Oct 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Kick-Ass Heroines

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this feature includes random weekly bookish top tens. This week's list is - top ten favorite kick-ass heroines. This list is full of women in novels who just plain rock. They're awesome and super amazing. I hope you love the women on my list too!

  1. Elizabeth Bennet - Pride and Prejudice
    Eliza is freaking awesome. She's witty, smart, and totally in control of her life. She doesn't put up with anyone's crap. Love this lady!
  2. Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
    While she lives in this crap world where people go into an arena to kill each other, she sticks out as a strong, willful young lady. 
  3. Stephanie Plum - One for the Money
    Ms. Plum is absolutely one of the craziest, funniest characters ever. Her life is so silly and fully of life. She's not always strong, but she puts up with a lot!
  4. Georgina Kincaid - Succubus Blues
    Georgina is one of my favorite characters ever. She sticks up for her loved ones and loves a LOT. Plus she has some great friends.
  5. Cat Crawfield - Halfway to the Grave
    I love Cat because she's pretty badass. She tells it like it is. She's in your face, and she loves her man fiercely. Win!
  6. Lizbeth Salander - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    This woman has been through a ridiculous amount of awful in her life. She's so strong, even if she's stubborn. She's smart and crafty. I felt for her so bad.
  7. MacKayla Lane - Darkfever
    She travels to Ireland to find out what happened to her sister and finds herself in much deeper than she ever imagined. She sticks it out. Strong and stubborn but willing to learn.
  8. Annja Creed - Rogue Angel
    She's a badass archaeologist, and it doesn't hurt that she can make Joan of Arc's sword appear whenever she wants. She goes on crazy missions and always comes out on top. 
  9. Skeeter - The Help
    In a time when racial segregation was accepted, Skeeter dared to think against the norm. She's the bomb for that. 
  10. Clarice Starling - The Silence of the Lambs
    Anyone who can go face to face with Hannibal Lecter deserves a medal. But then it gets weird at the end.. lol. Oh well! She's still awesome.
So that's my list of kick-ass heroines. What do you think? Who is on your list? Let me know! Happy Tuesday!

Oct 29, 2012

Blog Tour: Dawn White - Wingless and Damned

Dawn White - Wingless and Damned

• Pub Date: September 29, 2012
• Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
• Format: Paperback/Ebook, 138 pages
• Age Range: Adult

Alexander is the alpha tribal leader of his Neuri werewolf tribe, set to destroy anything associated with the dreaded strigoi. Lea is a magnificent fae or soon comes to find out she isn’t a fae after all. With Alexander, Lea’s and basically the worlds fate is in the hands of the mated pair. They must act fast and not just on the revenge they so desperately need. Can their love save us all? As Lea and Alexander’s souls hang in the balance they come to realize we are all a little Damned.

Excerpt from Wingless and Damned
by Dawn White

The elder strigoi’s are forcing Ciarra to do their bidding by getting rid of their only competition. To their dismay she makes it permanent and goes another step farther with the guidance of her spirit guides.

"I will do it if she and her unborn are released safely and unharmed.”

Feeling as if the spirits are right in the manipulation of the curse, I know the look I give Kimi is one of remorse. My heart is yearning to set her free with no harm done to her and her unborn baby.

He nods in agreement and the other strigoi remove themselves from her side apparently having overheard and understood our conversation. Kimi’s whimpers turn into soft sobs as I run to where they want me to stand. I look at Kimi and the look in her eyes plead with me to help her but all I can do is try to smile at her to make her know it will all be okay.

Standing in the center of the room, I hear my spirit guides.

“This is very bad and you will have to twist the curse so as to not cause more harm than already done.”

I slowly start twisting the curse as I try to do what is required of me to get Kimi released safely. I add a few incantations I hope no one will notice but to no avail. Finishing the twisted curse, Aison furiously rushes to my side and yells at me.

“Finish what you started; it is too late now!”

I realize I have doomed all future Neuri children to live in this world as dreaded werewolves. At the age of 26 the prophecy will manifest. They are ill-fated to wander the plains of this wicked world, without death to look forward to.

The only way this spell can be broken is if a mated pair come together and crossover at the same time. This will make them part werewolf and part strigoi which is the only way they can successfully kill the original strigoi to break the curse.

As soon as my incantation is finished, I collapse to the hard stone-covered floor, but before Aison can get to my side, the other strigoi rush to me and treat me as if I am a feast of sort. One of the smaller strigoi leaps across the room to land in a loud thud atop me, breaking my ribs. A sharp prickle of pain radiates from deep inside my chest and I start experiencing a drowning sensation and gasp for what little air my blood-filled lungs can acquire. I think I must be turning purple from a lack of oxygen and feel my life begin to fade. I reach for Aison only to come up empty.

They bite me on the soft skin on the inside of my thighs, their sharp teeth tearing my fragile skin. Warm, thickening blood pools under my body as these creatures continuously ravage my already broken body. My heart begins to slow and fuzziness blurs the edges of my eyesight. I realized I am dying; it is too late for me!

Dawn White resides in southern CA with her husband and three daughters. She has always been an avid reader and seems to live a busy life as a wife and mother. In between home schooling her children and taking care of the house she finds a few minutes at a time to write her novella series. Wingless and Damned will be available October 1, 2012.

Find Dawn:

Guest Post: Andrea Lynn Colt - Torched

Andrea Lynn Colt - Torched

• Pub Date: September 8, 2012
• Publisher: Andrea Coulter
• Format: Paperback/Ebook, 376 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult

Rose Whitfield's senior year just went up in smoke. Instead of having a blast with her best friend, her cheerleading squad, and her boyfriend Ryan, she's framed for arson. Popularity and criminal records don't mix, apparently.

Luckily, Rose knows who's framing her: Paxton Callaway. Paxton and Rose have spent years locked in a war of practical jokes. This time he's gone too far. Rose sets out to prove her innocence, win Ryan back, and take Paxton down hard.

Not necessarily in that order.

Ten Places I Want to Set a Novel 
(So I can vacation there as research!)
by Andrea Lynn Colt

1. Rome, Italy - there's a reason lots of movies are set here. The romance! The history! The gelato! I'm visiting on my honeymoon next year, and can't wait.

2. Venice, Italy - another romantic, history-filled Italian city I can't wait to see on my honeymoon :) Canals! Serenading! More gelato!

3. Hawaii - this is pretty self-explanatory. Beaches, hot guys, and sea turtles - what's not to like?

4. Alaska - grizzly bears, icebergs, a long dark winter … my heroine will need someone to warm her up!

5. Granada, Spain - it's a college city with a vibrant, walkable downtown. My fiance and I briefly considered having a destination wedding here, so I spent a good month researching it and now I want to go visit!

6. New Zealand - a friend went there and said it was beautiful. And that there's a lot of sheep. Maybe my heroine could meet a hot shepherd??

7. Yellowstone Park - I went once with my family when I was younger, and still remember the geysers, the bear on the side of the road, and the beautiful scenery. Would love to get to know it better!

8. A zoo - I LOVE zoos! I actually do have plans to set a future YA mystery at a zoo. I hope to work on it soon - fingers crossed!

9. A winery - I'd so love to get to know the ins and outs of growing grapes and making wine. With lots of samples, obviously :)

10. Scotland - My heroine would have to live in a castle, so that I'd have to do the same!

Thanks so much for having me here on I'm A Book Shark!

Andrea Lynn Colt grew up laughing, reading, and squabbling with her twin. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her fiancé, a fridge full of cheese, and two muses in feline form. Visit www.lynncolt.com to get to know her better.

Find Andrea:

Oct 28, 2012

Review: David Levithan - Every Day

David Levithan - Every Day

• Pub Date: August 28, 2012
• Publisher: Listening Library
• Format: CD, 8hr 30min
• Age Range: Young Adult
• Source: Library

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

I'm not a huge David Levithan fan. And before you freak out, it's mostly because I don't like his writing style. I don't enjoy teenagers who talk and think like they're middle aged to sound cool. But this book is fresh and different, and I very much enjoyed it.

First off, I listened to the audio book version, and I think they did a great job with picking the narrator. The voice was very unisex, as is the MC in this book. Rhiannon's voice was very likable but slightly annoying in a way. And the regular voice had the same effect but I still thought it was perfect for the book. Good choice!

As for the novel itself, I REALLY liked the fact that this MC was neither male nor female. The MC lives in someone else's body for a day, and it could be a boy or a girl. It's always a person around the age of A, the MC. And it's always a person in the same vicinity as A is currently, unless A leaves the area. Anyway, A falls in love with Rhiannon, a girl, and goes to see her in many different bodies. I had a few problems with Rhiannon, but I won't spoil anything.

THE END, you guys. THE END! I just about cried. It made me pretty sad! I was hoping for what seemed obvious, but maybe that end should have been obvious. In my opinion, it worked out for the best. Overall I enjoyed this book. I liked listening to it, but I wanted some more information on A's purpose and life. It wasn't complete, to me. Maybe there will be more? I kind of hope so.

Bottom line: READ THIS. It's such a great concept!


4/5 book sharks

Stef's Review: M. Leighton - For the Love of a Vampire

• Pub Date: June 18, 2011
• Publisher: CreateSpace
• Format: Paperback/Ebook, 276 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult
• Source: Amazon

Like most seventeen year olds, Ridley Heller thought she had her future all planned out. What she wanted most in life was to get out of small town Harker. Her only goal was to keep her mouth shut and her grades high so she could win a cheerleading scholarship to Stanford. But that was before she met Bo.

In Ridley’s wildest dreams, she could never have planned for someone like Bo, for a love so intense it left her breathless. No human girl could.

A haunting stranger that watched her from afar, Bo stole Ridley’s heart from the moment she laid eyes on him. But he has secrets. Bo’s a vampire. Both his past and his present are a danger to Ridley, but the biggest threat is not her blood; it’s her heart. He’s feeding a thirst for revenge that will cost him his life, and it may already be too late.

The more darkness Ridley uncovers, the more she realizes that her life will never be the same—with or without Bo. Can she sacrifice her future and her heart for someone who has a death wish?

I like a good vampire story, so I dove into this one because it was free, and I liked the cover photo. The synopsis wasn't bad, but it promised the usual: vampires have secrets, heartbreak is imminent for one reason or another, danger galore, etc. etc.

I was pleasantly surprised by a few things in this book, and was meh about others. Ridley is supposed to be blending in with her popular crowd friends so she doesn't rock the boat, can remain captain of the cheerleading squad, and get a cheerleading scholarship to Stanford. At the beginning of the book, Ridley is introduced as being someone who doesn't subscribe to the typical cheerleader mentality, she stands apart, she just can't show it. Now, I remember high school... and yeah, sometimes the mean girls were mean, but the mean girl of this school was a little over the top to me and also not quite believable. Something about how she was written just screamed, "trying too hard to show she's a bitch". We get it. Aside from that, Ridley did okay blending, but that all changed when Bo showed up.

Suddenly Bo is pointing out that she's a fraud, because she won't stand up for what she thinks about these popular kids. So part of the story line is Bo basically getting Ridley to be herself, and that wasn't bad. There's some good side plot stuff going on there with Ridley's family, and although it's sad, I did like that the family situation wasn't completely predictable. I also liked that Bo's story wasn't the norm; he's definitely not all he appears to be... There were some solid plot developments going on, and I liked that what was going on with Bo wasn't anything that can be guessed because the concept of it isn't really presented until the end of the book.

Overall, I give the book a three. I liked it enough to get the second and third books (at this point I've finished the second one, and am about to start the third), and other than the trying-too-hard-to-talk-teen bits here and there, it was written decently enough. I got the other books because I really do want to find out how the author resolves the issues with Bo.

Bottom line: It's 99¢ on Amazon so if you're looking for a vampire story that's a little different, check this one out.


3/5 book squirrels

Oct 27, 2012

Review: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian - Burn for Burn

• Pub Date: September 18, 2012
• Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
• Format: CD, 7hr 1min
• Age Range: Young Adult
• Source: Publisher


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Uhhh.. what the heck? I heard so many people talk about how wicked that cliffhanger was, but that was hardly a cliffhanger. I think the book just didn't continue. That's how it felt. I see that there are more books to this series, but really? No explanation of Mary? We just have to accept that stuff? Goodness, I want to start swearing about this book. I was expecting so much more I guess. This isn't at all what I thought was coming. And no, I didn't read the description, but I just heard SO many good things. Oh well.

The actual story was enough to keep me coming back for more - these girls all want revenge for one reason or another. The illicitness of Lillia wanting revenge on her group of friends makes it even more interesting. But she ends up learning something about the recipient of her wrath which makes it difficult to stomach. Kat is just trying too hard throughout the whole novel, and Mary is just clueless and strange. It was hard to listen to at some parts.

Let's chat about the narration, shall we? The narrator for Mary seriously sounded like she was either in a tin can or recording in a bathroom. It was really poor quality. The other two narrators had better-sounding performances, but Kat's voice was too similar to Mayim Bialik to me, so I pictured her the whole time as Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang Theory. Definitely not the style of this character at all.

And as for the liquid E thing.. I'm guessing these authors have never actually done anything like it, or they might have written a more accurate depiction of what it is and what it might do. People believe things, and this is how inaccurate information and discrimination start. Just saying.

Bottom line: Read at your own risk - and don't expect answers or a conclusion.


2.5 / 5 book sharks

Review: MR Merrick - Exiled

M.R. Merrick - Exiled

• Pub Date: April 12, 2012
• Publisher: M.R. Merrick
• Format: Paperback/Ebook, 264 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult
• Source: Author

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna — a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret.

In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

Dude. This book is so not what I was expecting - in a good way! I don't read descriptions, so I had no clue what it was about. What I found was a world that sucked me in and then totally flipped about halfway through. The imagination, creativity, and development this book has is incredible, and I'm not a sci-fi/fantasy reader at all. I definitely enjoyed Chase's story, and I shall continue sometime soon.

Chase has many challenges to overcome and ideas and concepts to accept and work through in this novel. After he's been cast out of his society, he tries to live among humans while still fighting evil demons. Then he meets someone he most definitely did not expect to meet. It changes the whole game! And man oh man. I liked it :o)

There are a few grammatical/spelling things that were noticed, but that's the editor in me. Other than that, the world-building and action never stops. You hit the ground running with this novel! It's full of nerve-racking fight scenes and complex, interesting characters. Willy was definitely one of my favorites in the book. He's a stuttering demon - yep! Very cool. Nicely done!

Bottom line: Check this out if you want an action-packed, full-speed-ahead sci-fi read. Enjoy!


3/5 / 5 book sharks

Oct 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Hannah Harrington - Speechless

In honor of National Anti-Bullying Awareness month, we’re talking about SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington, a young adult novel about bullying.

Hannah Harrington- Speechless

• Pub Date: August 28, 2012
• Publisher: HarlequinTeen
• Format: Paperback/Ebook, 288 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Why I Am Anti-Bullying
by Mickey @ imabookshark

When I was in high school, I watched the movie The Laramie Project for the first time. I have seen it many times since, and each time leaves me with the same question: why do we hate so much? It is simple to discriminate against things you do not understand, but that does not make it right.

If you don't know what The Laramie Project movie is about, here's a summary: it's the story of Matthew Shepard. He was a gay college student who was murdered out of hate. His life is remembered by those who want to fight against hate crimes, bullying, and anti-gay activists.

I don't know about you, but I am all for equality and freedom. No one deserves to be harassed, bullied, beat up, or even killed for being homosexual. They are people, too. Just like you and me. We're all human and we all deserve the same things: life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

Watching this movie really sparked something in me. I can honestly say it changed my outlook on how I chose to live my life. At first, yes, I was speechless. But soon I became a mouthpiece for love and acceptance. I choose not to hate or associate with people who discriminate, bully, or harass. I just want this world to get along and live by the Golden Rule.

The Love is Louder movement was started when the Jed Foundation, MTV and actress Brittany Snow decided to do something to help those feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. Now hundreds of thousands of people around the world have joined the Love is Louder movement and are using their actions to make their communities and schools better places for everyone. Come join the Love is Louder movement with us.

Hannah Harrington resides in Michigan with one dog and too many cats. When she isn’t busy writing like a crazy person, she enjoys arguing about politics, watching documentaries, playing guitar (very badly) and speaking about herself in the third person. She released her debut novel Saving June in December 2011 and wowed readers with its intense subject of teen suicide. Her latest novel, Speechless (September 2012), explores the topic of bullying. You can find her online at www.hannahharrington.com.

Find Hannah:

Giveaway Alert!!

Each blog on the tour is giving away a copy of Speechless and “Read for the Fun Mood” pens to support the Teen Reading Week.

One winner from all entries during the tour gets an epic Prize Pack: KindlePaperwhite with Speechless Skin, 1 iPhone Skin, 5 Copies of Speechless to share with friends & family and 1 copy of Saving June!

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Thanks and good luck!

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