Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop

It's that time again!
What better way to kick back and relax than with a good book?

Here at The Crazy Dream Blog, I'm giving the winner any book(s) they want for a list price up to
$12 from the Book Depository*
*If the book depository ships to you, then you are eligible to enter! Check here to see if they ship to your country!

It's easy to enter. Just Follow This Blog and fill out the FORM
Last day to enter giveaway is August 7th. Winner will be chosen August 8th by random.org.

See my HEADER above for more GIVEAWAYS!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Mandy Hubbard
Publication: July 21, 2011

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

When Lexi turned sixteen, she felt the sudden urge to go for a late night swim. Her soon-to-be boyfriend Steven, whom she had longed to be with for soooo long, got dragged along.  Once she burst into song, Lexi's sudden urge felt fulfilled, and to her horror, she found Steven's body floating lifelessly in the ocean. Shunned by her friends, Lexi spent the next two years being tortured by her ex-best friend (Steven's sister) because no one bought that such an excellent swimmer just happened to cramp and drown with Lexi by his side. Except Cole, Steven's best friend, who incidentally had been attracted to her for years regardless of the accusations.

Lexi's finally on the verge of being happy again when Erik shows up and tells her he's a Nix, her male complement. He's on the verge of becoming a Nix at eighteen and claims that if a Nix and a Siren can fall in love and accept one another for what they are, both their curses can be broken. And though she tries desperately to fall in love with Erik, her heart seems to remain with Cole...

Ripple was completely predictable, so don't start this book thinking you're gonna get a whopper of a twist thrown at you. However, I still found the story really enjoyable. The prose was simple and sweet, Lexi had decent character growth and her romance with Cole developed at a believable pace. All in all, Ripple was a good book and worth picking up.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (ARC)

The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying.   Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home.  So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

I'm getting into the review game a little late with this one. I've noticed that The Goddess Test is getting a lot of flack about how the author pulled from mythology. I am a firm believer that when an author is writing fiction, he or she is entitled to twist a background source any way he or she likes to create a whole new world for us. However, the author clearly states in the novel that Henry is Hades, the King of the Underworld, and that Persephone was once his wife and Queen of the Underworld. Though this isn't a retelling of this mythological tale, it is a continuation of Hades' story. It's no longer pure fiction and you can't go changing the details (ie. making him a virgin) and not expect an uproar from the reading community. If Ms. Carter had eliminated Hades and given us a new character that had taken over as King of the Underworld and seeking a bride, she could have completely gotten away with this story (though making any God in any story a virgin is ridiculous - there are some places you just don't go).

Having said that, Ms. Carter's writing style was enjoyable, clean and I found it easy to picture her imaginary world. If you're not a stickler for maintaining facts for a story that's being continued, or have zero knowledge of this mythological tale to begin with, there's a chance you'll really enjoy this story. Ms. Carter is definitely an author worth reading and I hope to read more of her work in the future.

ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Lauren DeStefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

You wouldn't think yourself lucky to be kidnapped and taken to be one of the brides for some random man, but if you were one of the ones left behind in the van after the picking, trust me, you were lucky. *Random thought - does anyone else wonder if the van girls ended up in the basement?* Rhine finds herself in this position, along with Jenna and Cecily, and are married to Linden without even needing to say 'I do'. The sister wives are locked in their own wing of the mansion with only an elevator activated by keycard to get out (guess they're not worried about fire drills...)

Rhine plays along to avoid becoming an experimental cadaver in the basement, but doesn't find herself particularly drawn to her captor (shocker). She does, however, develop a little thing for the servant boy, Gabriel. She wants desperately to escape and return to her twin brother but refuses to go without Gabriel, who's been transfered to work in the creepy, off-limits basement.

I've been trully captivated - and that's rare. The prose flowed beautifully and made Wither an easy, clean read with a plot that kept me intrigued. Can't wait for Fever next spring!

Recommendation Winners

Thanks to all of you that offered me recommendations. You guys gave me some great paranormal romance suggestions that I can't wait to sink my teeth into! The five that won an ecopy of Ordained are:
  1. June M.
  2. Natalie
  3. Kara-Karina
  4. Bacchus76
  5. Kate

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Free eBook of Ordained to First Five

Okay, clearly the title got your attention. :) Why am I giving away free ebooks of my novel? Cause I'm really in the mood to read a good book and I need recommendations. So if you're in the mood to help, just be one of the first five to complete the steps below and you'll get a free ebook for your trouble. Don't want an ebook? I'd still love the recommendations! :)

Step 1: the ebooks will be gifted through Amazon, so if you are able to receive ebooks through Amazon US, UK or DE accounts, you are eligible to win.

Step 2: recommend the best paranormal romance novel you can think of where the characters don't suffer from the love-at-first-sight mumbo jumbo and the main characters aren't stupid. Here's a list of books I'd like you to scratch off the lists - I've read all of these already and some suffer epic fail for what I'm looking for at the moment.  :)
  1. Twilight Saga
  2. Hush, Hush series
  3. Fallen series
  4. Hex Hall series
  5. Out in Blue
  6. The Wolves of Mercy Falls
  7. Silver Moon series
  8. Airborne Saga (no, it's not listed as paranormal romance, but so many people seem to think it is) :p
  9. Siren's Call series
Step 3: fill out the form below. I'll take a peek at what you recommend and if it falls under the category I'm looking for and you're one of the first five to do it, you win!!! And you can suggest more than one book too to increase your odds.

This contest is closed but I would still love recommendations if you've got them!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Under the Stars by Rebecca A. Rogers (ARC)

Under the Stars
Rebecca A. Rogers
Expected Publication : August 1, 2011

After seventeen-year-old Andrina’s home is demolished by meteors, she encourages her family to relocate to Legora, one of the few remaining cities that promise a new life to weary travelers. But Legora’s food and supplies are in shortage—too many refugees have sought protection behind its gates—and the only option is to appeal to the King of the New World for provisions. When the town assembles a lottery to choose who will plea to the king, Andrina holds the ill-fated ticket.

Her arrival in Valyad, the royal territory, sparks intrigue from King Zarek. Andrina can’t imagine herself acting like the other girls, who flounce after Zarek’s affection and money, but she considers giving in to her flirty side if it’ll guarantee that her family is fed. So when Zarek leaves Andrina with a bitter decision—marry him or he’ll strip Legora of its supplies—she has no choice but to accept being Queen of the New World.

Soon, though, Andrina uncovers that Valyad is smothered in deceit. Days after their wedding, Zarek is found stabbed to death and all fingers point to Andrina. Betrayed by Valyad’s governor, who wants the crown for himself, Andrina learns that it’s the people who will cast a vote on her fate; people who don’t want a commoner operating their kingdom. Andrina must not only convince Valyad that their king didn’t die by her hand, but also outsmart the sly politicians of the realm with a surprise they can’t outrun.

Not all fairytales end happily - but there's beauty in their demise. Andrina agrees to marry the Kind of the New World only to keep her family and people of Legora supplied with the necessities to survive the world that’s crumbling outside their dome-protected city. But when her husband is murdered beside her in the night, all fingers point toward Andrina, even though she has nothing to gain and everything to lose.

I won't say anything more because I don't wanna give anything away, but Andrina's tragic ending actually made me cry. Under the Stars is a well-developed novel with strong character development and realistic consequences one would expect in a dystopian society that's been corrupted by politicians.

ARC provided by Author for honest review.