Friday, March 30, 2012

Death Cure by James Dashner

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

First Line:
"It was the smell that began to drive Thomas slightly mad."

Ah! Finally! The series is finished and I have to admit, I enjoyed this book the best out of all three. That has never happened to me before.
I had a hard time putting this book down. I wanted to know when WICKED would reveal the tricks and lies. They had a pretty good lie toward the end that kind threw me.
Thomas and his shank friends have been through trial after to trial so WICKED can find a cure for the Flare. But this time, Thomas is ready to be on his own and he escapes from WICKED. But is this a trick too? Another trial? Will they ever escape the clutches of the group who thinks they are on the verge of a cure? Just slim it and read the book.
James stayed true to the characters through this last book. They have to make hard decisions, escape from tons of scary and hard situations and still be strong. At one intense scene I realized I was gripping my book so hard the page was crinkling.
Very satisfying ending to an intense and unique series. Well done, James.
So I thought I was done then come to find out there is a prequel! What?? *Sigh* And it sounds really good too.

The cover
It's over
Not near as much death
The ending!
The sweet romance

Some convenient ways to get out of trouble
Waiting to be tricked by WICKED
No one noticing main bad guy had the Flare
Going to..wait, I can't tell you. It's a spoiler.

Rating: PG 14
V: Yes
L: Made up swear words
S: No


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Olivia by Julie Wright

The Robbins household looks perfect from the outside: no dust, no stains, no wrinkles. Yet a glimpse into its heart reveals no laughter, no closeness, no joy. Olivia thinks that if she keeps everything tidy and serves delicious meals on time, family life is bound to get better. But when her husband, Nick, misses their anniversary, she realizes no amount of domestic success will compensate for failure in their marriage, or for her own failure to develop her identity, always busy as a mother, wife, and neighbor, she has forgotten how to be a unique and vibrant individual. Determined to make a change, Olivia joins a local book club, where she nurtures new friendships and explores new ideas. But her growing confidence falters when Nick declares his independence, and while her new friends lovingly encircle her with support, only Olivia can reach into the depths of her fledgling self to find the faith, hope, and love her troubled family needs.

First line:
"He wasn't coming home."

First thing I have to say is how brilliant four author friends are to create The Newport Ladies Book Club! I'm looking forward to reading each book from four different ladies/perspectives/characters.

Olivia is the first book of the series and is written by Julie Wright.
Poor Olivia Robbins! Life is not what it looks like in her home. Her husband works more and more away from home; the children feel his absence; and Olivia cleans.
When he ditches her on their anniversary night, she realizes something or someone (mostly her husband, right??) need to change. While out walking off her anger she comes across a flyer beckoning her to take it. A book club is just what she needs to reconnect with other women after giving so much of herself to others.
At the club she meets other women who look put together on the outside, but like her, are having personal troubles. And as she reaches out to others, Olivia learns she can stand on her own and do good in her family.
In the beginning, Olivia was driving me crazy blaming all the problems on her absent husband. Seriously, like 70 pages of whining. A few chapters later I realized why Julie was writing the beginning that way. Olivia started realizing maybe she had contributed to the situation as well.
I hoped the couple would stay together and work out their marriage. This story might feel like true life as other women feel like Olivia.
I loved how Olivia reached out to her husband's two children from a previous marriage. She learns that when you reach outside yourself you are truly blessed. Olivia doesn't stand by anymore, hoping not to offend her husband. She takes steps to be a better person/mother/wife.
I enjoyed the books the book club picked and their discussion. This book made me want to start a book club!
This book kind of reminded of Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon (who is another contributor to this series).
I look forward to reading about the other ladies from the book club!

Olivia's growth
Books chosen by book club

Olivia's whining
Couldn't read fast enough!

Rating: PG
L: No
S: No
V: No


Here is the link to their website!

The Newport Ladies Book Club

How does this series work anyhow?? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Author Interview with Carolyn Frank

Welcome Carolyn Frank today and her new release PROMISES!


Tell us in one sentence about your book.
It’s about a timid girl growing up next to Bryce Canyon 100 years ago, who learns there’s a difference between complaining and standing up for herself.
Sounds interesting!

What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve liked to write since I was a kid, but I buried my desire when I had an overly critical teacher in college. But six years ago I read a book about a woman who went through a mid-life crisis and had an affair with a monk. The story bothered me so much it made me think, “I can write something better than this.” The next day I decided to write a novel, and I began the process. What kept me going was the desire to produce uplifting literature and provide a wholesome choice for readers, especially children.
I'm glad you're writing better stuff than a mid-life crisis affair! 
Any other books in the works?
*Another historical fiction is scheduled for publication in early 2014 with Covenant Communications. It’s about a Mormon boy who was a Hitler Youth against his will.
* An upper middle grade speculative/historical fiction is finished and is in the final stages of editing.  It’s about a boy who travels through books by means of a Literary Loom to aid him in his school assignments, experiencing the lives of historical greats like George Washington and William Tyndale while learning about freedom and God’s hand in the shaping of America.  
* A YA dystopic/speculative fiction entitled Bonded is finished and is in the early stages of revision. It’s set in a future time when the U.S. no longer exists as we know it, and slavery has returned. It deals with a young slave girl’s quest for freedom as she discovers the mysteries of the past.
* A middle-grade science fiction novel is half-way written. It is entitled Tree Boy, and it’s like a Superman meets Spiderman, meets the Ents (tree people) from the Lord of the Rings. (I got my degree in botany—what can I say?)
Um, you're busy, Carolyn!

What are your future writing goals?
To write until I am too senile to write anymore.

Are you a night owl or early bird?
Definitely an early bird.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Near my family. (I just wished they lived in Star Valley, Wyoming so I could move up to our cabin and live there amongst the aspen, fresh air, and un-crowded streets).
*sigh* Sounds nice.

Favorite season?
Spring. I love to see my perennials poke their heads out of the dead foliage of winter.
I just found a little, purple crocus popping up in my yard the other day!

What is the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
I love the quote by William Shedd, (I don’t even know who he is, but the quote was on a calendar I got from my insurance agent over ten years ago).
“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were made for.”
 I've never heard that one. Nice!

What advice do you have for an aspiring writer?
Believe you can do it, be prepared for a lot of work, and don’t give up—and you’ll get published.
 You're a great example, Carolyn! Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Witch Song by Amber Argyle

The world is changing.
Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons, but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor.
All but Brusenna.
Now the traitor is coming for Brusenna, and even her guardian can't protect her. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her.
If Brusenna fails, there won't be anything left to save.
Look for the sequel, Witch Born, coming May 2012.

First Line:
"Brusenna's straw-colored hair felt as hot as a sun-baked rock."

Don't you LOVE the cover? I think it's beautiful.

The first bit of the book was hard to read due to how Brusenna was treated by the villagers. Her mother has kept her hidden because they are both witches but also because there is a war going on.
Witches are not the Halloween type we're all use to. Ms. Argyle gives witches a new, good twist. I love that they sing their spells.
Brusenna grows from mouse into woman through the book.
The story is full of great characters and I really liked Bruke, the dog :)
Romance, action and paranormal story all in one book.

Rating: PG
L: No
V: No
S: No


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BOUND by C.K. Bryant

When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love.

First Line:
"Kira glanced up at the silver eye hook screwed into the gym ceiling."

 Interesting story with tough characters.
The story starts out in a high school gym and ends with a lot of fantasy and a stronger main character who is in all sorts of trouble and fights.
The action is fast, the plot twisting and characters always fighting for their lives.
I admit, some parts I skimmed because my brain couldn't take in any more action. 


Not all the trilogy out yet
Boy who can't control anger
Too much action, not much down time

Rated: PG 16
S: No
V: fighting, torture
L: some


Friday, March 9, 2012

SILENCE (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

 Fitzpatrick delivers the breathtaking conclusion to the "New York Times"-bestselling Hush, Hush saga. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in each other, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for--and their love--forever.

First line (prologue):
"The sleel black Audi rolled to a stop in the parking lot overlooking the cemetery, but none of the three men inside had any intention of paying respects to the dead."

Ms. Fitzpatrick has a way of rachetting up tension and giving us reasons to invest in the characters.
While I enjoyed the romance I was a little disappointed that the two main love interests got back into each other so quickly.
I keep getting confused with the different degrees of angels and bad guys. The author attempted to help me understand better throughout the book.
This was a quick read.

Rated: PG 14
S: make outs, kissing
V: fights
L: A few words


Monday, March 5, 2012

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks.  But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.

Enjoyed this book and recommend it to moms and their daughters!
How would you feel if you found out you're really not a princess and the king and queen aren't your parents? That's what happened Nalia/Sinda. Poor girl's world is sent spinning when she's sent from teh castle to live with a peasant aunt. But if she hadn't been sent away she would never have learned about her gifts. The gifts that can save the kingdom.


I couldn't figure out the twists!
Loose ends

Rated: PG
V: No
L: No
S: No


Loved this line:
"He watches you, Sinda. Like you're his best treasure, only he can't think of a way to slip you into his pocket."