Thursday, February 28, 2013

Freedom to Read Week with Cheryl Rainfield

It's So Important To Have the Freedom To Read

I believe everyone should be able to read the books they need to, the books that speak to them, that help them feel less alone or less ugly or less like a freak. The books that help them escape or dream or hope. But some people, when they find a book that talks about something they don't like or accept, or that they're scared of or have prejudice about, try to prevent others from reading that book. They may try to get the book removed from their library or child's school, or try to ban the book in the area they live, or even their country. And that, to me, is a great sadness. They are preventing some child or teen or adult from finding a book that may help them when no one else can. That may help save them. And books do save people.

Books sure saved me. If I hadn't been able to escape into books in my child and teenhood, in the years I was being horrifically abused and tortured, I might not have been able to survive. Fantasy books were a needed escape from my life, and realistic books were an important way of finding small bits of validation and knowing that I wasn't crazy, even if my abusers told me I was. I never found books that talked enough about the exact things I'd been through, but I found enough in them to relate, especially on an emotional level. I also found loving people in books, people who were kind and generous and sweet--something I didn't experience in real life. That helped me hope and believe in the good in people, even when what I experienced was the opposite. And when character after character was able to overcome challenges and find happiness, it helped me believe that I could find happiness and safety, too. Books helped me escape the abuse and the pain for hours, and helped me dream of better places and people. Books helped me live and hope and dream.

And now that I've had my own books published, I hear from other readers how my books have saved them. I hear from teens how Scars helped them stop cutting, get help or talk to someone, know that they're not alone (often for the first time), or even keep from killing themselves. It is moving and wonderful to me that one of my books can do that--can offer safety and validation and hope. Can help save them.

But there are people who've tried to ban Scars, or have it removed from libraries or schools. People who object to the "darkness" in Scars--the reality that so many teens go through--and ignore the hope and healing that is a huge part of the story. Because Scars is about a teen girl who was sexually abused, who cut to cope--just like I went through. (It's my own scarred arm on the cover of Scars.) And I'm sure there will be people who object to the queer characters in the book and their loving relationships. But what the people who try to ban Scars don't realize is that it might save the life of a teen they know--and that by removing it, they're taking away potential safety and hope and validation that that teen might desperately need.

And there are so many books that do that--that offer a lifeline for teens, whether it's an edgy realistic book that speaks truth that the teen knows, or a fantasy book that offers a necessary escape. Books are, I believe, one of the most powerful ways to encourage greater compassion in people, to help them truly understand what it is like to go through specific experiences. It can help decrease or even eliminate prejudice, and open minds. To try to prevent anyone from having access to any book they might need is oppressive. Open minds are important. Access to books are important. Books help open minds.

I'm so grateful for all the books so many of us have access to, and all the many people who help get them out there--the librarians and teachers and reading advocates, the publishers and editors, and the writers. I hope that one day everyone will be able to find and read any book that they might need.


Cheryl Rainfield is the author of the award-winning SCARS, a novel about a queer teen sexual abuse survivor who uses self-harm to cope; the award-winning HUNTED, a novel about a teen telepath in a world where any paranormal power is illegal; and the forthcoming STAINED (out November 2013), about a teen with a port-wine stain who is abducted and must find a way to rescue herself. Cheryl Rainfield is an incest and ritual abuse survivor, a feminist, and an avid reader and writer. She lives in Toronto with her little dog Petal.

Cheryl Rainfield has been said to write with “great empathy and compassion” (VOYA) and to write stories that “can, perhaps, save a life.” (CM Magazine) SLJ said of her work: “[readers] will be on the edge of their seats.”

You can find Cheryl on her website or her blog

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Freedom to Read Week: Why Haven't I read You? (4)

A few years ago, Ellen Hopkins was scheduled to speak at a public young adult event, and because a few people took issue with her subject matter she was asked to withdraw from the event. So, the long-and-short-of-it is that the publicity led me to Crank; and I was blown away by the emotional turmoil and characters of the book.

So today, in honor of Freedom to Read week, I'm featuring the last book of the trilogy.

We Hear
That life was good
before she
                                                  the monster,

but those page flips
went down before
our collective cognition....

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Freedom to Read Week with Leah Bobet

It's pretty easy to say why the freedom to read is important to writers: We want to tell the stories that are close to our hearts, and of course, we want to be read! But as well as writing fiction, I'm a bookseller: I've worked at Bakka-Phoenix Books, Canada's oldest independent science fiction bookstore, on and off since I was a student. And when Amy graciously asked me to contribute a post for Freedom to Read Week, what came to mind first wasn't any experience I've had writing. It was the woman who came into my store on a Saturday morning, a few months back, with a very specific request.

She needed, she told me, a book for a 13-year-old reader who was "vague about gender". She wanted me to recommend something that was positive about being LGBT, or non-traditional gender roles – but it had to be subtle enough, in terms of the cover art and copy, that the reader's parents wouldn't catch on.

I think I winced, and said, "So it's like that."

It was like that.

We got to work.

That morning was one of the hardest I've ever spent working as a bookseller. It wasn't just because of the challenge in finding the right book for this reader – smart, well-written, at the right reading level, with a positive LGBT role model that's not discussed in the cover copy – but because I knew how important it was to get this one right. Recommending books to people is frequently a fun game, because they're reading to relax, for entertainment. This time, someone would be reading to know that who they are was right and good, in a situation where they might not have heard that too much. They were reading to find out that they were not alone.

I found her a book, eventually. It was pretty hard. That's not a good thing.

In a sense, the freedom to read is the freedom to be. When nobody tells your stories, it's hard to know that the world's not a party full of Normal People and then there's you, locked out. When you grow up in a neighbourhood where people are one colour, one religion, one economic class, it's important to pick up, young, that there are other ways of living. A book is still one of the safest, cheapest ways out there to learn that.

And we need to learn that: so people of all ages can see some of the world and decide who they want to be. So we can not just think critically, but realize that you can disagree with certain things.

I learned that what you want and what you're talented at aren't necessarily the same thing, and why that's okay, long before I washed out of my first professional choir and had to face that I would never be a career musician. I learned that gay people are just people, with loves and ideas and problems, before the first friend ever came out to me. I understood something of how wonderful my city could be years before I started to explore it.

I read those things in books. That was a good thing in my life.

I am glad nobody took those books away.

Back to my customer, and the kid she was looking out for, and that book.

It was too hard to find that book, and that wasn't good. I say that book; I found one. Most books about LGBT characters who are brave and have good adventures are Stories With Morals About Being LGBT. Most adventurous fantasy books don't have a wide and diverse cast of characters. I don't know where on earth I'd send that reader next, if she loved that book and wanted more.

There is no sense in having the freedom to read, in celebrating it, if as authors – and readers – we don't step up to the plate.

So here is my challenge to you this year:

We celebrate Freedom to Read Week, as readers, for a book's ability to show us we're not alone, to open our minds, and to take us to different perspectives. As writers, we should take it as a challenge: to write books that show someone they're not alone; that open minds; that take people to perspectives and places they've never seen before. As writers, we should be brave with our words.

As readers, we should read with curiosity and courage. We should seek out voices, situations, ideas that aren't already comfortable as old shoes.

In 2013, let's all stretch ourselves, and truly celebrate the freedom to read – by using it.

Find Leah:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Monday, February 25, 2013

Freedom to Read Week with My Friend Tegan

Banned books are a hot topic, there are lots of things that need to be taken into account. One thing is censorship, I believe that books should be censored I don’t however believe in the out right banning books.

I believe that parents should be aware of what their child is reading; do you want a 13 year old reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James, I know I don’t. That is censorship I am okay with. If you don’t want your child reading Looking For Alaska by John Green (A book beloved by many) because there is a too graphic scene. Well okay then, that is your choice. That is censorship on a micro scale.

What I have a problem with is censorship on a macro scale which is also known as Book Banning. And I think one of the reasons I have an issue with this is that there are so many un-answers to questions that make me shake my head, like:

-Who makes the list of books that gets banned?
-What makes a book become banned? Is it the sexual content? Because look at Harry Potter.
-How much sexual context is in that? Lets face it, a very intense near sex scene in.
-In Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead there is a man nearly twice the females age, and you rarely hear anything about that, but the blow job in Looking For Alaska gets thrown to the wolves.
-Is it that some books don’t uphold good Christian values? Who’s to say that we are all Christian? And how much `devil magic` is truly in The Diary of Anne Frank?

But all in all, I think banning books is wrong. It`s something that's totally a good thing for the book community because we can band together and have these big events, we can pass on great books, like Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, or any one of Ellen Hopkins books (which in my opinion are the best), and we can tell nothing sells more copies of a book then it being taboo… simply look at Fifty Shades of Grey.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Freedom to Read Week with Judith Graves

A Book is a Loaded Gun

As both a library technician and an author of young adult fiction, I have strong feelings about censorship. Though, sometimes those feelings cause me some confusion. There are times when the lines blur.

I believe in free speech – not hate speech.

I believe in the parent’s right to decide what kinds of media their children are exposed to – but their children only – not the children of others.

I believe in celebrating the good in this life – but do not condone avoiding the negative. Banning a book about teen pregnancy doesn’t make the issue magically disappear.

So far in my 18 years working as a library technician in academic, law, public and school libraries, I’m happy to say I’ve only encountered book challenges several times.

Each is unique. Each is unnerving.

Because each time I am reminded, with a virtual slap-to-the-face, that what I see as an inherent right – FREEDOM TO READ – others see as a dangerous threat.

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.”

~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

There are levels to challenges. Some are simple requests from parents, to restrict their child’s access to certain materials, like graphic novels for instance. These are easily dealt with as the library software in my school enables me to add a notice to patron records. “Jane can’t take out Bone books.” Or “No more war books for Tom.”

At least in instances like this, the challenge goes no further than one family.

Other challenges are toward a specific title and the request is to have it removed from the library. At this point, my wonderful “Challenge Policy” kicks in. I have a detailed form the parent must fill out and the first question they must answer is: Have you read the entire book? If they haven’t, then they are asked to do so in order to complete the form, which will then be brought to our school’s library committee.

Not surprisingly, the challenge usually ends here. The parent either hasn’t read the entire book, or doesn’t have the time or inclination to, and thus the form is never filled out and never returned.

Then there are the mobster challengers - those who find strength in numbers. I once had several mothers sweep into the library, demand to go through the stacks, and proceed to physically haul armfuls of titles to the principal’s office. I confess, I thought they would head straight for the folklore section, where magic and mayhem abound, however in this instance, they selected titles from our “dinosaur” section and took on the evolution debate.

As an author of young adult fiction, I know the tightrope writers precariously step out on with every word or phrase they scrawl into notebooks, or type into their work-in-progress documents. Is it too much? Too sexual? Too graphic? Too blunt? Too raw? Too real?

Will it offend parents, booksellers, librarians? Will it even make it to the shelves for the intended audience to find?

Does it reek of whitewashed drivel the kids will see right through?

Personally, I have an edgy young adult manuscript, completely different than my paranormal fiction, that is, perhaps, too everything. I may decide to revise it enough to appease traditional publishers, but part of me is tempted to self-publish it and see what kind of fallout the book would face.

Would it be embraced? Or banned?

Today’s world – with our access to indie publishing, the changing idea of what is “edgy”, and ever evolving ebook technologies - is an exciting place to be for both readers and authors.

But it is also a scary place. Is this the Wild West of publishing? Will rights be respected? It is up to us – the readers, the writers, the fans of the written word, and protectors of history, to ensure they are.

One of the most powerful experiences I’ve had was during a trip to Europe few years ago. I stood in the Bebelplatz square in Berlin, the site of a massive Nazi book burning, within sight of Humbolbt University – a symbol of knowledge and wisdom – and could only imagine the devastation of such an act.

The destruction of hope.

The site is marked with a monument (my photo of it farther below) quoting a German poet from one his plays:

“Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.”

~ Heinrich Heine, 1821.

I leave you with two images, one I took at the Sachsenhausen labour camp just outside Berlin, where over 30,000 people died, and the other is a Freedom to Read promotion poster from 1992.

Find Judith:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Savage Grace by Bree Despain

The Savage Grace:
A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

In the beginning of The Dark Divine trilogy, Bree Despain created an ordinary girl and put her into extraordinary circumstances; and throughout these books that girl has come up swinging every time she was knocked down. Bree's unique and refreshing mix of Christianity and werewolf lore grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go until the very end. Thrilling and heart-breaking. Romance and charm. Deception and secrets. This was an incredible and all consuming end to this trilogy, and throughout the book I was kept guessing about what would happen next. Bree never made anything easy for her characters and I think that is why I enjoyed these books so much. She definitely put me through the emotional ringer during The Savage Grace and I'm devastated to say goodbye to this world.

Throughout this trilogy Grace was one of those characters that anyone could easily relate to because she wasn't always perfect, what made her such a wonderful character were her flaws. After becoming infected with the Urbat (or Hound of Heaven) curse, she wants to use her powers to help others, but the demon wolf inside of her constantly pulls her in another direction. And for a while there she listened to it, but she managed to turn things around, and it wasn't until she learned to let go of her anger bottled inside and forgive, that she truly reached the potential she was destined for.

Daniel was the perfect anti-hero from the first to the last book. He never wanted to play the "hero," all he ever wanted was to have a normal life with the girl that he loves. But they will have to fight every step of the way to be together: against his father, Caleb, leader of a fiendish pack of Urbats and demons, and against the largest pack of them all: the Etlu Clan. When Grace restores Daniel to his human form, they discover that he is a true Hound of Heaven, no longer plagued by the inability to forgive himself. And a final battle will test everything he is, and everything he is going to be, in order to put an end to Caleb's reign of destruction.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crimson Sunrise by J.A. Saare

Crimson Sunrise:
Beware the calm before the storm…

After eradicating the obstacles between them, Emma Johnson and Caleb Blackney are ready to embrace their future together. They have a lot of decisions to make. There is the issue of Emma's fae heritage, her choice to become a werewolf or remain human, and Caleb's refusal to partake in anything that could cause harm to his mate.

When Caleb's sister goes missing, personal issues are forced aside, and he and Emma are faced with a past threat that has come knocking at their door. As the search for Sammie reveals plans far more sinister than they ever could have imagined, Emma and Caleb will face their fears, confront their enemies, and unite their families to stand against an evil that won't stop until vengeance is served.

I simply fell in love with these characters in the first book of the Crimson trilogy by J.A. Saare, but in this book, despite Jaime expanding on her strong beginning, I found myself a little annoyed with the main character, Emma. She constantly allowed others to dictate her movements and she seemed a little weak to me; when in the first book, she was more able to hold her own. As I continued reading this book, I discovered that I enjoyed the first book a little more, because I found the story to be more unique. In Crimson Sunrise I found myself constantly comparing events to another vampire/werewolf series. But on the brighter side, the book was emotionally engaging and packed full of action.

Emma and Caleb have returned to the States, and they believe that their only problem is Emma's impending change into a werewolf. But that all changes when Sammie, Caleb's younger sister goes missing, and the true kidnapper is revealed. The prince of the vampires was humiliated when Caleb challenged him and set Emma free, now he wants revenge at any cost. Emma and Caleb have no idea what the future might bring, but all they do know is: war is coming and no one will be safe. A twist of fate saves Emma's life when she is brutally attacked by someone she trusts while their actions are controlled by the prince. The prince will not be easily stopped, and it's up to Emma and her new pack to seek out justice and put an end to his power-hungry role as leader of the vampires.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Last Kiss Goodnight by Gena Showalter

Last Kiss Goodnight:

Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.


Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different—he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him…and he’ll be put to a killer test.

Gena Showalter is an incredible paranormal writer, and she definitely did not disappoint me with this, the beginning of the new Otherworld Assassin series. Overlapping the Alien Huntress series with the idea of different alien races living among humans, this book was filled to the brim with continuous action. There are definitely some Beauty and the Beast qualities to this book, although this time it is the man kept captive rather than the woman. There is lots of action and danger throughout and I loved that the heroine was deaf, yet she never let her disability get in the way of doing what needed to be done. The world Gena built was futuristic, intense and captivating. I instantly fell in love with all of the characters, and I`m craving more of their stories.

Vika lives under the rule of her vicious father, and her dream is to one day be free and free his prisoners from his abuse. But her plan for escaping is going to take some time. Time she doesn't have she quickly discovers as a new Otherworlder is brought into her fathers ``freak-show`` circus. Unable to deny the connection she feels with Solo, she finds it hard to stay away, yet constantly worries that her affection will ultimately lead to their deaths. Without the help of his comrades Solo is on his own, and despite being trapped and kept in a weakened state, Solo is determined to free and protect Vika. Together they fight to free the others, but the black magic her father uses is almost too powerful to escape.

Forgotten Fridays (48)

I invite and welcome anyone interested to post their own Forgotten Friday and join in the fun! I feature a book that I have read and have forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Some books might recent reads and some might be older reads, but I hope this helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own TBR pile!

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
First Published: May 2009
Series: Wings

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful--too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful--and deadly--of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.

To keep this spoiler free, this is going to be rather short. I was so sad to say goodbye to these characters, but that times finally came where I couldn't put off reading Destined by Aprilynne Pike any longer. Aprilynne created a unique spin on faerie lore, one that leans more toward science than magic; and this was an incredible, action-packed and bittersweet ending to the Wings series. Destined was an emotional roller coaster of a book and I don't think there was anything that I didn't feel throughout this story. During this series Aprilynne built a unique world and strong characters that I fell in love with almost immediately, and this story ties them all together wonderfully. Although, I have to admit that I didn't like the second "ending" the author tacked on after finishing the story. In my eyes it made a great hero look weak, looking for the easy way out. The vivid details on every page pulled me right into Destined, and it will be hard to let these characters go. Destined picks up right where Aprilynne left us hanging at the end of Illusions. And while there was still the lingering pieces of a love triangle, Laurel makes her choice while fighting to save Avalon when tragedy strikes. Determined to save her homeland from the clutches of an exiled faerie, Laurel barely has time to breathe, never mind worrying about boys. Discovering that her destiny is more than she could have ever imagined, Laurel, and those that she trusts with her very life, will be integral in a new future for Avalon.  Non-stop twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book. Needless to say, I very much so enjoyed this series and I'm looking forward to what Aprilynne comes up with next.

Interview & Giveaway with Christina Daley

1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?

I actually made my first "book" with some friends when I was four. We used crayons, dot matrix paper from my dad's printer, cardboard from a box, and clear tape to put it together. We were rather proud of it, despite not having learned to write yet.

After that, in my 7th grade English class, we had just finished reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. When I learned that Hinton was only 16 when that book came out, I thought it'd be interesting to try and write a book. Other than a few short things here and there, I didn't write a full length manuscript until I was a freshman in college. I hadn't really thought about publishing until after I graduated. I just liked telling stories and playing with words.

2. What first attracted you to your genre when it comes to writing?

I don't usually think about genre when I'm coming up with a story. I come up with the story first and then figure out what genre that will fit into later. My first two books, SERANFYLL and ELIGERE, are classified as upper middle grade fantasies mostly because the main character is 13 and there are things like magic and flying horses that might appeal to that age group more. RADIANT was a little easier to categorize, because the main character is 17 and she's in the center of this unusual love story. Hence, a teen romance (with some paranormal/sci-fi in it).

3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?

In RADIANT, it's a close call between Drew and Phos. Drew is only a secondary character, but he's quirky and he's always wearing these t-shirts that say odd things. I like Phos because, well, readers of the book will know why :)

4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?

I write middle grade and young adult fiction, so beyond that I like reading adult nonfiction. Currently, I'm reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu because I'm working on a historical fiction book that's set in the third century in Asia.

5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?

Probably a lot of other things, lol! When I was in high school, I seriously thought about being a chef. I wouldn't want to be one now, but if you took me back in time 15 years and said I couldn't write, then that's probably what I would've done.

6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a 'favorite' book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)

That's so hard! The moment I write down three, I know I'm going to change my mind. But here it goes: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?

I can write in different environments if I put my mind to it, but the best place is my couch. I do have an office with a rather nice desk, but I love writing on my couch because it's soft, warm, and there's a butt-shaped mark in the left cushion that fits me perfectly. I also like to have some tea or lemonade nearby. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't move for two or three hours. Tea or lemonade remind me that I'm thirsty and that I need to move.

8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)

I would love to be trapped in Narnia. And preferably, I'd be a centaur because…well, do I really need to explain? :)

About the Author:

Christina Daley made her first book with neighborhood friends when she was four years old. They "wrote" out some semblance of lettering with crayons, cut up a cardboard box for the cover, and bound it all together with clear adhesive tape. It was brilliant.

Quite a few years later, Christina is trying her hand at writing "real" books. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with a pet plant named Herb.

Find Christina:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Christina is generously going to give THREE winners either a copy of the ebook or three bookmarks, winners choice! :)

Simply leave us a comment below and don't forget to include your email! 

Open internationally, giveaway ends February 28, 2013 12AM EST. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Deviants by Maureen McGowan

In a post-apocalyptic world, where the earth is buried by asteroid dust that’s mutated the DNA of some humans, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Glory must protect her younger brother and escape the domed city that’s been her entire world.

Outside in the ruins, they’re pursued by the authorities and by sadistic, scab-covered Shredders who are addicted to the lethal-to-humans dust now covering the planet. Glory’s quests to transport herself and her brother to safety make up the thrilling and fascinating first volume of The Dust Chronicles.

From the very first page the heroine, Glory, drew me right into this story. Maureen McGowan's post-apocalyptic world has a little bit of everything for everyone: danger, romance, tension and a dash of science-fiction. While the dystopian society is not entirely unique to this author, I loved every minute of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters and the constantly twisting plot Maureen gave her readers. Relationships are a very strong underlying theme in Deviants, not just the romantic ones, but those of family and forgiveness as well. . We weren't given much detail of the inner workings of Haven, but I think the author is saving that for the next book: Compliance. Now that being said, Maureen created a stimulating world outside the safety of Haven, one that I could visualize and imagine myself in easily.

The Earth has essentially died, leaving nothing but un-breathable dust and decay outside the safety of domed cities. Or so the oppressive "Management" would have its citizens believe. There is a whole other world out past the raging winds of dust, where survivors gather in order to fight the ruthless "Management," their hope is to create equality and freedom for everyone. "Deviants" are against the law, they are people with supernatural powers, like Glory's ability to control, and even kill, others with her sight. Some abilities are not so subtle, like Glory's brother, Drake, has skin that can turn into armor when his emotions run high. After the death of her mother and the exile of her father, Glory must hide her brother from everyone, his discovery could lead to his banishment.  Where he would be thrown outside and left to the mercy of the sadistic Shredders who live outside of Haven. A mysterious stranger named Burn brings news that Glory's father is still alive. And while she doesn't trust him at all, the authorities are getting closer to discovering Drake, and her only choice left is to follow Burn and leave the only life she has ever known.

Why Haven't I Read You? (3)

Every Wednesday I’ll choose a book off one of my many shelves that I haven’t read for some reason or another, and include the first few lines from the first page.
Feel free to join in, and leave your comments about the books I feature if you have read them!

The vampire pulled on the chains restraining him to the cave wall.  his eyes were bright green, their glow illuminating the darkness surrounding us.

"Do you really think these will hold me?" he asked, an English accent caressing the challenge....

This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Monday, February 18, 2013

Soul Avenged by Keri Lake

Soul Avenged:
Passion is blind in vengeance and love ...

Ayden’s suburban home was invaded by a pack of Lycans.

The brutal attack is the only memory she carries of her former life.

Now, one motive burns in her soul:


The Sons of Wrath—a brood of vengeance-dealing warrior demons—band with Ayden to hunt the Lycans on Detroit’s most deadly feeding grounds.

Kane Walker should’ve been her easiest kill.

Unfortunately, the newly bitten Lycan has something she wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest. To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch.

Time is running out.

In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most. She can halt his transformation but the antidote requires the ultimate sacrifice. As the beast takes hold, Kane becomes more of a threat.

Ayden must choose between her lust for revenge, or surrender to her enemy and discover a horrible truth.

Soul Avenged by Keri Lake was a powerful beginning to the Sons of Wrath series, despite it's carbon-copy beginning that was similar to a popular vampire/lycan movie. Keri quickly grabbed my attention as she took her story in another direction with a strong heroine and page-upon-page of tension. I thoroughly enjoyed the Wrath demons, even though they were only secondary characters in this story, they made a compelling first impression, and I'm definitely looking forward to more of them in future books. This book has everything a paranormal book lover like myself could want: danger, romance, hot demons, a sexy heroine and thrilling action.

Ayden has no memories of her past, and all she knows is life as an Alexi soldier, genetically enhanced hunters of the powerful lycans that hunt and feed off humans. But after being terribly wronged by their sadistic leader, the Sons of Wrath are summoned to her call for vengeance. For a long time she has hunted alongside the brothers, her only desire: kill lycans. But that all changes when she stumbles across Kane, a newly bitten halfling lycan that carries memories of her past. Disregarding her natural instinct to kill him on sight she brings him into her safe haven, where she discovers that he has been imprinted with the memories of the lycan that killed her family and changed her life forever.

The leader of the Alexi is obsessed and will stop at nothing to get Ayden back, but his forces are no match for the Wrath brothers, and in going up against them the secrets of his absolute betrayl against his Alexi followers and Ayden are revealed. And while the world of the Alexi begins to crumble, Ayden and Kane grow closer as they fight to understand their mysterious connection and their growing feelings for one another.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Bookish Wants & Gots (37)

My Bookish Wants & Gots is a feature over at The Book Vixen. I list the books I want - which can be old, new, or upcoming releases - and the books I recently got.

Skin of My Teeth by Judith Graves
Hidden agendas, deep, dark secrets, and monsters lurking around every locker. It’s business as usual at Redgrave High for Eryn and her crew of paranorm hunters – they plan to capture and cure Brit’s brother from his tormented existence, Eryn is reunited with her father’s beta, and Redgrave’s origins are revealed.

Although the two guys vying for Eryn’s heart just might have to up their game. Enter hot, wolven guy stage left. Is he the one Alec’s blood magic foretold? He is, if Eryn’s knocking pulse has anything to say about it. The tale-tell sound is driving Wade mad. But it’s Eryn’s move, and everyone is holding their breath.

A little healthy competition soon becomes all-out survival of the fittest as the crew are pitted against a pack of demons trading souls – for keeps. The student population is enamored with a new card game, Boroughs Quest. Kids are desperate to get their hands on gilded cards from a mysterious expansion deck, but when they do…

It’s all fun and games ’til somebody dies.

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder
Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

Cinder by Marissa Mayer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Anastasia Forever by Joy Preble
Is it possible to change the past?


No one ever knew what happened to her except her half-brother, Viktor--and he'll do anything to keep it that way.


She just wants a normal boyfriend, a normal family-no visions of the past, no evil mermaids, no Brotherhood trying to kill her. But Anne is not normal...and she's capable of a lot more than she thinks.


He's been eighteen for nearly a century, and finding Anne is the best thing that's ever happened to him. But the magic in his blood is turning darker, forcing him to wonder whether he's the most dangerous threat of all...