Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A tribute to a great author:
Miss Jane Austen

    With so many great women authors putting out books this month (Rachel Caine, Veronica Roth, Charlaine Harris, Cassandra Clare are just to name a few) I thought I would give a shout out to one of my favorites.

    This women wrote some of  the greatest books of all time. She inspired us and made us think.

   My all time favorite Miss Jane Austen:

   
Born: December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, The United Kingdom
Died: July 18, 1817

     Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

    Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about 35 years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

    Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.


Here are the books that made me want to read!:

Northanger Abbey:

    Jane Austen's first major novel was written in 1798-99, when she was in her early twenties. It is a comic love story set in Bath about a young reader who must learn how to separate fantasy from reality. Miss Austen sold the novel (then entitled Susan) to a publisher in 1803, and the work was advertised but never published. She bought it back many years later, and her brother Henry Austen published the novel as Northanger Abbey after her death in 1817.

Sense and Sensibility:

    Sense and Sensibility was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be published. She began to write it sometime around 1797, and she worked on it for many years before its publication in 1811. The title page said that it was written "By a Lady", and only her immediate family knew that Jane Austen was the author. Impetuous Marianne Dashwood tumbles into a fairytale romance that goes sour, and her practical older sister Elinor copes with the family's financial problems while hiding her own frustrated romantic hopes. The book was a success, and it even earned a profit!

Pride and Prejudice:

     Pride and Prejudice was first written in the late 1700's, then rewritten in 1811-1812 and finally published in early 1813. It is probably the most-read of all of Jane Austen's novels and is a popular favorite among many. Originally entitled First Impressions, the novel deals with the misjudgments that often occur at the beginning of an acquaintance and how those misjudgments can change as individuals learn more about each other.


Mansfield Park:
 
    Mansfield Park was written between February, 1811 and the summer of 1813. It was the third novel Jane Austen had published and it first appeared on May 4, 1814. During her lifetime, it was attributed only to "The author of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice", and the author's identity was unknown beyond her family and friends. It is Jane Austen's most complex novel and deals with many different themes, from the education of children, to the differences between appearances and reality. The version of the novel  housed here at Austen.com is slightly annotated.

    Lovers' vowels: This is the play that the Bertrams wish to enact in the first volume of Mansfield Park. In addition to the text of the play, a synopsis is provided here, as well as a short analysis explaining some of the objections to the play within the novel and a cast list.

Emma:

     Emma was written in 1814-1815, and while Jane Austen was writing it, it was suggested to her by a member of the Prince Regents' household that she dedicate it to His Royal Highness. Austen took the suggestion as it was intended--as a command--and Emma was thus dedicated, but the dedication itself is rather slyly worded. Emma deals with a young woman's maturation into adulthood and the trouble she gets herself into along the way. The version of the novel housed here at Austen.com is slightly annotated.

Persuasion:

     Persuasion was written in 1815-1816, while Jane Austen was suffering from her fatal illness. She was still working on some revisions at the time of her death in 1817. The novel was published posthumously by her brother, Henry Austen. Persuasion is a novel of second chances, expectations of society, and the constancy of love. You can also read the preface which Henry wrote telling the world of his sister's authorship, life, and untimely death.


The Jane Austen Society of North America:
    If you want to know anything about Jane Austen this is the place to find it...  http://jasna.org
   

My review:
    I have NO review because nothing I say can ever do Miss Austen justice and there are not enough stars to rate her. I can say that I have read all of her books and I loved each and every one of them.  My favorite Jane Austine novel is Mansfield Park. 
    I think it's a great shame that she had to write under the name anonymous because she was a girl. I think that her novels are some of the greatest books out there. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have the love of books that I do now.
    If you have never picked up one of her novels your missing out! Her books are (especially for her time) amazing. Her books are romantic, witty, sad, tragic, but most of all they are honest to her world as she sees it. They are truly beautiful works of art!!! 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Fifty Shades Series Review
Author: E.L. James
Fifty Shades of Grey
    When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

    The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

    Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

    Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

    Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.


Fifty Shades Darker

    Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

    But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

    While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

Fifty Shades Freed


    When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed.

    Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present.

    Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past.

    Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.


About the Author:


    E L James is a TV executive, wife and mother of two, based in West London. Since early childhood, she dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.
    E L James is currently working on her next novel...

 Where to Find More Info:

All you need to know should be on here: http://www.eljamesauthor.com/ 
Please come talk to me on twitter: @E_L_James
If you are interested in the play list from either of these books - please visit my youtube channel: 
you can also find her on facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/ELJamesAuthor

Before I Review:

    I just want to say a couple things before my review. First for all of my DHS girls out there reading this Richard never reads my blog and I really don't want him to read this one so lets keep it just between us girls okay ;) Thanks! Second I'd like to thank my BFF Shari for getting me to read these books with her and for having someone to talk to about these books with because without her i'd have no one. lylas Shari Black heart (cards) you!

My Review:


Fifty Shades of Grey:
    
    Okay WOW this book is mind blowing! Let me just say my husband is "fifty shades" in love with me because of this book *blushing but not sorry* lol. I have to say this book is HOT!!!!!  The sex scenes in this book are such a turn on that at times I just wanted to put it down and attack my husband, and a couple times I did. But I really have to say that this book is very hit and miss with me. 

    When I read a book I want to feel like I know the characters. Love them or hate them I want a clear picture of them in my head and I just didn't get that with this book. Yes when Ana describes Christian's mouth or chest ect.. I can picture that part of him but I never got a clear picture of him or her for that matter. And to be honest they really don't act their age. Come on what United States  21 year old college student drinks wine and tea and says "oh my" and doesn't even seem to know what a crack whore is. REALLY? Her mom is on her 4th husband in reality she'd be drinking an energy drinks and shots of tequila and she'd be a little more aware of the cluster fuck that is Mr. Grey.

    I gave this book 4 stars because even though I think it's full of contradictions, lack of character development, and at times kind of disturbing I still got alot out of it and I did want to read the other books in the series because I do want to know where the story goes from here. 
  
Fifty Shades Darker:

    OMG I am loving this book so much more than the first one! Fifty Shades Darker is everything I had wished Fifty Shades of Grey would have been. 

     This book has the story development that I wanted in book one. Now I'm liking Christian and Ana very much. I love their banter back and forth and I love the way they are falling in love. This book explains SOooo much that I'm starting to get a very clear picture of who Christian is. And why he is who he is.


    I love Ana's inner goddess and subconscious they are characters in their own right at times and they always make me smile. I also like Taylor and hope he is developed more in the story as it progresses. 

    I love that  Christian is willing to give up his "life style" and let his guard down for Ana. He does love her and I believe is starting to realize that with love comes change and compromise to suit the needs of the one you love instead of just thinking of your own needs with a girl your infatuated with. 

    Fifty Shades Darker is a much lighter read than the first book although it does still have it's dark moments. It also has a more of a complex story line that I find intriguing.


Fifty Shades Freed:

    I really enjoyed this book. The story line is my favorite of the three books.The characters are alot more defined and alot more likable. There are lots of things that I love about Christian and Ana in this book. Although Christian is still very controlling and still treats Ana like a child he does start to shed his demons and learns to compromise a little. And although Ana is still needy and naive she starts standing up for herself  a little more.

    Both Christian and Ana have very likable qualities they've also got a lot of things about them that made me keep them at arms length. I just couldn't get emotionally attached to these characters. But I did enjoy the story and the journey that these books took me on. I enjoyed both of their personal journeys and the way they evolved together.   

    The ending of the series was very good. When you start reading this series you have no idea where it's going to take you and I'm very pleased when I got to the end.

My Feelings in a Nutshell:

    As you can tell I have very conflicting feelings about these books. On one hand you have these two people falling in love and learning about couples life together against all odds. On the other hand you've got this guy with alot of fucked up vices and the girl who is so scared of his life style but loves him so much she becomes so needy she's begging for it.
    I wanted very much so to like these characters and as the story line got better and the characters more defined I didn't find them more interesting.  Am I glad that I read them? Yes. Would I recommend them to people? Yes. Did I swoon over Christian? No. Did I feel like this was an epic love story? No.
     

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) 
by Michelle Rowen


    I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... 
    NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

 About the Author:





    National bestselling author MICHELLE ROWEN writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy, both light and dark, sexy and sweet, long and short -- it all depends on the story! She's won a Holt Medallion for Best First Book and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Vampire Romance.

 Where to find more info:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13060609-dark-kiss
author website:  www.michellerowen.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellerowenbooks


 My review:

    I had never read any of Michelle's books before but Dark Kiss sounded really good so picked it up. I LOVED IT!! This book was so good. It is the first book in Michelle's new series entitled The Nightwatchers.

      It has everything I love about a good YA novel angels, demons, good, evil, forbidden love, dangerous love, crazy people, family grudges, family secrets and kisses to die for. It's got lots of action and alot of twists sometimes you just don't know the bad from the good guys. From the first to the last page there is something going on and I have to say if I had to go though what Sam went through I think I would have lost my self or at least my mind in the process. I love Bishop and Kraven they are opposite in every way but both likable in different ways. 

    But this is one of those kinds of books that it's really hard for me to write a review for with out giving too much away. I can say this though, I can not wait to have the whole series sitting on my book shelf one day so I can read it over and over again.  

    Dark Kiss is available in paperback on May 22, 2012 and on Kindle on June 1, 2012. The second book in the series entitled  Wicked Kiss is due out in 2013.
 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Steampunk Chronicles
by Kady Cross


 The Strange Case of Finly Jayne:

    Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined...

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.





The Girl in the Steel Corset  
    In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
    When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.   




The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

    Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "strange band of misfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade—the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves.
    One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.
From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens with supernatural abilities is on Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship.
    More than ever, Finley Jayne will rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Sam, more machine than man, finds his moody heart tested by Irish lass Emily—whose own special abilities are no match for the darkness she discovers on the streets.
    Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley Jayne must infiltrate a criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….



  About the author:
Kady Cross is a pseudonym for USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Smith. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and a pride of cats. She likes singing with Rock Band on the 360, British guys, Vietnamese food, and makeup (she’s hopelessly addicted to YouTube makeup tutorials!). When she’s not writing Kady likes to catch up on her favorite TV shows, read a good book or make her own cosmetics.

 Where to find more info: 

author website: 
goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4308706.Kady_Cross
facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateCross


My review:

    Last month I received a copy of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar from netgalley last month and was planning on purchasing The Girl in the Steel Corset to read first. i went on amazon and found out that The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (a prequel to the series) was due to come out on May 1st so I waited to start with it. I'm so glad I waited. This is a short story that gives you a real feel for who Finley is and even though it's a prequel stands very well on it's own as a well written short story.
    The Strange Case of Finley Jayne was so good I didn't put it down reading it from cover to cover in one sitting and I couldn't wait to dive into the next book.
    The Girl in the Steel Corset picks up shortly after where the prequel left off. Finley finds that her dark side just can't keep her our of trouble. I love both sides of Finley. On one side you've got the kind, loving and smart girl who just wants somewhere to fit in, in the world. On the other you have a fierce girl who isn't going to let anyone push her around. Of course being from a lower station in life standing up for yourself usually gets you into trouble. Especially when you beat the crap out of a nobleman trying to take advantage of you.
    After a that really bad experience at her last employers Finley accidentally find a place where she can belong. She's never had friends before and doesn't trust easily. Finley finds a friendship with other people who have alot in common with her. As she discovers secrets from her past she finds herself connected to Griffen, Sam, jasper and Emily in more ways than one. Finley finds herself very interested in Griffen. But she has a problem, when her dark side takes over she seeks companionship Jack Dandy an equally dark (and seedy character). For the record I LIKE Jack and the more I get to know him the more I like him. However not as much as I like Griffen.
    Then there's the big bad, a guy named "the machinist" who has been causing mischief with his rouge automatons. When Finley and her gang of misfits figure out what his end-game is they have find out a way to stop him before it's too late.
    The Girl in the Steel Corset was a great read 5 stars hands down. Great action, awesome characters and an amazing storyline. I'm so glad I got The Girl in the Clockwork Collar from netgally and didn't have to wait to start reading it.
    The book starts of right where the last one ends. Finley and her friends have to travel to America to save one of their own when Jasper has been taken by bounty hunters to face murder charges. Little does everyone know that he's in alot more trouble than any one could imagine.
    Jasper has been basically imprisoned buy Reno Dalton the leader of a bad gang Jasper had once ran with. Dalton has Mei (Jaspers one time lady love) and has fashioned with collar that gets tighter, and can kill her if Dalton sees fit. To save her Jas has to give back something that he's stolen from Dalton. To try to save Jas Finley has to join the gangs ranks and dive into New Yorks seeder side of life.
    Griffen is not happy for many reasons. Finley has put herself in a dangerous situation that could lead to the dominance of her darker nature. He has also started realizing that his feelings are not just of a friendly nature He doesn't know how to react to that especially since Finley is still trying to figure out who she is since merging her two halves  in to one whole. Then there is Jack Dandy that appeals to her darker side. All of this leaves Griffen feeling very much out of control.
    Okay enough about what happens in the books let me tell you how they made me feel.....I love Finley Jayne she's a woman that may not know herself but knows right from wrong and isn't afraid to tell it how it is! Griffen is a knight in shining armor with out the armor and always there for a friend even if it means giving his own life for the ones he loves. Sam may be a brut but he's loyal to the end. Jasper may be a cowboy but he's not an outlaw and Emily is the smartest most loyal of them all.
    These books have moved me they are not only about friendship and love they are about family with an X-men, steampuck twist. they are witty and heartfelt and I loved every bit of them. These books are at the top of my all time favorite reads list.anyone who hasn't picked them up yet are seriously missing out on an amazing series!   
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar comes out June 1st 2012.

now for the fun part:
I loved these books so much I decided to give one lucky person all three in ebook form below is a rafflecopter that will last until June first 2012 when I'll pick one person to receive one ebook of  The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, one ebook of The Girl in the Steel Corset and one ebook of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Click on "read more" for giveaway entry...
    

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hollowland (The Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking:





    "This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

    Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

 About the author:

Amanda
lives in Minnesota, and I write young adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy mostly. The My Blood Approves series is about vampires in Minneapolis, and its available now. I also wrote the Trylle Trilogy, which is a paranormal romance without vampires, shifters, mermaids, fae, angels, dragons, ghosts, or ninjas.

My latest book is Hollowland - a zombie urban fantasy set in the dystopian near future. It's a bit more violent and gritter than my other books, but there is still romance. Mostly though, Remy kicks a lot of butt.


 Where to find more info:



My review:

    * This is a young adult title with some language, violence, and mild sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up.
     Amanda does not mess around when writing a zombie book! The main character Remy is at a school safe house when it is attacked by zombies. She learns that her eight year old brother was evacuated to somewhere in the north. She basically loses everyone she knows and has to make a run for it. and that's just chapter one.
    Can I just say I think it is so cool that her main source of protection is a lioness she finds chained to a truck on the side of the road. If I were In the middle of a zombie apocalypse I definitely want a lioness who's willing to eat zombies by my side.

    You can tell that Amanda put alot of thought into this book. From every little detail she describes to every situation they come across. the characters are so well defined and their personalities so their own. It's easy to let your mind slip right into the story and get to know it on a personal level.

     Hollowland is a fast paced book with lots of action, Well duh zombies lol , but it also has very heartbreaking and even tender moments that make it a very well proportioned book.

    This is a great book for those of you who really love the post apocalyptic/dystopian and or zombie genres' as well as anyone else looking for a really good YA book to read. I would also like to mention that this is a free kindle read at amazon.com.
    
    Book # 2 in the Hollows series:


     After six months in the quarantine, Remy finds out things are much worse than she feared. Her plans to escape come with a heavy cost, and she realizes that zombies aren't the worst of her problems.