Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop ImageWelcome to our stop of the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

We’re giving away $15 at BookDepository.com (for international folk) or Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com (for US folk).  You know the drill, fill out the Rafflecopter form and good luck to you!

To clarify: A book with a value up to $15 from BookDepository OR a gift card from Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com OR a book with a value up to $15 from one of those two.

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Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Frost Tour Banner
Book Cover of Frost by Kate Avery EllisonTitle: Frost
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Create Space/Self Pub
Publication Date: March 29, 2012
eBook: 215 pages

Where’d I Get It: For review from the author/AToMR book tour.

Synopsis (From Goodreads): In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

My Thoughts: I have been burned so many times by self published books in the past, that I put off reading this one for this tour until the absolute last moment. I can honestly say that 1) I’m pleasantly surprised and 2) I’m glad I didn’t flake out and skip reading it.

The story is FUN!  It’s not your every day YA novel that follows the same themes that every other YA novel follows.  Or, well, I guess it does – but in a way that makes you feel as though you’re reading something fresh. I can dig that.

There’s a love triangle of doom – and we all know I loathe those things – but this one is done in such a way that I didn’t want to claw my eyes out. It was believable and pertinent to the story, so I won’t knock it.

I will say that some of the plot is predictable, but not in a way that is obnoxious. The author’s writing style is easy to read and easy to follow and the novel is fairly well edited.

This would have received 4 stars, but I think the lack of overall polish in the story, and a significant amount of missing detail (so many points could have been developed a little more!) made me have to yank one.  S’ok, though, I’ll still read the next in the series.

Rating: 3 of 5

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Blog Tour – Carol Tibaldi’s Willow Pond

Willow Pond by Carol TibaldiWe’re hosting Carol Tibaldi today via Chick Lit Plus blog tours. She’s got a debut novel out, Willow Pond, that I’ve been super excited about. My review of the book will go up tomorrow. :) For now, please enjoy an excerpt from the novel, and an interview between Carol and one of the characters of the book, Virginia Kingsley.

A little tidbit about the author:  Carol Tibaldi was born and raised in Bayside, New York and attended Queens College of the City University of New York. She loves to travel and has lived in London and Los Angeles. For twenty five years she worked as a newspaper reporter and covered the crime beat. She is a history buff and loves to research different time periods having a special affinity of the prohibition era and the Civil War. Willow Pond is her first novel and she is hard at work on the sequel.

Phillip was never on time for anything. Laura had learned, over their two and a half years of marriage, that he actually believed no one else had anything to do that was more important than what he was doing.
By one o’clock the next afternoon, Todd was packed and ready to go. She hated the whole idea of his leaving and kept hoping the phone would ring, that Phillip would offer some lame excuse as to why he couldn’t take Todd. Whatever the excuse was, Laura would have been happy to accept it.
It was nearly two-thirty by the time she saw the white Rolls Royce pull up in front of her building. She stared with disgust at the ostentatious car, knowing Phillip had used both it and his chauffeur to show off in front of her neighbors. It made her even angrier at him than she already was. Her neighbors had no idea she had been married to a movie star, and she liked things that way. Now they’d all want to know who had been driving the Rolls Royce.
When she opened the door, Phillip looked so annoyed she wanted to slap him. He strode into the apartment and glared down at Todd as if he were nothing more than a piece of property he owned. Todd blinked guilelessly up at him. It was past his naptime, and he had grown cranky. He tried to comfort himself by sucking his thumb.
“I thought we agreed that was a nasty habit, and you were going to break him of it,” Phillip said. “Do you want him to grow up with buck teeth?”
“Oh, please,” Laura said. “He’s tired. You were supposed to be here an hour and a half ago. Where were you?”

The Interview between Carol Tibaldi and fictional character, Virginia Kingsley (this interview makes Virginia seem cheeky, but stoic, doesn’t it?):

CT. Today I’m going to be interviewing Virginia Kingsley who is the owner of a speakeasy in New York City. Welcome, Virginia.

VK. It’s nice to be here.

CT. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

VK. I blame myself for Todd’s kidnapping. If I hadn’t gotten involved with that creep Rudy it never would have happened. I have to find him because if I don’t I know Laura will never forgive me.

CT. Feeling that way must be terrible for you. Has Laura told you that she blames you?

VK. She doesn’t have to. How else could she feel? I’m sure she’s guessed by now that someone connected to my gang had something to do with Todd’s kidnapping. That new boyfriend of hers is filling her head with all kinds of lies about me.

CT. Tell me about him?

VK. His name is Erich Muller and he’s a newspaper reporter. He won a Pulitzer a few years ago and he thinks he know everything. He thinks I know who the kidnapper is and if he keeps making up stories about me I’m going to sue the paper.

CT. What about Rudy?

VK. I made a big mistake by getting involved with him and an even bigger mistake when I let him know anything about my business. He thought he could outsmart me, but no one has ever done that and no one ever will.

CT. What kind of business are you in?

VK. I run a speakeasy, you know a nightclub. The most popular one in the city. The mayor comes to Bacchanal.

CT. That sounds interesting.

VK. The only thing I can think of right now is Laura and her little boy. I have to bring him home to her. But, how?

CT. Do the police have any leads?

VK. Do you mean that moron Detective Wilson. He has no idea how to run and investigation and has bungled the whole thing. I’m going to have to find Todd, but before I do that I’m going to have to find Rudy. If I’d listen to Harry none of this would have happened. He kept telling me I would getting soft, but I didn’t listen.

CT. Do you think you’re being too hard on yourself?

VK. No. My lifestyle is the reason Todd was kidnapped and that’s why it’s my fault. The worse part is that I’m going to have to lie to Laura. I hate doing it but I have to. I won’t stop looking for Todd because I want Laura to be happy again.

CT. Thank you Virginia for coming today and for telling us about Willow Pond. I hope people take a few minutes to find out more!

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Thanks for stopping by! Remember to come back tomorrow to read my review of Carol’s novel.

 

Blog Tour – Destined by Allison Kraft

Literary Obsession is incredibly excited to host author Allison Kraft today to help promote her book, Destined!

Title: Destined
Author: Allison Kraft
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace / Self Published
Publication Date: August 24, 2011

Synopsis (From Goodreads)While flying across the Atlantic on the centennial anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage, Apolline Greer, last in a long line of vampire hunters, finds herself suddenly transported from her airliner cabin to an eerily familiar ocean liner cabin—as well as the entirely unfamiliar body of her ancestor, Noelle Greer. Upon learning that she is, in fact, on board the very ship she’s been fascinated with all her life, she knows there’s only one thing to do: get off as soon as possible.

But whether by destiny, freak coincidence or a really vivid dream, Apolline finds that her trip back in time comes with three very good reasons to stay on board: Alexander Walker, a handsome and charming fellow vampire hunter; Cristof, the vampire that has tormented her family for generations and very likely killed her own mother; and Sasha, the vampire Noelle was sent to kill.

Time, however, is not on Apolline’s side. The Titanic is on a collision course with destiny, and she only has four days to complete her quest. What seemed like more than enough time at the start quickly becomes too short as she finds that hunting vampires on a luxury ocean liner is much more difficult than she expected. Sasha and Cristof become more elusive as each day passes, while her feelings for Alexander become increasingly complicated. As that fateful night approaches, will she regret her decision to stay and witness history first-hand?

When I first heard about this book, I had to sign up for the tour. My intention was to read it and review it, but a family emergency has derailed…or sunk….that little plan. I still definitely plan on reading the book, because…well…it’s about the TITANTIC, man! And there’s Vampires and we all know I’m a sucker for Vampires. (Oh, look how punny…) Eek, sorry, I’ll stop now. That was painfully bad. ;)

Right, so. Onward to the good stuff…

My question for Ms. Kraft was:

What made you decide to have Apolline/Noelle allow the Titanic to continue on its fateful course despite knowing what will happen?

And the answer:

I gave this a lot of thought when I was plotting out Destined. Initial instinct would be to have her try everything to save the ship and the people on board. If I somehow found myself in her place, it would be my first thought as well. But then I started to really think about it, about what things were like in 1912 and how her warnings would be taken.

First off, she was a woman. A woman traveling alone in second class. If she started telling everyone she saw that the ship was going to hit an iceberg and sink, the best outcome would be that they would laugh off her warnings and forget them. The worst? She’d be locked up or given over to the ship’s doctor for being crazy.

Second, as a frequent reader of time travel fiction, I lean towards the theory that certain events in our history have to happen. If someone tries to stop them, they will either fail, or events will rearrange themselves to make it happen another way. A kind of course-correction, if you will. In the case of the Titanic, while it was a horrible and tragic disaster, it brought things into light that desperately needed to be addressed. For one, people were forced to reconsider the outdated safety regulations about how many lifeboats a ship must have. For another, until Titanic’s sinking, ships were not required to have their wireless rooms manned 24 hours a day. If they were, the Californian’s wireless would not have been turned off, and they might have been able to get to Titanic in time to save everyone on board. And lastly, the disaster inspired the United States Coast Guard, in conjunction with 13 other countries, to organize the International Ice Patrol in an effort to avoid such a tragedy from happening again. Every year on April 15, they lay a wreath at the site of the Titanic’s sinking in honor of the lives lost.

In Destined, I chose to have Apolline struggle with her decision, second-guessing herself nearly every time she came across an officer she might have warned. Intellectually, she knew there was nothing she could do, but in her heart, the more she got to know the other passengers, the more she wanted to save them all. She convinced herself the disaster needed to happen, that in some twisted way it was for the greater good, but was determined to do anything she could to save the lives of those she had grown close to. As the story progresses and she begins to fall for Alex, saving his life starts to become her focus. She is afraid if she tries to tell an officer about the ship’s fate, she will be deemed crazy and possibly even detained belowdecks, a sure death sentence not only for Alex, but for her own ancestor, Noelle. Getting them and their friends onto a lifeboat is a much more attainable goal than stopping the Titanic from hitting the iceberg.

Whether or not she succeeds, well, you’ll have to read the book to find out!

Well, like I said above, I’ll definitely be reading to find out! :) Thank you, Ms. Kraft, for stopping by Literary Obsession and sharing some wonderful insight into your book, Destined.

This post is a stop on the Destined Blog Tour organized by Parajunkee.com. To continue through the tour, please follow the linky list here:

Spotlight: Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Literary Obsession is excited to be participating in the Launch Party for Kate Avery Ellison’s new release, Frost. It sounds like a great book, and I can’t wait to read it! :)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Kate Avery Ellison loves long walks, late night phone calls, and reading while it rains. She thinks ice cream cake is the perfect combination and she has a love/hate relationship with the sultry climate of her hometown, Atlanta. FROST, her third book, is a YA fantasy/dystopian tale of love, sacrifice, and suspense.LINKS:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Katiewriting

Blog: http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/

Goodreads profile: http://goodreads.com/Kate_Avery_Ellison

Book Cover of Frost by Kate Avery EllisonTitleFrost
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Genre:
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: April 03, 2012

Book description:

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person might end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing weather and threat of monster attacks, or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and treachery just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest, a young man from beyond the Frost named Gabe, Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in serious trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel, and her village has nothing to do with them. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle her farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but each move she makes puts her in greater danger. Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

To take a peek through the rest of the tour stops, head over to A Tale of Many Reviews Book Blog Tours.
Or, you can hop through using the list below. :)

Chapter by Chapter ~ Twitter Conversation with Lia and Gabe

The Princess of Storyland ~ Creating Chemistry Guest Post

A Diary of A Book Addict ~ Making of the Cover Guest Post

Rondo of a Possible World ~ Spotlight

BookLove101 ~ Music Playlist Guest Post

Insightful Minds ~ Dream Cast with Ann

Paranormal Indulgence ~ Excerpt #3

Megan Likes Books ~ Top 10 with Kate Avery Ellison

We Fancy Books ~ Dream Cast with Lia & GIVEAWAY

Splash of Our Worlds ~ This or That with Kate Avery Ellison

Fictional Distraction ~ Interview with Lia

Little Library Muse ~ Author Interview

So Simply Sara ~ Excerpt #4

StuckInBooks ~ Excerpt #1 & GIVEAWAY

JJiReads ~ Excerpt #2

FireStarBooks ~ 6 Words Post

Bookworm Lisa ~ Dream Cast with Ivy

The Magic Attic ~ Dream Cast with Gabe & GIVEAWAY

The Reading Housewives ~ Dream Cast with Jonn

Literary Obsession ~ Spotlight

Moonlight Book Reviews ~ Guest Post with Lia & GIVEAWAY

Paranormal Romance Fanatic ~ Spotlight

A Soul Unsung ~ Author Fun Facts

Journey with Books~ Interview with Gabe

A Tale of Many Reviews ~ Excerpt #5 & GIVEAWAY

Past Lives by Stephanie Abbott – Review

Book Cover of Past Lives #1by Stephanie AbbottTitle: Past Lives
Author: Stephanie Abbott
Genre: Steampunk, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lyonnesse Books
Publication Date: February 02, 2012
Kindle: 343kb

Where’d I Get It: Free from the author

Synopsis (From Goodreads): How many times can you die for love? 

A near-fatal car crash unlocks memories from Rachel MacReady’s past life, dredging up secrets taken to the grave. And even as Rachel discovers the hidden power that is her birthright, she finds herself drawn to the reincarnates of two very different men. In that past life, both loved her. One might even have loved her to death… 

My Thoughts: First of all, I have to say – this book is listed in places as Young Adult and I definitely don’t think it is. The characters are in their twenties and are dealing with distinctly adult situations and living adult lives.  There’s also a fairly explicit sex scene that may or may not push it out of YA category.

Aside from that…

This historical fiction slash steampunk slash quasi-romance novel (really, I’m unsure of how to categorize it, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing) was a fun, quick read. Unfortunately for me, it was a little too quick.  Just as I was getting into the story and wanted to know more about what was going on, the book ended.

Now. That said, I did really enjoy the book.  The prose is lovely and flows forward with few hitches.  The dual timelines (past life, present life) are expressed in a way that is easy to follow. I really enjoyed seeing Rachel’s past self through the visions – the steampunk aspects of the 1870s timeline were really quite fun! – and I wish we could have been shown more in this first installment.

I also really enjoyed the characters. It’s obvious Ms. Abbott put thought and effort into each one of them. I’ll probably pick up the next in the series so I can find out just what happens to Rachel and her friends…the cliffhanger ending pretty much guaranteed that would happen!

Rating: 3 of 5

Past Lives by Stephanie Abbott – Guest Post

We’ve signed up with Orangeberry Book Tours and we’re hosting Stephanie Abbott today. Her new book, Past Lives #1 – Rachel, was released at the beginning of 2012.

About the Author:
Stephanie Abbott is the face behind the popular pseudonym, S.A. Reid. Well-known for her “real and likeable characters”, she also writes paranormal fiction (a new series titled Past Lives is currently being penned), fantasy, and sci-fi. Additionally, she also pens cozy mysteries as Emma Jameson. (quoted from Orangeberrybooktours.com)

Welcome, Stephanie, and thanks for stopping by Literary Obsession!

From the perspective of Rachel Macready, protagonist of Past Lives #1, the question is, “If you could change your current story in any one way, what would you do and why?“:

“Easy. I’d snap my fingers and have the entire resources of the Chamberlain Foundation at my disposal. Once upon a time, a shadowy group of telepaths called the Order ruled Britain, and by extension, the Western world. They dated back to at least medieval times and by the Renaissance they’d already amassed a wealth of knowledge to rival the Vatican. Now that the Order is gone, only the Chamberlain Foundation remains. They knocked down the Serapeum, the Order’s original base of operations, and built a glittering modern skyscraper atop it.

Inside that building are reams of historical documents – top-secret stuff that’s never seen the light of day, like details on Queen Elizabeth I’s telepathic advisor and her telekinetic assassin. Art, too, including paintings of liches: telepathic vampires who cheat death by shifting from body to body. And someone inside there are all the details about Cassandra Masters, the woman I used to be in 1870s London. How she lived, her relationship with the two men she loved, and how she died. In its last days, the Order kept scrupulous records about everything, especially as it pertained to bloodlines. Had Cassandra been promised to marry the master telepath, Dominic Belden? Or the fearsome telekinetic, Ted Harrington? Now that the two of them live again in the present day, I’d really like to know which one I chose.

I’d also love to know the usual way a telepath is trained in the use of her powers. In my past life as Cassandra, I’d grown up surrounded by psis and was taught to use my abilities they moment they manifested. And when you can read minds, force others to obey you and even gather your psionic energy and throw it like a lightning bolt, training is a good idea. Mind you, for female telepaths, the bar was quite low. The male-dominated Order refused to train us for dueling. We weren’t even selected for covert missions to enforce the Order’s political will across the globe. No, we were expected only to lie on our backs and produce as many viable offspring as possible, since the psi population was in danger of dying out. The men, on the other hand, were trained rigorously from their teens until they attained at least Journeyman level. Dominic, brutalized by his tutors, became a Master telepath. And Ted quickly outstripped his own mentor to become the Order’s youngest, and last, Master telekinetic. By contrast, Cassandra received only secret tutoring from her beloved uncle. Anything more would have been considered unfeminine, and unbecoming.

So if I could change my current story, I’d uncover the truth about Cassandra and at least the basics of how to control my own power. The first time I tried to make someone obey me, I wiped out a whole chunk of his memory. My power, like Cassandra’s, can be a double-edged sword. And I’m afraid if I can’t uncover the past, I’ll be condemned to repeat it.”

Thank you, Stephanie, for giving us this glimpse into the mind of Rachel. :)

Stephanie Abbott: | Website | Twitter | Past Lives on Amazon |

Lunar Love Giveaway Hop

Literary Obsession is taking part in the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop which is being hosted by Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Lisa @ Bookworm Lisa.

Lunar Love Giveaway Hop Button

The description for this blog hop (quoted from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer) is: “This hop begins on the day of a full moon and will feature books with paranormal, supernatural, science fiction or space travel element or books that have something to do with the moon or have a moon on their cover.”

The book we are giving away for this hop is Fair Coin by E.C. Myers.  I gave this book 4 of 5 stars, and you can read the review here. It really was a fantastic piece of science fiction.  It’s a substantial book, so if you’re into fluff it’s not for you, but this one will make you think and give you warm snuggly feelings.  Ok, maybe not the warm snuggly part, but really – it’s good. Read it, even if you don’t win it here. :)

This giveaway is international to the countries on The Book Depositories ship-to list!  Check the list here. If your country is not on the list, I’m afraid I can’t ship to you due to incredibly high shipping costs.

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