Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox (54) and Secret Santa Gifts!!

**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM

'In My Mailbox'is a weekly post that spotlights the new books that were received during the week.  Here is what I got:
I participated in two Secret Santas this year and I received some amazing goodies!  The first holiday swap that I participated in was the Booklover's Secret Santa.  My swap partner was the fabulous Emily from Emily's Reading Room.  She totally hooked me up!  Check out all of the goodies she sent me.  Thanks so much Emily!  Please take a little time and go check her out at Emily's Reading Room!  I also participated in the Book Blogger's Holiday Swap.  My Secret Santa was the wonderful Pixie from Page Turners!  She sent me some great books that were on my wishlist!  Thank you Pixie, I love my goodies!  You need to go check her out at Page Turners!

From Emily:
A SIGNED copy of Matched by Ally Condie!
Arc of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain!!!
A SUPER cute hat crocheted by Emily herself!
A Match Made in Highschool by Kristin Walker pencil and matchbook
Box of Selling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb 'anti-comet pills' (too cute!)
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus pin
Signed Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Signed Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Flux bookmark
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Cute alligator card

From Pixie:
Signed copy of Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer!
Copy of Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke!

Thank you sooooo much Emily and Pixie!  You guys are AWESOME Secret Santas!  I love all my goodies!

I hit a few bookstores this week too.  I found some amazing bargains on some good books- so I couldn't resist!  Here is what I bought:

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (future contest prize)
2 copies of Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony (one for me- one for a contest prize)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (contest prize)
The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov
Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Undead Much? by Stacey Jay
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (trade- thanks Brandi!)

Wow! What a haul this week!  I can't wait to read all of these.  Now you know what I got.  What did you get?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Purpose Blog Tour Stop: Character Interview with Alexis Ames!

If you haven't heard of the Soul-Savers Series by Kristie Cook then you are definitely missing out!  Promise (Book 1) is one of my all-time favorite reads and Purpose is just as good if not better!!  Although these books are not YA, they have tons of YA appeal (recommended for 17 and up).  This series is an action-packed Heaven vs. Hell paranormal smackdown mixed with romance, suspense, and intrigue!  I LOVE it!!!!
I am super excited to introduce my guest today.  She is one of the main characters in the Soul Savers Series, (LUCKY) wife of the super hot Tristan Knight and an all-around kick ass character!  Welcome to Extreme Reader Book Reviews Alexis Ames!  Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with me for a few minutes.  I know you are super busy these days and I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us!  So without further ado....

1)Describe yourself in three words.
Mom, writer, a-little-insane (Are those three redundant…?)

2) You have spent most of your life 'in the dark' about what you are and what your destiny holds. What has been the hardest part of not knowing?
It’s one thing to know your family has skeletons in the closet that the adults won’t tell you. But when your “skeletons” mean you have weird, annoying quirks – like instant healing or a sixth sense or that your mom can lift a refrigerator over her head – you go crazy with curiosity. And then you get people giving you crap all the time and you just want to know why…as if knowing will change anything. The worst part, though, was when I was attacked by those…creatures [when my story starts in Promise]. When Mom wouldn’t explain then, I decided it was time to do something. Of course, that didn’t turn out exactly as planned…

3) You are a mother now, How has that changed you?
First, let me admit that I’m not the greatest mother. I haven’t exactly been myself since…well, since that horrible day… I do my best to push aside my issues, at least for a little while, and try to be the best mom I can be under the circumstances. Fortunately, our time together is the best part of my day – the only time I feel most like the real me. So I can be almost normal, teaching and playing and loving like a mom should. I know I’m not perfect at self-sacrificing, but I do always watch out for Dorian’s best interests…even if it’s in his best interest to be as far away from me as possible. I know he’s in good hands when he’s with Mom, though. Thank God for her!

4) Speaking of that horrible day, that’s how we left you in Promise. Your life since then must be unbearable. Where do you find your strength to make it day to day?
In my son and in my writing. I suppose that’s another way being a mom has changed me – it has given me strength I didn’t know possible. I remind myself to keep on going for him. And for Tristan. I have to hang onto hope.

5) What is your favorite memory of Tristan (try to keep it as PG as possible!:)
Really, some of my favorite times with him was cooking together. I liked cooking before I met him, but when we hung out in the kitchen, sometimes bumping into each other in Mom’s tiny place…we had so much fun, just the two of us.

6) You are a writer of paranormal books. How has writing helped you through life’s struggles?
Writing is my escape. I get to leave my life and enter someone else’s for a while. Theirs might be just as craptastic, but since it’s not real, it’s more fun and exciting. Does that make any sense? It’s like reading a really good book – the exact story you want to read right now. It’s full of conflict and tension and stress, but it’s still an escape for you, right? Writing lets me forget, at least for a little while.

7) Although you have powers yourself, if you could have ANY superpower you wanted what would you choose?
I wrote a story once about a loner girl (hmm, wonder where I got that idea) who could freeze the world. She’d freeze it, rearrange people – specifically the ones that bullied her – into embarrassing positions and then unfreeze it, leaving her enemies in compromising positions for everyone to see. It’s not a mystery why I always thought that would be a great power. Not just for revenge, though, but also to stop criminals – put them in a different place so they can’t complete their crimes. But, admittedly, also for revenge. Of course, the main character in my story learned that there were consequences to her messing around like that…but a girl can dream, right?

8) Growing up was tough for you. You constantly felt like an outcast because of your 'differences' from other kids. What advice can you give teens who may read this that have similar feelings of not fitting in?
It does get better. Kids are mean, but they’re really just worried about their own issues, using others to make themselves feel better about themselves. I know you hear this all the time, but that’s because it’s true. By the time you hit college, most kids are pretty much over that. College and the real world are so diverse, making it easier to find your niche, your group of real friends. They are out there. You’ll find them. Whenever you think you’ve had enough, give yourself – and the world – six more months. So much can change in six months.

Thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog! I enjoyed spending time with all of you. If anyone has any questions – for me or Kristie – please feel free to ask.

Thanks so much for stopping by Alexis!

*If you haven't read Promise then YOU MUST order it! If you've read it then prepare yourself for a late night of reading when you get your hands on Purpose!!  You can check out my review of Promise HERE and my review of Purpose HERE!  Thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review: Purpose by Kristie Cook

Purpose (Soul Savers #2) [5stars.jpg]
Purpose (Souls Savers #2)
Written by Kristie Cook
Release Date: December 15, 2010
Published by Ang'dora Productions
*Arc provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Summary from Goodreads:
"Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of an abyss, her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into complete darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Erratic impulses, disturbing delusions and her own demonic blood threaten her sanity. When she’s forced to choose between hanging onto hope or letting go to serve her Amadis purposes, she faces a decision with inconceivable sacrifices.

Alexis runs to the one place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle of good versus evil, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable. But even if she wins, what will she lose?"

My Thoughts: 
I have been racking my brain trying to find a way to review this book in a way that does it justice.  I guess I could start by saying that it is INCREDIBLE!  I felt this exact same way after reading the first book in this series, Promise, but Purpose is even better!  If you haven't read Promise STOP HERE and go get it NOW!!  I would hate to spoil any of the goodness for you in this review of the second book!........ Purpose picks up in the present.  Alexis has been dealing with her husband/soulmate's absence the best way that she can which equals just existing.  The only bright spot in her despair is her and Tristan's son, Dorian.  She has been passing the time writing and her books are wildly popular.  But all Alexis focuses on is holding on to the promise Tristan made to her before he left for the ill-fated battle at the end of book one- "I'll be back- I promise".  While reading this portion of the book I really could feel Alexis' despair and desperation.  I felt so bad for her and I so wanted Tristan to reappear.  Kristie Cook did such a fantastic job relating the character's emotions and making them jump off the page.  Her characters are so real to you while you read their story and I felt so connected to them.  Her attention to detail doesn't end with the characters.  The Amadis and the Daemoni are better understood in this book.  Many of the questions I carried over from the Promise were answered in this book.  The plot was seamless and Kristie's writing flowed beautifully.  I just love how easy it is for me to sit down with one of her books and realize hours later that I have actually been reading that long!  The time seems to slip away as you get sucked into the story!  As far as endings go- this one is missing NOTHING!  It is climatic, action-packed, and fulfilling.  Of course there is still the open-door for the next installment, but I was satisfied with where it left off.  I can't even tell you how often I have recommended Promise to friends, colleagues and blog followers.  Now I will have to sing the praises of this book as well because it is 100% deserving!!  I would like to clarify that this IS NOT A YA book!  It contains adult situations, sexual content(fanning myself as we speak!)  and my SUPER HOT ROMANTIC Dream guy (aka Tristan)!  I would recommend this to ages 17 and up.  
Thank you Kristie Cook for not only giving me a much needed Tristan fix- but one helluva story to go with it!!  I am already swooning for the third book!  Purpose releases tomorrow, so make sure you order your copy TODAY!  Also don't miss the Twitter Virtual Release Party TONIGHT @ 8pm est!  For more info on all of the fun and prizes available during the Release Party go HERE!

*If you would like to learn more about The Soul Savers Series or Kristie Cook you can find more info through the following links:

Kristie Cook/Promise/Purpose/Goodreads

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (53)

**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM

'In My Mailbox'is a weekly post that spotlights the new books that were received during the week.  Here is what I got:

For Review:
Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr
*Thanks Melissa and HarperCollins!

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead

*Now you know what I got!  What did you get?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday
"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.  It is always so hard to decide which books I want to feature on Wednesdays.  There are so many wonderful books coming out!  Waiting is such torture!  Here are a few that I am waiting for....

Written by Dawn Metcalf
Release Date: July 7, 2011
Published by Dutton Childen's Books

Summary from Goodreads:
"When sixteen-year-old Consuela discovers she can remove her skin, revealing a lustrous mother-of-pearl skeleton, she slips into a parallel world known as the Flow, a place inhabited by archetypal teens with extraordinary abilities. Crafting skins out of anything – air, water, feathers, fire – she is compelled to save ordinary people from dying before their time. Yet now someone is murdering them, one by one, and Consuela finds herself the focus of an intricate plot to end the Flow forever when all she really wants is to get back home, alive."
*Wow.... What an intriguing summary and gorgeous cover!! 
Haunting VioletHaunting Violet
Written by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers
Summary from Goodreads:
"Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?"

*I am so excited for both of these titles!  2011 is going to be a great year in books!  What are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

In My Mailbox (52)

**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM

'In My Mailbox'is a weekly post that spotlights the new books that were received during the week.  Here is what I got:

For Review: 
Purpose (Soul Savers #2) by Kristie Cook + signed bookmarks!

Stork by Wendy Delsol
Matched by Ally Condie
Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Old Magic by Marianne Curley
Swoon by Nina Malkin
Eclipse Two-Disc Special Edition + swag items!!

*Now you know what I got!  What did you get?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winner of The Sapphire Talisman!

Sorry for the delay in posting the winner of The Sapphire Talisman (The Talisman Series Book 2) by Brenda Pandos.  The lucky winner will have a signed copy delivered to them on the book's release date (December 15th)!  The winner was chosen using Random.Org.

And The Winner is.......

Lora 1967 

Congrats!  If you haven't read The Emerald Talisman (book one in the series) then you are missing out! Hurry up and read it so you will be ready for The Sapphire Talisman when it releases on 12/15!  Thanks to Brenda Pandos!!