrote this one off or any of their other titles simply because you thought it would be one of those, what are they called?  Bodice ripping romance jaunts?  (Something like that…) Think again.  Now, yes…there is romance, and yes there are DEFINITELY sparks but it only pushes thing so far and then you have an amazing story behind it all.  This book?  Exactly that scenario.

Not to hash it to pieces because I know even I’ve seen my fair share of reviews for this newcomer, but it is another hard hitting book masquerading as a high school romance; only in this case, the facade AND what’s behind it are real.  First we have Echo.  Top notch student for the most part that was formerly one of the “in” crowd and scoring top marks throughout the school whether it be with her artwork or boyfriend of choice…until one day…*POOF*.  Oblivion.  She was there one moment, gone the next and when she returned, EVERYTHING changed.  Just what happened to create this effect?  No one knows…and those that do aren’t telling.  Even Echo doesn’t know because whatever it was was SO traumatic that her mind locked it away to protect her from the truth…sadly though it only leaves her more confused, especially when she’s forced to wear the evidence of whatever transpired like a heart on her sleeve. 

Then there’s Noah.  To summarize him is to run the gambit of labels one tends to avoid in high school, unless you are already one of them and then everything is cool (I’m not judging you…to each their own.).  He’s a loner (mostly), drug user (pot, but still), drinker, and user (no, not a typo…*glares at Noah*).  Basically he spells trouble without the need of a neon sign and yet despite the obvious differences between these two characters…they most unexpectedly GET each other.  Now I know what you’re thinking…it’s the classic “bad-boy-turned-good-by-the-girl-he-never-saw-coming” formula; but that guess would make you wrong on many counts. 

Noah is in fact a good guy (and a hotty…yep, be sure not to drool on the pages; books + water = bad mojo), he’s just made a lot of bad choices and considering the hand life has shown him, it’s not hard to see why.  Let’s just say there was a severe lack of GOOD parental guidance after he and his brothers were orphaned and things simply went down hill from there.  He tries to make the right decisions and he has good intentions at heart, but he keeps missing a step between the idea and the reality…lucky for him, he becomes acquainted with Echo.  Odd name, right?  I thought it was pretty cool actually, not that I’m about to name anyone after her anytime soon, but that combined with her back story certainly makes her an easy character to remember.

Echo appears to have things together for the most part on the outside but on the inside she is still a mess, through no fault of her own.  Something BIG went down, something I won’t even allude to but it takes her the course of the book, an adamant (if at times annoying) well intentioned counselor, the deviation from her former norm in the form of Noah and a lot of soul searching for her to find the strength to face what her mind is hiding.  Lucky for her, she has a support system…sorta.  As with most situations, things aren’t always as they seem and when things blow up in this one….they REALLY blow up.  I have to hand it to the author though….I love the fact that she didn’t snake us on the ending.  She left edges unfinished, feelings still hanging; in other words, a complete happy ending was not demanded.  She wasn’t afraid to let her characters be REAL, to feel things to their bones and not go all wishy-washy in order to complete the story.  For me it made the story all the more real, the characters all the more tangible and the desire to read more of her work alive and well…good thing too since as I understand it, Beth (another interesting character in this story) is getting a chance to make her voice heard the next time around.  Doubtful she’ll have any trouble with that…

In conclusion, a great addition to the Young Adult arena that deals with REAL issues in REAL ways with enough spiciness thrown in to spark the romantic in you.  (Moi caliente!  ^_^)  There is certainly a warning to insert here about language, drug use and some sensual content but I think for mid to older teens (and beyond), it should work wonderfully.  Hey and with the alternating perspectives, it works for both girls AND guys; not something you can say about EVERY book. 

ARC for review courtesy of Karen at Media MastersPublicity.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their current promotions, be sure to stop by their site.  To discover more about author Katie McGarry, be sure to visit her official site, like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter…and don’t forget to check out the book trailer for a little more about this great read!  This book was released earlier this month from Harlequin TEEN and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you. Not able to run to the store just yet?  Here’s a few online options to get you on your way…



AMAZON    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Indie bound



Now for the coup de grace, if you like what you’ve read so far, you’re in luck!  Thanks to the generosity of Harlequin TEEN, YOU have the chance to WIN a copy of this book to call your own!  (Or share with a friend, family member, other bookish people…I’m cool with sharing…)  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!  Your first entry is a “freebie” after that it’s all fun and games.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Open for entries through midnight CST Saturday, September 8th, 2012.  Open to US and Canada residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.


Good luck to all that enter…and my thanks to everyone who stopped by.
Until next time…happy reading!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Roving Reader

Loving the cover art! Totally putting me in the mood for the upcoming season of reading.

UNDER MY HAT: TALES FROM THE CAULDRON

...too cool, right?

So what did you discover while out and about this weekend?
Do tell!

^_^

Saturday, August 25, 2012

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Pledged by Gwynneth White

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you're in the need for your next great read, potentially.  ^_^ 

Why the hesitation in the last statement?  Well, I haven't finished reading it as of yet (one of those slowly but surely, steady as she goes reads since I'm not posting my review til later this year) so I don't want to suppose TOO much about it; I'll leave that part of to you.  Suffice it to say that it caught my interest cover wise AND story wise.  So, are YOU ready to read all about it?  Let's do this!


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The Soul Wars Saga, book 1:  Pledged
by


From the publisher...

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you? 
Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.
How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?
The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise. 
Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.




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I feel like I should add a "dun dun dunnnn..." after that....it's just very foreboding.  All I can say is that the pages I've read thus far, don't disappoint and I can't wait to continue my journey with Seth and Erin, for better or worse.


If you're like me and DYING to know what happens to these star-crossed characters whom fate seems to want to use as its plaything, be sure to stay tuned for more as the publication date draws near!  Why?  Simple!  They'll be excerpts, author features and potentially your chance to win coming VERY SOON and staying tuned is the only way you'll be in the know once it all goes LIVE.

In the mean time, should you seek further information, you can check out the author's work on GoodReads, see if you can catch her on Twitter, chat her up on Facebook or visit her blog where I'm told the message will be passed along.

Until next time...happy reading!

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Grace Unexpected by Gale Martin


Why hello there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place that doesn’t believe that the end of summer should mark the end of reading for ANYONE; just simply a continuation of all the bookish fun to be had with perhaps the addition of a sweater…though down here, it won’t be needed for a while yet.


 It’s been a busy week here at the site.  From contest fun times two to tasty teasers and hairy wish granters, we’ve been all over the board.  Good!  That’s how I like it.  ^_^  Today’s post is no different as we step forward from the land of colorful images and rhyming and right into the world of Women’s Fiction…”Chick Lit” if you prefer.  It’s a book with an unexpected title (Ha!  Unintentional pun…you’ll see in a second…) that seems to contradict the synopsis a smidge but sounds like a “heart’s-in-the-right-place” story with ample room for laughter.  Here’s a quick peek…


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Grace Unexpected
By

Thirty-something Grace Savage has slogged through crummy jobs and dead-end relationships with men who would rather go bald than say “I do”. In search of a respite from her current job, she visits Shaker Village in New Hampshire. Instead of renewal, she’s unnerved to learn that Shaker men and women lived and worked side by side in celibacy.
 
When her longtime boyfriend dumps her instead of proposing, Grace avows the sexless Shaker ways. Resolved to stick to her new plan – dubbed the Shaker Plan – she returns to her life in Pennsylvania. Almost immediately, she's juggling two eligible bachelors: Addison, a young beat reporter; and True, a venerable anthropology professor. Both men have ample charms and soul mate potential to test her newfound Shaker-style self-control, and Grace appears to be on the fast track to a marriage proposal… until secrets revealed deliver a death rattle to the Shaker Plan.



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Sounds interesting, right?
I thought so too…especially with the extremes in life style Grace seeks out; talk about a change!  If you’re ready for more, click HERE to check out the Chapter 1 excerpt from the author’s site.  Now, I haven’t read the book as of yet, but it IS on the “check out in the future” list so don’t be surprised if a future post has you experiencing a little déjà vu. 

So, you may ask, if you didn’t READ the book, why is it being featured today?
BECAUSE silly…just because my reading schedule couldn’t work it in as of yet, doesn’t mean I shied away from the chance to interview the author!  Yep.  That’s right!  From my mind to her email and back again with answers that will keep your attention, may I present courtesy of Booktrope and the generous author herself, author Gale Martin…



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INTERVIEW:  Author Gale Martin



The title of your book is GRACE UNEXPECTED...which of course, you already knew. (^_^)  What I'd like to know (as well as our reading audience I’m sure) is what does the title, that phrase specifically mean to you?  How did it become the perfect fit for this work?

That is a wonderful question. Here's my take on the title of my novel. While some people might associate the name Grace with a certain kind of woman--oh, I don't know, a reverent or chaste one--my Grace is the antithesis of that stereotype. Her last name is Savage. She wears animal prints. She's been promiscuous. She's smart and educated and fun-loving. The playful side of Grace might be unexpected. Yet, she is full of grace in selected situations, which readers also might find surprising.


 - - - - - - - - - - - 

Your two works, from a synopsis standpoint, share a few common threads with each other and with you...love woes, opera, Pennsylvania, etc.  Tell me, how much of YOU makes it into your novels?  Any particular character you identify with most?

An author and her characters are inseparable. Whether I like it or not, I see through the world through my filter of life experiences. Often my characters start with the same world view. However, just like most people's lives aren't the stuff of fiction (too dull, day to day), I am not interesting enough to be a character. My characters are often wish fulfillment's of who I'd like to be on a perfect day, on a rotten day, or in unprecedented circumstances. Often they represent what I would have or should have done but did not.


  - - - - - - - - - - - 

Your 'About Me' tidbits mention you started writing your first book at age eleven.  Wow!  Did you always know that you'd be a writer?

I did not always want to be a writer. I thought I was going to become an actress--Broadway, etc., rather than movies. I got sidetracked into theater arts for about three decades before I finally got back to the literary arts.


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I noticed you have a fascination with opera.  How did that love affair get its start and how does it influence your work?

Surprisingly, that began with GRACE UNEXPECTED. Originally the president of Soap Rock University was an opera lover rather than a Shakespeare scholar. The literary agent I had at the time told me to take out the opera thread and make it the backdrop for its own novel. I was a trained singer but not an opera fan. However, after doing a semester of research on classic opera in grad school, starting an opera blog in 2010 (with more than 1,000,000 visitors), seeing and reviewing dozens of live opera performances, and interviewing rising opera stars since the summer of 2010, I've become quite a fan. 


  - - - - - - - - - - - 

So, you live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania...too cool!  My family use to live about an hour or so from there (many moons ago now).  We'd take long Sunday drives through the area and look at the beautiful surroundings.  Tell me, does the peaceful, quiet serenity help or hinder your writing process?  (..and how?)

What a coinkydink! Oh, being in bucolic Lancaster definitely helps. One of the scenes in Grace towards the latter part of the book is one I witnessed down my country lane--a big and little dog playing amicably together with a Plain boy. It's made me stop and notice the little things. It's helped me slow down. All writers have to learn to observe--cooly and otherwise.


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I LOVE the quote from your writing teacher..."Words are stones.  Feel the weight of them."  Well said and very vivid.  Looking back on your own writing landscape, any gems of wisdom you'd care to pass on to those in our reading audience seeking their road to greatness?

Fiction writing isn't news writing. You should take a stance, have opinions, and instill your own voice and unique way of looking at the world into your creative work. Be bold. Be daring. Try something new or unfamiliar like a point of view or a character attribute because you can. As one [of] my com padres in the Wilkes Creative Writing Program once told me, "You are the god of your fiction."


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Some people prefer a quick description of a book versus reading the back cover or jacket.  In an effort to appeal to all readers (and for a little creative fun), describe GRACE UNEXPECTED in ten words...

Smart and sassy thirty-something stumbles into a taboo love triangle.


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Closing thoughts....


If you're not prudish, if you like all the expectations that romantic fiction promises, yet fifty shades are just too many, this book might fill the bill. It's a rom-com with a smart heroine who sometimes does stupid things because she wants the real deal when it comes to love.





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Thank you SO much, Ms. Martin for you wonderful responses!  Gotta love your closing line there about the “too many”…LOL…and your thoughts on writing Fiction are spot on.  Though I’m not a writer myself (in the “I-penned-a-book” sense at least), I too have to work at slowing down…on purpose because life just tends to ZOOM right on by in today’s crazy world leaving us with the whispers of a promised instead of a dream fulfilled.  *sigh*  Hence my love of “unplugging” with a book any chance I can…



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About the author
Gale Martin is an award-winning writer of contemporary fiction who plied her childhood penchant for lying into a legitimate literary pursuit during midlife. She began writing her first novel at age eleven, finally finishing her first book three decades later.
 
Her debut novel, DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA, published in 2011, is a humorous backstage novel inspired by Don Giovanni, Mozart’s famous tragicomic opera about the last two days of Don Juan’s life. It was named a Finalist in the 2012 National Indie Excellence Awards for New Fiction.
 
Her second novel GRACE UNEXPECTED is wryly witty women's fiction that features a protagonist who can hear her ovaries ticking, who has a heart of pure gold, wrapped in lead. But a string of crummy boyfriends would do that to any lovable woman while waiting for Mr. Right.
 
She has a master of arts in creative writing from Wilkes University. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania because she has to.
 


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Special thanks to Krista at Booktrope for the chance to host a spot along this tour as well as the opportunity to pose my ponderings to the author.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this promotion or their future happenings, be sure to stop by their site for readers, site for writers, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about author Gale Martin including her previously published work and her affinity for opera, stop by her site, friend her on GoodReads, like her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time…happy reading!


Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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