Monday, September 30, 2013

[Blog Tour] Review: Sky's End by Lesley Young

Paperback, 430 pages
July 15th 2013 by Soul Mate Publishing

A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe's future at stake. Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth's new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command's top pilots and her only family, who's been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition's fierce, and she's already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once. Even the station's most respected officer, Lt. Damian King, probably can't help Cassiel pass the second time around-so why is he so interested in her progress? If only one of her freaky deja vu visions would offer an answer instead of mysterious messages like hide. When Cassiel's manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all. Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother-even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or'ic, the cold-as-steel Thell'eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.

Source:Samantha + JKS Communications, Lesley Young

My Thoughts:

Sky’s End was atmospheric in the sense that from page one I was sucked into the semi-claustrophobic world of the military academy. There was a definite sense of progression in technology and way of living. One of the things I liked in Sky’s End was the scientific-alien-encounter-vibe that it had. The cultures that were involved in the story, going beyond humanity and including other races, was one of the things I enjoyed. Imagine studying anthropology for various alien races? It’s just so intriguing for me.

The main character, Cassiel, was an average girl with not so average problems. Her commentaries and reactions to the things that were happening around her was the main reason why I kept on reading. Although I understand that ranting about one’s problems might seem like a turn off for some readers, for the first part of the story, I think it was good, normal.

Damian King, the missing brother’s best friend, was a mystery. I can’t decide if I want him for Cassiel or not. He was the image of the protector but at the same time, there were just little things about him that made me think he wasn’t love-worthy.

Or’ic, the Thell’eon guy, was another story. His inhumanity and charm caught my attention. There’s just something about an inhuman guy who slowly, gradually learns to become more and more human. The transformation awed me. I’m particularly looking forward to what will happen in the next book because of him.

Sky’s End is an enjoyable quick futuristic read, with the metallic tang of sci-fi and a dash of romance. Though this is science fiction, I would say it was more focused on travel and alien cultures instead of the technology. If you liked Earth Girl by Janet Edwards, you might enjoy this, too.

Rating:


About the Author:

Journalist Lesley Young never thought she would delve into the world of writing fiction, but when she sat down for the first time to put pen to paper, ideas for what would become her first novel just poured out naturally. Young’s first book, “Sky’s End,” is a multi-genre tale that showcases her unique style of weaving romance, action and wit
into one page-burning story.

Young was born in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. She holds an arts degree from the University of Alberta and a journalism degree from the University of Victoria. Young now lives in Loretto, Ontario where she works as a journalist, freelance writer and editor for health, décor and business magazines. Since 2008, Young has written more than 300 articles for print and online media including Profit, Toronto Life, MSN Green, and Elle Canada among others. She is a regular contributor to Reader’s Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living and House and Home Magazine.

Young has won three gold honors for feature stories from the National Business Magazine Awards and another top media award from the Canadian Dermatology Association.

Soul Mate Publishing releases “Sky’s End” on July 15 in paperback and ebook. The novel is Young’s first installment in a series about Cassiel Winters, a futuristic heroine, and her outer space escapades.

Follow Lesley: Website | Twitter | Facebook



Monday, September 23, 2013

Feature + Giveaway: Hardcover of Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick

The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The End...is now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn't get much worse--until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue--on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won't quit--she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn't over.

The Changed are still evolving.

And...they've had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise.

Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Indiebound

If you haven't started the series, here are a few praises given to the first book of the trilogy, Ashes:

“Bick mixes apocalypse zombie fiction with dystopian political narratives and makes it into something that is a little more than the usual young adult fiction. This book will get you thinking, scare the crap out of you and have your heart-breaking all in one paragraph. DON’T MISS THIS ONE. I haven’t been this freaked out by a young adult novel in a long time.” — Parajunkee

“It will keep you reading til the wee hours of the morning, and once you get to the end you will probably re-read the last page one more time just to make it last that little bit longer (I know I did, especially with the cliff-hanger it leaves you dangling from!) I really cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy. Read it now. You won’t regret it!” — Book Monkey Scribbles

“Ashes is an action-packed, fast-paced novel full of wonderful characters, sweet romance and it’s a thrilling start to an exciting new series!” – The Moonlit Bookshelf

“As with Ms. Bick’s earlier YA horror novel, Draw the Dark, much of Ashes strength in terms of characters is with how genuine they feel and resonate, psychologically and emotionally, and this is especially true for Tom and Alex… Once again, Ms. Bick proves herself as a formidable storyteller with a gift for complex characters.” – The Book Smugglers


Giveaway

Thanks to Media Masters Publicity, one lucky reader of Fragments of Life will win a Hardcover of Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick!

Open to US residents.
*If you have a US addy, you can join as well!
Ends on October 20th.


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[Blog Tour] Review + Giveaway: Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon

Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon
Publication date: August 20th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary

Synopsis:


When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

Add this on Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Source:Magan Vernon + Giselle

My Thoughts:

The premise of Life, Love, & Lemons was similar to a few YA contemps that I've read in the past. Although the plot was nothing new, it was definitely packed in charm and humor. Magan did a good job in blending the light and heavy parts of the book. For the majority of the book, I didn't feel the heaviness of it until the last half. The humor balanced out the heaviness. Though the financial and emotional problems, as well as regrets and dark pasts, were tackled, I felt that this was still a light read.

Bentley, just like any person used to a life of luxury who was taken away from it, was dreading the small apartment, the public school and the newness of it all. Though I expected her to complain a lot and maybe even be a bitch about it, she ended up being the opposite. She was nice and considerate. I found her to be a patient girl, taking everything in and adapting to it as fast as she could. What I really liked about her was that she kept moving forward, not letting challenges and obstacles deter her. She lived one day at a time, dealing with school, work and home.

Now, moving on to Kai. He was the boy nextdoor clad in skinny jeans and the always-present eyeliner. At first, the appearance threw me off balance. I couldn't really imagine him as the love interest. But the moment he started talking, I knew he was the one. Kai was a gentleman through and through; a good boy despite the outfit. Just like Bentley, he had his own struggles in life. Seeing his vulnerable side and romantic side were two of the things that I liked most in Life, Love, & Lemons.

Kai and Bentley were an unlikely couple, the emo and the preppy girl. It's not the usual combination so they get teased a lot by their schoolmates. To make matters worse, Kai's ex-girlfriend, Brynne, was always looking for trouble (aka verbally or physically attacking Bentley). Kai and Bentley gravitated towards one another. It was just something that happened naturally. They lived close to one another, worked in the same burger joint and went to the same school. Little by little, they discovered that the emo boy wasn't actually emo by heart and that the preppy once-rich girl was not as snobbish as she was in the beginning. I liked how these two got closer with every page.

Life, Love, & Lemons is charming, cute and funny. This is the ideal one-sitting read for readers of YA contemporary. If you just want to take a break from paranormal or science fiction and want to taste reality for a few hours, I recommend Life, Love & Lemons to you.

Rating:


About the author:

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Follow Magan: Website | Goodreads |

Giveaway:


Open internationally!
Prizes: A Coach wristlet, lemon drop EOS lip balm + swag
PS: The photo is upside down for some reason when I uploaded it on Blogger. :)


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