Heading Back to Crossroads Academy

With the release of Red Dawn right around the corner, it’s high time we pay a little visit to Crossroads Academy. After all, what better way to dive back into the bloody world of vampires, betrayal, and a romance that’s heading for a smokin’ hot rating? Oh, you want more action? We’ve got that!

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the ‘best of’ the Crossroads blog tour! For those of you that are new to the series and missed the last tour, this is your chance to catch up!

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy #1)

As if high school isn’t miserable enough, try being uprooted and dropped fangs first into an uptight prep school where everyone knows your name and they’ll stop at nothing to uncover the secrets of your past.

When Katia enrolled at Crossroads Academy she knew things weren’t exactly going to be easy. The sole heir to the worlds’ most powerful vampire, her presence was bound to cause a stir. But nothing could have prepared her for this. Whispers follow everywhere she goes. So does trouble.

Bodies start turning up in nearby Rutland and Katia is sucked into a twisted web of danger and deceit. Haunted by nightmares she can’t explain and a thirst for blood that is never sated, Katia will do whatever it takes to keep her past buried.

Nothing at Crossroads is what it seems and Katia’s secrets may be the darkest of them all.

Crossroads (Crossroads Academy, #1)

Red Dawn by J.J. Bonds width=

Feature & Follow Friday #107

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #107

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

A. Hands down, my favorite assigned summer reading was ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote. Looking back, it was the start of my fascination with true crime, mysteries, and police dramas. I mostly read YA now, but I still enjoy watching these kinds of shows when I can find a few spare minutes.

And although I loved In Cold Blood, I have to be honest and say that I’m a little jealous of kids today. Rumor has it summer reading now includes The Hunger Games! How awesome is that? I can’t recall ever being *required* to read a best seller that also happened to be an international blockbuster movie. *sigh* Kids today have it so good! 😉

Red Dawn Cover Reveal

This may be a bit anti-climatic at this point since some very wonderful bloggers are blasting it all over the blogosphere, but for those of you who haven’t seen it yet…

*drumroll please*

Red Dawn (Crossroads Academy 2)

Isn’t it lovely? To die for? Completely swoonworthy? Need I go on? Can you tell that I absolutely love this beautiful cover? Once again, Rachel at Parajunkee Design has surpassed my wildest expectations!

And now that it’s out there for the entire world to see, I’m even more excited about the upcoming blog tour! Squee! *bounces up and down on big red (aka. my couch)*

Put it on your calendar because it’s going to be EPIC! The best part? Meeting new book lovers, talking about vamps, and sharing a little bit of Red Dawn with you guys! So if you haven’t had a chance to read Crossroads yet, well, you should probably get on that! 😉 Or at least enter one of my giveaways for a chance to win a copy!

Review: Fairy Metal Thunder

Title: Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic #1)

Author: JL Bryan

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Length: 194 pages

Publication Date: September 16, 2011

 Rating: 3.5/5

Description:

 A rock & roll fairy tale.

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans, no gigs, and they’re going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on their lead singer, but she doesn’t seem interested in him at all.

Then Jason steals instruments from the fairy world. Soon the band is enchanting crowds, and Jason is a step closer to the girl of his dreams, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic they can’t control.

Their shortcut to success has cost a troupe of innocent fairies their livelihood and turned Jason and his band into enemies of the powerful Queen Mab, who sends supernatural bounty hunters to track them down, including one of the most dangerous horned creatures in Faerie…a small unicorn named Buttercake.

Review:

Fairy Metal Thunder was unlike anything else I’ve read. It was light, fun and refreshing! I’ll be honest, I had really high hopes for this book going in. I’m a big fan of JL Bryan’s The Paranormals series so I was sure that Fairy Metal Thunder would be a great read. It may have fallen a little short of my expectations, but it was a well constructed story and I’m curious to see where the Assorted Zebras go next. Will I be reading more? Definitely.

So what did I like?

The narration: FMT is told primarily from a male POV and that is pretty unique for YA (at least on my bookshelf). I found Jason to be a rather pleasant lead, although he was such a good kid that this book felt like it was targeted at younger readers which I wasn’t expecting. Still, I enjoyed seeing the world (especially first crushes) through the eyes of a teenage boy for once. Especially one that was actually a little immature and just flat out normal.

The imagery: JL Bryan does a phenomenal job of creating a faerie realm that’s understated and beautiful. I don’t read a lot of books on the fae, but it was easy for me to visualize the realm as Jason experienced it for the first time. As the story progressed, I also enjoyed seeing the realm in greater detail through the eyes of Aoide, the secondary narrator, and one of the faeries desperately trying to recover her instrument. I’m hoping Aoide plays a bigger role in book two of the series! I’m curious to see what kind of trouble she can get into with the queensguard at her side and what legths she’ll go to in order to recover her instrument and appease the queen. Besides, there could always be a little romance brewing. But I digress….

The plot: Rock n’ Roll? High school garage band? Magical instruments? Sold. It was a great summer read. You know the kind– you don’t have to think too hard and the overall feeling is warm fuzzy bunnies. The story is fast paced, easy to follow and unique.  Seriously. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else like it on the market.

A kickass unicorn named Buttercake: Enough said!

And what left me wanting?

Not much. The story was a little simplistic for my taste (perhaps because it’s meant for younger readers). And while I’m not a stickler for editing, there was one glaring issue that hung me up as I tried to discern the authors intent.

Overall, I really can’t pick out too many things that I didn’t like about FMT. While it wasn’t my favorite JL Bryan book (let’s be honest– he’s got some great ones!), it’s a well crafted story and one I’d recommend if you’re looking for some light summer reading!

Next up as I continue with my indie TBR list? I’m thinking The Fallen Star. Or maybe Prince of Wolves. Decisions, decisions….

Announcing the Red Dawn Blog Tour!

Red Dawn by J.J. Bonds Cover Reveal Tour

Announcing the Official Red Dawn Blog Tour!

You didn’t think I was going to just stop at a cover reveal extravaganza, did you? Go big or go home, right? I am SO excited about the release of Red Dawn that Crossroads Academy is going on tour again (courtesy of PJV Blog Tours!). And this time it’s going to be even bigger and better!

Guest posts, interviews, twitter party, giveaways! There will be all kinds of fun stuff… So mark your calendars and put Red Dawn on your TBR list! It’s going to be an EPIC tour!

Crossroads will be taking over the blogosphere August 20th – September 14th! Tour stops to follow so be sure to check back soon!

Red Dawn (Crossroads Academy #2)


Cover Reveal: July 24th- 12pm CST!

Check out these amazing blogs for a first look at Red Dawn (Crossroads Academy 2)!

Firestarbooks

Cocktails and Books

Seeing Night Reviews

Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

Chapter by Chapter

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

The Busy Bibliophile

Letters Inside Out

What the Cat Read

Fictional Candy

A Soul Unsung

Insightful Minds Reviews

Little Hyuts

A Bibliophile’s Thoughts on Books

Bea’s Book Nook

Red Dawn: Crossroads Academy #2

The weekend is right around the corner and you know what? That calls for some good, no, GREAT news! You guys have been patiently waiting (and frequently offering words of encouragement– like hurry the heck up!) for book two in the Crossroads Academy series. Well, the wait is almost over!

I’m thrilled to say that Red Dawn, book two in the Crossroads Academy series, will be released on August 28th! (Go ahead. Squee your heart out… I did!)

Here’s the deal…

Cover Reveal: July 24th at 12pm CST!

Check out the the amazing blogs below for a first look! The cover is AMAZING! I can’t wait for you guys to see it. Rachel at Parajunkee design has once again created something so awesome I can hardly find the words to describe it. Need more? How about giveaways? Giveaways are good, right?

Firestarbooks

Cocktails and Books

Seeing Night Reviews

Chapter by Chapter

 Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 The Busy Bibliophile

 Letters Inside Out

What the Cat Read

I don’t know about you, but I will be counting down the minutes until the cover reveal so that I can share its awesomeness with you guys! See you on the 24th!!!

Follow Friday #105

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #105

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

A. I wish I could say I had some great noble desire to share my love of books, but it didn’t exactly start out that way. I stumbled across GoodReads last year (I can’t even remember how I found it) and OMG! I coudn’t believe my eyes. A whole website dedicated to books? And book reviews? And these oh-so-friendly book bloggers who not only like to read, but actually talk about books? Oh, GoodReads, where have you been all my life? I quickly told my closest friends (who also happen to be avid readers) about this wonderful site where you could track all of your books, find new books, and get reviews for books you were thinking about buying. They quickly signed up as well, and long story short, my blog just sort of snowballed from there! I’ve met so many great people and have discovered books I might never had the opportunity to read otherwise!

Happy Reading!

Spreading the Love… Indie Style

There’s been a lot of chatter on the blogosphere this week about respect, common courtesy, author’s behaving badly, and, well, you get the idea. I have an opinion (don’t we all?), but I’ll keep it to myself (more or less). Why? Because there are some really smart folks who’ve said better. One of my fav’s is Lauren DeStefano. To be honest, this post, ‘The art of being a human being’ is the first thing I’ve ever read by DeStefano. But I’ve got to tell you, it won’t be the last. I think I’ll pick up one of her books because this post was just a little inspiring for me and I couldn’t agree more with her. Just treat me like a human being and I’ll do the same for you. In this awesome age of technology it’s just a little too easy to forget that the author/blogger/reviewer you’re talking to is a real, live person with *gasp* feelings. Just like you. Just like me.

So, enough about that… It’s easy to spread the nasty stuff, but what about the love? I’ve been trolling GoodReads, and Twitter, and a whole lot of blogs and I’m continually reminded that there are an awful lot of great books I haven’t had the chance to read, lots of them indie’s. So I’ve decided to commit the remainder of my summer to indie books and author’s I haven’ read in the past. I’m going to cheat a little with book one because I’m starting with JL Bryan’s Fairy Metal Thunder. (Why is this cheating you ask? Because I’ve already read Bryan’s The Paranormals and LOVED them!)

Next up (in no particular order): The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines, The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen, Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis and Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand.

By the way, four of these five books are currently FREE on Amazon! So if you’re looking for a good indie read, you may want to check them out as well! I’ve heard great things about all of these authors from some very trusted bloggers and I’m thinking it’s about time I find out for myself what all the fuss is about! If the covers are any indication, these books are going to rock!

 Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Feature & Follow Friday #104

Q: Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don’t like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

A. This one seriously took some thought… because apparently I don’t venture outside my comfort zone very frequently. But then it hit me! Late last year I picked up H.P. Mallory’s Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. Yes, it’s paranormal (which is my norm), but it had a much stronger romantic element than my usual read. It was the first real PNR I picked up and I loved it! I can now proudly say I’ve read most of H.P. Mallory’s books and have loved them all. As for what caused me to pick it up, I was in the mood for something light and fun and this cover just hooked me!

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins, #1)

 

To Review or Not to Review…

Should that even be a question? Didn’t think so. The real question should probably be, ‘How much do I suck at life?’ Am I getting ahead of myself? Maybe I should start at the beginning…

I was twitter stalking the other day and I came across a tweet by a fellow author that got me thinking. To paraphrase said tweeter, ‘If you read a good book and enjoy it, why not give the author a little happiness and post a review?’

I regularly check reviews (like twelve times a day) for my book and I get ridiculously excited (total squee!) when I see new feedback from readers. It occurred to me that I am guilty of this little oversight (*shakes head in embarrassment*). It’s not intentional, of course, but I do it. I know what you’re thinking. Life gets hectic. It happens, right?

Here’s the thing: I almost always post a rating on GoodReads (at the very least), but I’m notoriously bad at remembering to post ratings or reviews to Amazon (where I purchase 99.5% of my books). The worst part? I rely heavily on the reviews and ratings of readers before me to determine if I should shell out the money for a new book. The fact is, with so many books to choose from, I need help prioritizing my reads.

So here I sit, red faced and shameful, promising to do a better job of leaving feedback- either to make an author’s day a little brighter or to help a fellow reader pick their next epic read! Because let’s be honest, it couldn’t be simpler. Amazon even sends me little reminders (aka- annoying emails) that remind me to review my recent purchases. I coud be wrong, but I’m thinking I’m not the only one who hits the delete button and never thinks twice about it.

Why? It probably has something to do with my overflowing inbox, but that’s hardly an excuse. Information overload is just a fact of life in this gloriously digital age. So, this is me committing, right NOW, to being a better reviewer!