Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: ARC of Sacrifice (Crave #2) by Laura Burns and Melinda Metz

Title: Sacrifice (Crave #2)
Authors: Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
Release Date: September 20th 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: ARC egalley from Simon & Schuster
Kindle edition: not lendable


My Review for Crave can be found HERE

Goodreads Description:
Gabriel and Shay are convinced that they can make their relationship work. Knowing that Shay is half-vampire, Gabriel thinks that his coven will embrace her as one of their own, but instead they view her as an abomination, a thing that doesn’t belong in either world. And they want her dead. Now Gabriel must make the ultimate decision - watch his love be killed by his coven or defy the people closest to him, the people he has spent centuries with to save her.





Sacrifice starts where Crave left off.  Gabriel had brought Shay to his family and they don't welcome her into the family at all.  They see her as an abomination.  In his family's minds, they shouldn't exist and with Gabriel bringing Shay, that posed a threat of humans finding out about their existence. 

Shay is immediately taken in as a prisoner.  Being half-vampire, Shay won't survive in there without Gabriel's vampire blood.  She's weak and her hands are tied up.  Millie, Gabriel's sister vampire, comes in and unties her hands and then leaves to grab Shay a bottle of water.  While Millie is away, Shay finds her cell phone in her pocket and dials her best friend, Olivia.  She can't tell Olivia where she is or who she's with because she doesn't want to expose the vampires - not to mention that no one would believe her anyway and if they did come to rescue her, they might end up getting killed.  Little does she know, her cell phone is being tracked by Martin and he is gonna show up and cause trouble very soon.

As soon as I saw Sacrifice in my email, I knew right then that I was abandoning all my current reads to start Sacrifice.  I have been dying to read the sequel for almost a year.  Let me say this- I was not disappointed.

I love the way the authors switch between the viewpoints of Shay and Gabriel.  It makes it so much easier to understand what they are really feeling and what they are experiencing while they are apart from each other.  When they finally have the chance to be together, Shay finds out Gabriel's secret and leaves him.  The alternate views help the reader to really understand what is going through her thoughts and why she does what she does.  I, personally, don't agree with her decision though. I would have stayed with him after I found out the truth and would have forgave him instantly. 

The twists and turns throughout the story are unexpected.  I kept finding myself saying "What? You can't be serious!" and "Really?" every time something new came up.  You have to expect the unexpected in this story.

This is the type of book that you read in one day.  The action never stops and flows easily throughout the entire story. I was like a moth to a flame when it came to this book.  I picked it up at every free minute I had. I even stayed up till almost 2am to finish it, knowing I had to get up at 6am.  It was totally worth it!  I love this series.  I can't say enough great things about it.  Not only are the covers striking, but the plots are amazing, the emotions are intense, and the characters are inspirational.  Sacrifice doesn't leave us on a major cliffhanger so we're not left with questions at the end, but it was left with a possible opening for a third book.  If there is, I can't wait to read it!
4 1/2 Stars

Monday, July 11, 2011

New YA Releases this Week - July 11th

I just wanted to let y'all know about some of the new releases that come out this week.  There are so many amazing titles coming out that I was having trouble keeping track of them all.  Well, this is my list and I hope that you find something that you were waiting for!


Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
 
Bad Taste in BoysSomeone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!




She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.
 
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
 
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater


then.

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

now.


That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.


forever.


Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.


Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore 


Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.







Starstruck by Cyn Balog

  Gwendolyn "Dough" X doesn't think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don't seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or "Wish." He moved away to California three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her via e-mail, and he's been her long-distance BF ever since.


At the beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he's moving back to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70 pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she'll be headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays their meeting as long as she possibly can.

But when she sees Wish at school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she's just as gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced that there's more to Wish's good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on Wish's neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish and Dough's love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?




Undercurrent (Siren Trilogy, #2) After losing her sister and finding out who- or what- she really is, Vanessa returns home for her senior year. Everyone at Hawthorne Prep has questions about her tragic summer, but knowing who to open up to is impossible. As she walks the halls without Justine for the very first time, Vanessa has more to worry about than just making a new life for herself.


Because the sirens are out for revenge. To protect herself and the ones she loves, Vanessa must call on powers she believes she has but does not know how to use. To learn, she'll have to seek help from the only person who truly knows her. But first, she must admit the truth about her real identity.

Wildcat Fireflies: A Meridian Novel (Fensestra #2)  by Amber Kizer


Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti



Having recently lost her beloved Auntie—the woman who showed her what it meant to be a Fenestra—Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible and loving teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Surrounded by death, Juliet struggles to make a loving home for the younger kids, and to protect them from the violent whims of their foster mother. But she is struggling against forces she can't understand . . . and even as she feels a pull toward the dying, their sickness seems to infect her, weighing her down. . . .


Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? And will Meri and Tens' own romance weather the storms of new discoveries
 
Dragon's Oath (House of Night Novellas, #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
 
The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon's Oath tells the story behind the House of Night s formidable fencing instructor the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him.



With almost 12 million books in print, the House of Night is an international publishing phenomenon that shows no sign of stopping! Now, for the first time, the Cast duo will share the back stories of some of the House of Night's most crucial and mysterious characters. And it all begins with Dragon s Oath. Before Zoey is Marked and arrives at the House of Night before she rises in power to confront utter darkness, and the House of Night is divided there's Dragon, and the dark choice that won t let him go.


Long before he's a professor at the House of Night with Zoey and the gang, in the early 19th century, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome, yet talented human teen. He thinks he can get away with anything until his father, a British nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon and a new fate.


In 1830's St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are dangerous challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off this new darkness, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her or destroy them all?

Once Every Never by Leslie Livingston


Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.


Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.


This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.

Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia



Dreams of Significant GirlsBrought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into each other's lives when they become roommates.


This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the year apart, but the summers together. Through navigating the social-cultural shoals of the school, developing their adolescence, and learning the confusing and conflicting legacies of their families' past, Shirin, Ingrid, and Vivien form an unbreakable bond.


This story takes readers on a journey into the lives of very different girls and the bonds that keep them friends.

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt


Sometimes It Happens
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.



The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...


There are so many to choose from.  Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you picked up:)   Happy Reading!!



Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: Shimmerspell (book 1) & Limerick (book 2) by Kimberly Spencer

Author: Kimberly Spencer
Release Date: April 8th 2011
Publisher: Enchanted Apple Publishing
Source: ebook copies from the author (Thanks Kimberly!!)
Kindle edition is now free on Amazon.


Goodreads Description:

When sixteen-year-old Jensen Meadows finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient faerie war, she soon learns that faeries aren't made of sparkly goodness. They're vicious. And worse, they're after her. With the help of Liam Casey, she delves into their world to find her missing sister and begins to suspect that her whole life has been nothing more than a faerie tale.


But maybe some truths should never be revealed...

My Thoughts on Shimmerspell:

Jensen's life is one big lie and she's about to learn the truth.

Jensen moves around a lot going from school to school since her sister, Lauren, is a con artist and also the one that is responsible for taking care of her.  They are constantly on the move so they don't get caught.  When Jensen makes friends with Zoe at her new school, she realizes that she doesn't want to leave when Lauren tells her that it's time to pack up and move again.  While at school, Jensen is trying to break into a classmate's locker and she starts feeling dizzy and starts seeing things in a whole new way.  She sees Liam, the hottest guy in her school, standing next to her but with her new sight, she notices that he has wings.  Jensen has no idea what is going on, who or what she really is, and that her life is about to change forever.  No one is who they claim to be and she has to figure out who she can trust or she could end up a dead girl walking.

This was a quick read for me.  I, at times, get a bit bored while reading short stories cause they tend to be rushed and leave out a lot of details, but this one had my attention the entire time.  I didn't feel like I was missing parts of the story or what was going on and I like that about Kimberly's writing.  I was never bored reading this story for it was fast paced, and something was always going on. 

The characters are really unique also.  We are introduced to a siren, banshees, elves, leprechauns, and merpeople.  The writing flowed easily while we the readers get a vivid picture in our heads of what's happening from Kimberly's descriptive wording.

When we think of faeries, most of us think of something that is cute and sweet like Tinkerbell.  Well, Kimberly shows us that faeries aren't at all like the cute little pixies we've come to know growing up, but mean and horrible creatures.

So overall, I totally recommend this book.  Once you start it, you'll be pulled into Jensen's mind and when it's over, you'll be begging for the sequel right away.  My only complaint is that I'd have liked a little more romance between Jensen and Liam, so I am hoping that progresses in the books to follow.  It's a unique twist on faeries with a bunch of betrayal, light humor, and even romance.  The twists at the end will leave you wanting more.

4 Stars


Title: Limerick: A Faerie Tale Girl Novella #2
Author: Kimberly Spencer
Release Date: June 30th 2011
Kindle edition is only .99


Jensen hoped she’d never need Shimmerspell again, but now someone is stalking her, someone who claims to be the Lady of the Lake. To make matters worse, witches and dragons have come out to play. And Jensen must figure out how to harness her power and accept her destiny before she ends up losing everyone she loves.



My Thoughts on Limerick:

Limerick continues with Jensen, Zoe, Liam and others from the first title.  Jensen finds out more about herself and her friends.  She and Liam are together until she catches him with his ex, Shelby, and it devastates her.  We are introduced to dragons in the second installment and Jensen's secret is revealed to Zoe when she can't control her glamour and her faerie side shows who she really is.  How will Zoe react when she finds out and what will Jensen do when Zoe reveals a secret about herself?  

Limerick is just as good as Shimmerspell is.  I really dislike writing reviews on sequels cause I am always afraid that I might ruin something for someone, so I am just gonna say that it was really good also.   I like when Jensen is trying to control her new powers and starts using water to do it.  Zoe seems like a really great friend for Jensen too.  I love that she is there for Jensen when Lauren is no where to be found and she has to live with Dermott.  I dislike that he won't let her and Liam see each other though.  What gives him the right to finally come into her life and tell her that she can't see Liam.  That just seems to complicate things further for Jensen.  Her dad may be a wizard, but he was gone for 16 years of her life and I don't think that he should have a say on all the things going on in Jensen's life.  I really liked Luca, the dragon boy.  He always seemed to show up just at the right time to help Jensen. 

There is even more action and secrets revealed in the sequel so you won't be bored of this book.  Still plenty of romance, betrayal and even some dragon slaying and spell casting.  You can't go wrong with that.  Head over to Amazon or your favorite ebook seller and pick up a copy.  It is so worth it and I think that you'll agree with me that Kimberly Spencer is a new author to watch out for.  She is creative and her stories come to life as you read them.






Thursday, July 7, 2011

Starting My Nutrisystem Journey...


     I received my Nutrisystem welcome package yesterday in the mail. It included my 18 meals and a 32oz sport bottle to help track my water in take. I will be receiving 10 frozen meals as well that will arrive at a later date. The package includes a Meal Planner, an On the go meal planner and a guide for eating out. Also there is a very handy guide in the back of the meal planner that has a grocery guide. It tells you how much of each thing you can have, when adding it to your Nutrisystem meal plan. Its basically a no fail way of going about things, you don't need to question if you you get a 1/3 cup of Peaches or 1 cup of Strawberries... it is exact by the food you want to add.

     Now To The Dirty Details
     Much like most of America these days .... I have a weight problem... yes its true. I don't choose the right foods to eat and I definitely know nothing about portion control. My starting weight is 215.6 lbs and I am looking to be 150lbs. That is a total weight loss of 75lbs, something that I am very confident at achieving with the help from my friends at Nutrisystem. They have set me up with everything that I need to succeed. Which for once I am not scared of dieting! I am very excited to start on my journey with Nutrisystem and with myself.

Day #1
     Today is my first day of starting the program and as a way to kick off my diet and the road to the new me... I hit up the local Farmer's Market for some fresh produce. Here in Maine it is Strawberry season, strawberries are a bit of a weakness for me! Luckily I get to have a healthy amount of them with my breakfast.

This Morning I Had:

One Nutrisystem Cinnamon Roll (Which was so yummy!)
8oz of Yogurt
and 1 and 1/4 cups of Whole Strawberries (Delish!)

For Lunch I had
Nutrisystem Mac and Cheese (Reminds me of Kraft mmm)
1 cup of Broccoli
A Good Sized Green Salad w/ 2 Tbsp's of Fat Free Dressing
and
4oz Chocolate Mouse Yogurt (Which so good, it curbed my sweet tooth!)

     I haven't had my snack yet today or my dinner but that gives you a good idea of what kinds of foods and how much you get to eat. I am not hungry at all and the Nutrisystem food tastes nothing that that other nasty diet food. Its so good! It reminds me of something you would get in a restaurant or your local supermarket.

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting Nutrisystem.com

In accordance with the recent changes to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning The Use
Of Endorsements & Testimonials In Advertising”, SparklingReviews will be required to publicly
and clearly disclose on their blog the fact that Nutrisystem is providing their program free of charge for
SparklingReviews‘s participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program.

Nutrisystem Blogger Nation

     I was invited to be part of the Nutrisystem family for 4 great months! In this time I will be following the Nutrisystem diet and guidelines. I will be blogging about my progress along the way, so you will know if I slip up or if I don't. 
     I got to choose the food that I will be eating on the program. I also received a very nice Nutrisystem sport bottle so that I can easily track my water in take for the day. I will need to drink at least 2 32oz bottles of water every day. 
     I will follow up this post with my initial post about receiving my Nutrisystem package , My weight loss goal ect. Please join me and read about my Nurtisysem journey!
    

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting Nutrisystem.com

In accordance with the recent changes to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning The Use
Of Endorsements & Testimonials In Advertising”, SparklingReviews will be required to publicly
and clearly disclose on their blog the fact that Nutrisystem is providing their program free of charge for
SparklingReviews‘s participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program.
 
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