Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl Review

Hey readers! Happy Tuesday to you all! I have a real awesome review post for you here today. I will be reviewing the first book in the spin off series to one of my favorite series of all time: Beautiful Creatures. Today, I will be talking about Dangerous Creatures by Kami Gracia and Margaret Stohl! Before I get down to the brass tax, here's some info about the book and each of our authors!

A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.

Now here's a little bit about our authors:

Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION (coming October 1, 2013.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Follow Kami Garcia by clicking the following links:  
*Facebook*     *Twitter*     *Goodreads* *Kami's Website*

Margaret Stohl

Writing has gotten me in and out of trouble since I was 15 (back then, mostly just in trouble.) For 10 years, I designed &/or wrote for lots of video games, one of which was nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design,” but I lost to a rapping onion. If you know games you get why my two bad beagles are named Zelda and Kirby.

School: I spent more years in it than a person ever should, because let’s face it, reading books is so much better than having a job. I fell in love with American literature at Amherst and Yale, earned an MA in English from Stanford, and studied creative writing under the late great poet George MacBeth at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I taught Intro to Film as a TA at Yale and Romantic Poetry as a TA at Stanford. Don’t tell the people at Yale but sometimes I taught the section before I’d seen the movie it was about...

I live in Santa Monica, CA, with my family, most of whom were enslaved into working with me in one form or another on my first YA book for Little, Brown. I’m not kidding; when my daughters wanted to go to school I said “Why are you so selfish? Get back in there and edit,” and by said I mean yelled and maybe threw things, it’s all a haze. Now the Beautiful series has wrapped, but you can see the movie on February 13, 2013 or read my new book ICONS on May 7th. Nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

Follow Margaret Stohl by clicking the following links:  
*Facebook*     *Twitter*     *Goodreads* *Margaret's Website*

Side note for a second. As usual, I try to throw these in here when I can. Last year I got to meet Margaret when she came to Springfield, Missouri for an author event. It was an awesome experience to get to hear her speak as well as personally meet her where she remembered me from our Twitter conversations! It was awesome. She was the very first author I connected with, long before this blog became a thing! Here's a pic of me meeting Margaret Stohl!

My Thoughts

As any of my book friends will tell you, I was a HUGE advocate for Beautiful Creatures. Anyone who knows me knows two things about me. First, I love everything about the American South. The history, lifestyle, the culture: it's home to me so I love anything that has to do with it. Secondly, when it comes to paranormal stuff, Witches are my thing. I love magic, can't ever read enough about it. Beautiful Creatures was the perfect series for me, it encompassed EVERYTHING I love in one 4 novel series. You can only imagine how excited I was when I discovered that a spin-off series was in the works!

So far as the novel itself, I will start out with my very few criticisms before I love on to the awesome parts of it. My biggest criticism was that this book was really nothing like the Beautiful Creatures series, but not in a bad way. Dangerous Creatures takes place in a whole different world than it's predecessor. New York City. It's loud, it's dangerous, it's new, flashy, and full of excitement. Nothing like Gatlin, South Carolina. I guess I was just so used to the setting of the first series that it was really hard for me to adjust to Caster life in the big city. At times it felt overwhelming, much like NYC really can be to a small-town nobody, I am sure. Whereas the first series had to develop the entire Caster world, this one jumped right in with little to no description of the Caster world. Usually I would have really liked that, but I feel like it could have been off putting for someone who hadn't read Beautiful Creatures. Even I, as someone who read and loved the BC, series, was a little lost about some things, seeing as it has been over a year since I was inside the Caster world.

Now I realize I shouldn't be comparing the two series, but it is really difficult not to.

Onto more exciting and positive things: the characters. From the very beginning, when we first meet Wesley Lincoln, I was a fan. He has always been a favorite character of mine, while Ridley Duchannes was always kind of "meh". Link has always been a fun, determined, best-friend kind of character that I always really appreciated. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I have always seen Ridley as a brat and never really liked her, even after she became a big part of the BC series. Funny enough, this novel turned that on it's head. By the time the ending came, Ridley was my favorite character and I was completely fed up with the antics of Link. I am beginning to wonder if that was the point! I would have never expected that my views on the Rid-Link relationship would have changed, but in comes Lennox Gates and blew my thought process right out of the water. All I am going to say, without giving spoilers is that I am not Team Rid-Nox! Secondary characters such as Necro (a Necromancer), Floyd (an Illusionist), and Sampson (a Darkborn) really added to the story in ways I wouldn't have imagined! I really liked that this novel didn't have SUCH a large cast of characters, making it much more intimate and easier to keep up with.

Lots and lots of reviews I have read are ripping this story a new one and downing it because of the "cliff-hanger" ending. I, on the other hand, loved it! It definitely makes me want more! I know this is the first book in a planned series, but I cannot find any information about the next books! I will be sure to update and keep you guys in the loop as soon as I learn more!

All-in-all, this book is a must read for any fans of the Beautiful Creatures series. Kami and Margaret have done it again with their rare brand of storytelling: the drama, the darkness, the laughs and the excitement that only the story of a Siren and a "one-quarter Incubus/Mortal-Hybrid" can bring! I am anxiously awaiting book two!

Also of importance to point out to you guys is that there is a prequel out to Dangerous Creatures that sets the scene for the novel. I actually didn't know about the novella-prequel until after I finished DC, so going back and reading it helped out a whole bunch! At just shy of 50 pages, you'll have it read in no time. Here's the cover and synopsis for it!

Catch up with Ethan, Lena, and Link as they finally graduate from high school and get ready to leave the small Southern town of Gatlin. But when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance, the sometime bad girl can't resist picking a fight with her sometime boyfriend, Link. Angry and rebellious as ever, Ridley ends up alone in New York City and becomes entangled in the dangerous underground Caster club scene, where the stakes are high and losers pay the ultimate price.

Where's a Linkubus when you need him

Now for something really exciting. I was doing my rounds and came across this Hypable article where Kami and Margaret released a deleted scene from Dangerous Creatures which features more about some of our favorite characters from Beautiful Creatures, Lena Duchannes and Ethan Wate (Ethan was named after me, didn't ya know? Kidding, kidding... A guy can wish right?) Here's the link to the article with the deleted chapter!

*Click here for a Dangerous Creatures deleted scene* 

Now that you know all about the Dangerous Creatures, the novella, and the awesome authors, check out these graphics I made to promote Dangerous Creatures!

Alright guys, now that you've read all about Dangerous Creatures, you probably want to know where you can get your hands on a copy for yourself! As of right now the book is available in both ebook and print format! Here's a promo graphic for where you can get your copy of Dangerous Creatures today! Feel free to share/use this graphic! 

Are you ready for more? Head over to the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links below to order your copy of Dangerous Creatures today! 
Alright guys, that's all I have for you on the topic of Dangerous Creatures by the amazing duo of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl! I would really love to hear from anyone who reads this incredible novel so we can talk all about it! After you read it be sure to review it on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Review always are huge helps to authors. Recommend this to friends, they won't be disappointed! Until next time, Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Descent by Kallie Ross Review

Hello and Happy Saturday to all my awesome readers. Congratulations on making it through yet another week. Also, to note, today is the first day of summer. Notice no explanation mark there, I'm not a fan of summertime. Yesterday I had the great honor to attend UtopYAcon and the Friday Evening Fan Invasion where I met and mingled with some of the biggest and up-and-coming names in Young Adult literature. As you guys have no doubt figured out, I love YA fiction and fantasy so this was right up my alley. 

Among the many other amazing authors I met, I also was finally introduced to the amazing Kallie Ross, author of Descent. Sound familiar? Last week I participated in Kallie's release day launch for Descent, but hadn't had the time to finish it up for myself. Check out the release day launch post by clicking here! Head to that post for Descent blurbs AND to read the first five chapters for free!

Well, I come to you now having read, and been away by, Descent, ready to share my thoughts with you all. Before we start, here's some info about Descent, and our author, Kallie Ross.

Over time my love for learning gravitated toward studying conspiracy theories and contradictions in our culture. My conclusions have ignited a passion to write compelling young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction.

I love being a wife, mother, friend, writer, and teacher. I began teaching high school English in 2002 and started blogging and podcasting in 2008. I have a brilliant husband, two redheads, and never imagined my life would ever be this fun!

  Find Kallie Ross

Now check out the official synopsis, cover, and links for Descent!

Seventeen year old Ollie Miller is ready to leave all of her hurt feelings behind, but moving on seems impossible while living next door to her ex-best friend, Mateo. When curious earthquakes begin to shake and rip open the foundation of her small town, the ground becomes as unsteady as her feelings for him. When they fall, they fall hard…

Ollie’s disastrous attempt to save Mateo’s brother from falling into a curious chasm results in their descent into a cavernous wonderland. Ollie, Mateo, Jesse, and Alexis search for a way back home, and encounter a mysterious tribe of natives. Gabriel, the next in line to lead his people, is granted permission to guide them to the surface. On their treacherous journey, an overzealous elder threatens all of their lives, because he can’t risk them exposing his people, or the power he wields. The group discovers ancient secrets, unexpected truths, and uncharted feelings. Ollie must find a way out or risk being stuck in the caves forever—or worse, dead.

Add DESCENT on Goodreads and Facebook!

My Thoughts on Descent

I read a lot. A whole lot. And I mean A LOT. Time after time I start a novel with excitement, only to be completely disappointed by the lack of action, the absence of emotion, and the feeling that the author is unconnected with their targeted reader. Thankfully, Descent gave me NONE of those feelings. Kallie Ross has given us one of the most original and unique young adult novels I have read in quite some time. For some time now it seems readers have only had paranormal books centered around vampires, witches, and aliens (which finally seem to be making a comeback) to pick from. While these categories entertain the masses, there are always those of us who simply want more (or less, depending on how you look at it). What I always enjoy is a story I can relate to. A story that doesn't constantly scream "this is not real". Descent is not something you will be screaming about (except that it's awesome). With some mystical and supernatural elements, Descent reads well and easy, without being overbearing and too fantastical in nature.

The novel has a great cast of characters. Plain, everyday, run of the mill teenagers with real problems and real emotions. Ollie, our main character has just returned home after studying away in Uruguay only to discover that her social life is a mess. Her best friend, next door neighbor, and love interest Mateo didn't take her departure well and their friendship is on the rocks. Mateo's younger brother Jesse along with Alexis (another couple with a past) are pulled along on Ollie and Mateo's unexpected journey deep below the Earth's surface. Upon meeting the underground race and the society of people who live there, we are introduced to our last MC's, siblings Keren and Gabriel (not Gabe, Gabriel).

At it's core Descent is so much more than just a young adult fantasy novel. I would place it under Adventure Fantasy, the very best kind. Like any good adventure novel, Descent is full of action! From giant dinosaur-like lizards to the mysteries of the "noor", Kallie Ross keeps the reader pulled in and begging for more! 

The only negative thing I can say for this novel is that it was a little hard for me to get into at the beginning, but clocking in at just shy of 200 pages, I caught on quick. The beginnings of novels are always both the hardest to write (so I've heard) and to read, but you have to have them! 

I recommend Descent to any readers, particularly those with interests in paranormal fiction, adventure novels, fantasy, and even YA romance! While the story in Descent does not focus around Ollie's romance life, it does play an interesting role in the story. As you guys have all heard before, I'm not the biggest romance fan, but I'm totally okay with there being A ROMANCE as long as it helps to build up the story! 

All-in-all a highly recommended quick read! 

Check out these graphic made by yours truly for Descent!

As I mentioned earlier, I attended UtopYAcon in Nashville, Tennessee yesterday where I met Mrs. Kallie Ross and was able to talk all things Descent with her! I won't give away any of the specifics she told me, but I can say that book 2 is already in the works as well as several other fantasy novels! After reading Descent and meeting Kallie in person, I know that I will be reading everything she puts out! She was such an awesome lady and so down to earth, meeting her was a real treat. I was able to acquire some signed Kallie swag as well for later giveaways so be on the look out for that. Here's a pic with me and Kallie last night at UtopYAcon!

Alright guys, now that you've read all about Descent, you probably want to know where you can get your hands on a copy for yourself! As of right now the book is only available in ebook format, but the print version may be in the works soon! Here's a promo graphic for where you can get your ecopy of Descent today! Feel free to share/use this graphic! 


Add DESCENT on Goodreads and Facebook!

Are you ready for more? Head over to the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links below to order your copy of Descent today! 
Alright guys, that's all I have for you on the topic of Descent by Kallie Ross! I would really love to hear from anyone who reads this incredible novel so we can talk all about it! After you read it be sure to review it on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Review always are huge helps to authors. Recommend this to friends, they won't be disappointed! Until next time, Happy Reading!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine Release Day Launch + GIVEAWAY!

A little while back, I was approached by the amazing team at InkSlinger about a new novel written by a good friend of mine and one of my favorite authors, Mrs. Chelsea Fine. The new release Perfect Kind of Trouble, releases today! I was supplied an Advanced Reader Copy a few weeks ago and have already had the pleasure to read this awesome second novel in Chelsea's Finding Fate series and was very impressed. Without farther adieu, here's my release day post for Chelsea Fine's Perfect Kind of Trouble.

In case that awesome Release Day banner didn't catch your eye, here's the cover and the official synopsis!

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . . 

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.

Kind of an awesome synopsis huh? Well, I do have to say it was a pretty awesome read. Remember folks, this is the second book in Chelsea's Finding Fate series, however it can be read as a standalone novel. There is very little overlap between any characters. Not having read book one, Best Kind of Broken, will not hinder you from reading this one, although I highly recommend that you do check it out. BKoB is probably one of the best New Adults reads I have ever read. In fact you can check out my post about BKoB here http://oneguysguidetogoodreads.blogspot.com/2014/04/best-kind-of-broken-by-chelsea-fine.html!

In case you have been living under a rock and are new to OneGuysGuideToGoodReads and don't know of Chelsea Fine or my love for her, here is some information about the amazing Chelsea:

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4984399.Chelsea_Fine

Also, just a side note. Chelsea is also the author of one of my all time favorite YA series ever, The Archers of Avalon. I read Archers some time ago and it was one of the very first reviews I did on this blog, check out that post here: http://oneguysguidetogoodreads.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-archers-of-avalon.html.

Check out these AWESOME PKoT graphics courtesy of Amber at GrownupFangirl!


Itching to know more about Perfect Kind of Trouble? Check out this official excerpt from the novel:

Still handcuffed together, we carefully maneuver our linked wrists and open the old train door. Inside, the boxcar is completely empty except for a single, folded piece of paper.
I scowl. Will this scavenger hunt for money ever end?
“What do you suppose it is?” Daren nods at the piece of paper in the back of the train car.
“A check for a million dollars?” I say hopefully.
The only way to reach the paper is to climb inside. Which won’t be easy since my chest barely reaches the bottom of the train car and we can’t climb in one at a time because, you know, we’re attached to one another.
I frown. “How do you want to do this?”
Daren scratches his jaw. “I’ll hoist you inside first then I’ll jump in. Come here.” He turns me around to face him and I step into the circle of his arms.
The summer sun burns down on us. I stare at his chest where his T-shirt pulls tight against the hard muscles of his pecs and a trickle of sweat slowly slides down the back of my neck.
The corded muscles of his neck ripple as he turns his head. “Hold on to my wrists. Then I’ll lift you up.”
He places his big hands on my waist and his thumbs slide under my shirt, grazing the bare skin of my stomach. A warm zing shoots down my belly.
I snap my eyes to him. “Did you do that on purpose?”
“Do what?” His expression is neutral but there’s a glimmer in his eye.
I eye him shrewdly as I wrap my hands around his wrists.
He glides the pads of his thumbs over my stomach again and another, more powerful, zing darts straight down my belly and between my legs as I suck in a breath.
“Cut it out,” I say.
“Cut what out?” His eyes dance with amusement.
“You know what.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” A mischievous grin spreads across his face and I can’t stop the smile that starts to play at my own lips.
His eyes lock on mine and the twitching low in my belly starts up again. Then his gaze drops to my mouth and hunger lights his eyes.
I absently part my lips, my thoughts suddenly hazy.
Leaning in, he whispers, “Now do you want to kiss again?”
His words flutter over my ear like soft, warm butterflies beating their wings against my sensitive skin and a shiver runs through me.
The answer is yes. I do want to kiss him again. It felt so good to have his mouth on mine last night. To feel him up against me.
But I don’t answer.
He brushes his thumbs over the naked skin of my belly again, but this time dips them inside the waistband of my skirt and skims the lacey top of my panties.
I inhale sharply, tightening my fingers around his wrists as my nipples harden and heat builds in my core. I rub my thighs together, trying to alleviate the ache slowly building between my legs but it’s no use. I’m already a tight puddle of need.
How come this beautiful man can make me melt with just a simple touch? And how come it’s always so difficult for me to snap out of his sexy gaze?
I blink away from Daren’s pretty brown eyes and playfully whisper, “No,” before shifting back a few inches.
His eyelids, heavy with desire, open fully as he scans my face and throat with a smile. “Liar.”
I smile back, grateful he doesn’t try to convince me otherwise. I’d no doubt give in if he did. Because Daren affects me.
Every other guy on the planet is just that: a guy.
But Daren is a force. And I am a feather.

Now I know by now you are all kinds of excited about where you can get your copy of Chelsea's Perfect Kind of Trouble and I am here to help! Below you will find the buy links from multiple retailers! Check them out!

And don’t miss Book 1 in the Finding Fate Series…

Alright everyone, you know we always have some great giveaways for ya'll, but this one is specifically for the ladies. Chelsea is known for being all about fashion (I guess? Lol.) and has decided to give away a special pair of heels. Check out the giveaway below!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alright, I hope everyone has gotten familiar with Chelsea and is excited about Perfect Kind of Trouble! Book three in the series will come out in a few months so be on the look out for more info about that as well. Also, I will probably be doing a separate review post for PKoT later on with my own giveaway of some Chelsea swag so be on that look out for that as well! I do want to say something pertaining to this novel though. I know I told you guys before that I was going to be cutting back on the romance novels, and I really have. I have really focused on some YA paranormals and a few historical fictions as of late, but I have to defend myself and say that I don't care what the subject matter is: if one of my friends or a favorite author of mine has written it, I will be writing about it! Just wanted to give you guys a heads up. I am still cutting back on the genre as a whole, but I will be making exceptions. Especially considering this book was SO AMAZING. Even as a guy, I was very impressed with the way Chelsea handled the situations in this novel! With that being said, I hope you guys follow the links above to check out everything about the book! Order it, let me know what you think, and enter that giveaway!

Just want to give a shout out to the amazing team over at InkSlingerPR for allowing me to be a part of this release day launch. They really are awesome! Thanks KP and the team!

Lastly, I will be meeting Chelsea for the first time this coming Friday evening in Nashville, Tennessee at UtopYAcon! Head to http://utopyacon.com/fridayeveningfaninvasion/ to learn all about the Friday Evening Fan Invasion, I hope to see you there!

Be sure to check out OneGuysGuideToGoodReads at our brand new Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/OneGuysGuideToGoodReads

Until next time, Happy Reading!