Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Subway Love + Princess of Thorns

Hi guys! For Waiting on Wednesday, I have two picks. One fantasy and one time travel read. I'm excited for both. :)

Book Description:

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
What if destiny leads you to your soul mate, but the laws of time conspire to keep you apart?

If her parents had never divorced, Laura wouldn’t have to live in the shadow of Bruce, her mom’s unpredictable boyfriend. Her mom wouldn’t say things like "Be groovy," and Laura wouldn’t panic every weekend on the way to Dad’s Manhattan apartment. But when Laura spots a boy on a facing platform, lifting a camera to his face, looking right at her, Laura feels anything but afraid, and she can’t forget him. Jonas, meanwhile, thinks nonstop about the pretty hippie girl he glimpsed on the platform — trying to comprehend how she vanished, but mostly wondering whether he will see her again in a city of millions — and whether if he searches, he would have any chance of finding her. In a lyrical meditation on love, Nora Raleigh Baskin explores the soul’s ability to connect, and heal, outside the bounds of time and reason.

Why I Chose This You guys..THIS>>>> In a lyrical meditation on love, Nora Raleigh Baskin explores the soul’s ability to connect, and heal, outside the bounds of time and reason. This is exactly what I want to read in this book. I have read amazing time travel love stories such as All Our Yesterdays. But I'm still looking for something more heartfelt, more earth-and-soul-shattering. This might just be it.

Book Description:

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: December 9, 2014

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Why I Chose This: I love Stacey Jay's books! So when I saw this one on Goodreads, with her name on it, I just had to put it in my want-to-read pile. Another fierce heroine who goes to war for her throne, side by side with her *crosses fingers* love interest. Who would say no to that?

If you happen to drop by, kindly leave your Waiting on Wednesday links below so I could visit you, too!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Out and About: Bloggers Forum + Book Signing with Becca Fitzpatrick + Giveaway!

Out and about is a feature here on Fragments of Life for events, book launches and movie adaptations.

For the third Out and about, I’ll talk about the Bloggers Forum and Book Signing with Becca Fitzpatrick.

The Basics:


Becca during the interview before the book signing. Photo credit to Algel of Literary Panda

The author is: Becca Fitzpatrick! *fangirls*
The Organizer is: National BookStore.

What books:

The Hush, Hush Saga + Black Ice

When: March 29, 2014 - 1:00 p.m. (Bloggers Forum) and 4:00 p.m. (actual book signing event)

Where: Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4 and National Book Store, Glorietta 4

How aka details: This is the longish part.

At the Bloggers Forum, we had a Q&A with Becca. When I was called on to ask her a question, Becca told me: "Have we met/talked before? You look familiar." The fangirldom commenced. I admitted that I was a big fan since waaay back and was a member of Fallenarcangel, the official fan site for the Hush, Hush Saga. So stoked that she remembers me! On to the details, *coughs*,I learned the following:
  • When Becca first wrote Hush, Hush, Patch was not a fallen angel. He was just a normal boy based on a real boy that she knew way back. Patch had a dark secret and Becca didn't know it when she first wrote the draft. She figured out that he was a fallen angel since fallen angels are the original bad boys.
  • The hardest book she wrote was Crescendo. Her editor made her delete all but 25 pages of the draft.
  • *teaser from Sapphire Skies* - quoted from The Bookaholic Blurbs
    It tells a story about a girl named Stella from Philadelphia and she witnesses a brutal crime. She's put to a witness protection program in Nebraska. She resents her situation and just wanted to get home. However, she's beginning to fall in love with this handsome cowboy who lives next door. So she's torn to stay for the cowboy or keep moving so the bad guys wouldn't find her.

Me and Black Ice! Photo Credit to Kai of Amaterasu Reads

Each one of us got a surprise ARC of Black Ice. Big thanks to Becca and NBS team! 

Me and Becca! Thanks to Kai of Amaterasu Reads

Becca and the blogger girls :) Thanks to Kayla for the photo!
Big thanks to National Book Store for the awesome forum + event! Now, because I love Patch and Becca and angels in general, I have a giveaway for those of you who were not able to make it to the Manila and Cebu signing. I asked Becca to even put in a little message for you...

So this is open to PH residents only, this time around. Might do an international giveaway for the next Tahereh-Ransom-Veronica signing. Enter below!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Book Description:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

Hardcover, 280 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Soho Teen

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

The story world of Liv, Forever reminded me of Hereafter with its living-and-dead-relationship, of Glimmer with its vibe, and of Anna Dressed in Blood with its bits and pieces of gore and violence. There was something positively sinister with the story that I just found my heart accelerating and found myself sitting at the edge of my seat as the events unfolded. The school kept a dark secret within its halls - something earth-shattering to shock all readers.

Liv was an admirable character. Expressive, a bit too persistent, fun and smart, she brightened up every scene in the book. Her death was a mystery to me and I, myself, struggled to find out how she died, why she died and who killed her. It was maddeningly to not know. It seemed that aside from her connection with Malcolm and the creepy mystery of Wickham Hall, her unanswered questions kept her feet tied to the ground.

The chapters were sandwiched between short narratives of the dead girls. This was something that thoroughly intrigued me throughout the book. Getting to know each and every one of the ghosts of Wickham Hall made me understand the story better and at the same time sympathize with them.

Malcolm was Liv's almost-boyfriend and lover. There were loss and constant hurt in both Liv and Malcolm's hearts because of her sudden death, leaving their love story and upcoming relationship suspended in the air. Thankfully, Gabe, someone who could see and hear ghosts, studied in Wickham Hall. He also happened to be Liv's friend. Serving as the middleman/messenger, he facilitated the communication between the couple. Though between silences, awkward moments and ghostly limitations, Liv and Malcolm had to make it work, how to express their feelings and make the other one feel his/her presence. I was amazed with their trust and loyalty towards one another. It was a difficult relationship to be in and I salute them for their strength.

The ending. That ending. To be honest, with this ending, I prayed and hoped that it would be a standalone. I couldn't think of a more bittersweet and more perfect ending. I love how Liv and Malcolm's relationship lasted until that point, strengthening and becoming even more intense. This was one of the few books that actually made me cry - it just made me remember of certain parts of my life. This was the point when I realized that throughout the book, Amy Talkington has made me emotionally invest in the story and in the characters. I love her for that.

Overall, Liv, Forever was a horror suspense that was a perfect read to finish in one sitting. Cute, heart-racing and very dark, Liv, Forever will made me flip through the pages and race to the end, continuously creeping me out with the story's dark side, surprising me with its twists and turns and making me smile with Liv and Malcolm's scenes.

4.5 Cupids = Obsessive book love.
Almost made it as one of my favorites! I strongly recommend this!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Feature + Giveaway: Blood and Lilies by Lyn Croft

Hi guys! Been on a month-long hiatus now. I'm back with a book feature and a giveaway. I have Lyn Croft with me for a short interview and she has an excerpt for you guys. :)

Book Description:

ebook, 205 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Hellfire Publishing

Once cast from Heaven, Zillah has vowed to destroy God and overtake his kingdoms. But a key is needed to open the gates between the two realms.

The Key to the gate walks the earth in the form of a woman...young, innocent and completely unaware of her importance in the battle between good and evil. Once her blood is shed, Zillah can open the portal to release her father...Lucifer himself.

Cara, a college sophomore, is quickly thrown into a world of supernatural, as well as learning of her true ancestry. Vampires, werewolves and the Nephilim are now a part of her real world. As the beings struggle to protect her, she fights to keep her sanity as her mortal realm is crushed.

Secrets are revealed that could shatter Cara’s new found love, as well as lead to her ultimate death. A family is torn apart as the battle to save the key leads them down a road of betrayal and heartache. Loved ones are lost, lines are crossed, and nothing is as it seems. Lies and truths twist and turn, leaving us with only one question…

Could you sacrifice the one you love to save the world?

Available through Smashwords and Amazon Kindle.
Print Edition coming Summer 2013

First question: How did you develop Cara's character? What inspired you to make her the key between the two worlds?

Cara pretty much became her own person as I wrote the book. I had an idea of who I wanted her to be, but knew she would grow as the series progressed. There are some little quirks she has that have been inspired by me, or people I know. The Del Taco infatuation I am responsible for.

We still see everything happening in the world the humans inhabit. How different would the Halflings’ world be from the world we live in?

It wouldn’t be different at all. They’re educated to fit into our society, but live their day lives as merely a cover for what the truly do. They protect the mortals from what lurks in the shadows and are taught at an early age the skills needed for battle, as well of how to destroy the demons that inhabit our world.

Can you give us a glimpse of what the world could look like if Zillah wins?

Complete chaos would rein! Heaven and hell would clash together in a gruesome battle, leaving our realm annihilated in the process. We would cease to exists, as demons devoured our souls, lapping at the blood of the angels as it floods the land. But, with Zillah in charge, she’d make sure it was done in style.

About Lyn Croft

Lyn Croft is a sci-fi fantasy writer born and raised in sunny Southern California. There, she raises her daughter, works full time, writes novels, and plays video games in her spare time.
Her new book, “Blood & Lilies ~ Bloodlines” is her debut novel, and the first in a series of epic tales for the battle between good and evil.

Website | Blog | Twitter

Here is the sneak peek we promised!


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Elevated by Elana Johnson

Hi guys! This Friday, I have a cover reveal for you. An author who has been dabbling in science fiction is now crossing over to another genre. I'm introducing you to Elana Johnson and her YA contemporary, Elevated. Read on and check out the giveaway!

Book Description:

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
February 18th 2014

The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

Links: Kobo | Goodreads

Praise for ELEVATED:

"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go

About Elana Johnson:

Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

Website | Facebook | Tumblr | League of Extraordinary Writers | Goodreads

You can win $15 Paypal cash by helping to spread the word about ELEVATED.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Book Description:

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source:Megan + Harper Collins International (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Warning: If you have not read The Madman's Daughter, skip paragraph 3-5.

Her Dark Curiosity had a mystery edge along with jarring waves of violence this time around. It was more pronounced, more raw and more heart-wrecking. And I thought I loved the first book. I am absolutely in love with the sequel. Her Dark Curiosity's London was a social minefield, very perilous, filled with secrets and dangers in hidden corners and dark alleys, stalked by a monster and manipulated by the powers in their seats. I loved the ambiance.

Juliet was back in London, safe and sound. After months of sailing on sea, alone and broken after Montgomery's betrayal, she was back with Profesor von Stein. He was the same angel sent from heaven who helped her get a job at the university. Although she now enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle, the Juliet nurtured in the island remained strong. She slipped into her secret hideaway, trying to develop a cure for her sickness. She was an intriguing character for sure. Her musings were so fun to read. She was a ball of curiosity, loneliness, longing and spunk.

To be honest, I expected some sort of "comeback," given that this was a trilogy. I was not disappointed. The boy that I was so eager to understand, Edward Prince, came back. Everything I wanted to read about him in The Madman's Daughter was served to me in Her Dark Curiosity. His two sides warred for dominance: the helpless, kind and gentle Edward and the twisted, dangerous and mysterious Beast. They were two sides of a coin, both having feelings towards Juliet and expressing it in their own ways. It was perfectly carried out, this different and quite so literal depiction of two personalities in one body. As Juliet found out more about the beast, she discovered more about Edward, the more she knew about the Beast. Her protectiveness and longing to save Edward warmed my heart. There was just something sizzling between them.

I'm one of the readers who loved the love triangle. After everything that Julie has been through, I can positively say that she was not normal. At all. She was eccentric, special in more ways than one. There was a darkness in her that makes her do crazy things and enabled her to connect with beings like her. Although Edward's alter ego, the Beast lurked beneath the surface, he still remained Edward. He was in love with Juliet and I believe a little part of Juliet cared for him and loved him back, too. Moving on to Montgomery: the knight in shining armor; the typical choice. He was sweet through and through, protective, and a true gentleman. But there would always be a part of him that could never understand Juliet the same way Edward did. Juliet's own self was torn into two: Pre-island and post-island; human and other. The same way, she was torn between two boys: Edward and Montgomery.

The sequel was a good canvas for showing the consequences of breakthrough science. As the work of Juliet's father spread its roots into London's soil, the level of danger and suspense increased. Juliet was adamant to stop Dr. Moreau's work no matter what it took. When something much more sinister that the Beast stood on the brink of success, Juliet would realize that there was more to her father's experiments than what she left behind on the island.

Her Dark Curiosity was unputdownable, deliciously dark and heart-pounding. The ending wrecked my heart and left me with hope (false hope)? I highly recommend this to readers of dark fiction who likes romance and is open to alternative old science [Frankenstein, experiments and the like]. I keep on repeating that this might not be a book for everybody but it is certainly a gem.

5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Savor by Kate Evangelista

Book Description:

Published 2013 by Crescent Moon Press

Mature and explicit content. Not recommended for readers below 18-years-old. Yup, you've got to be that old to read my story. Consider yourself warned.

I’m Dakota Collins, a tough talking, eye patch wearing, workaholic photography student. Why am I important? Well, maybe because I get to spend an entire month with Vicious, only the sickest indie rock band out there.

You see, I needed a subject for my Spring Showcase introspective in order to graduate. During a chance encounter at a club I’d been sent to cover for the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper, the features writer I usually teamed up with introduced me to the band—by accident, I might add. It involved a run in with a scary, bald bodyguard. Anyway, long story short, I signed a contract to take pictures of Vicious.

I should have known their handsome yet way too serious for his own good bassist, Luka Visraya, wouldn't be able to keep his hands to himself. He’s gorgeous and all, but the way he smiles spelled trouble with a capital L. I’m in for a long month with him around.

Crazy shit happens and then some. So, if you want the skinny on Vicious and the events revolving around my stay at Lunar Manor, read my story.

Again, refer to the warning above.

Reviewer's Copy: Ebook

Source: Kate + Iris from Paranormal Cravings (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Contrary to my usual review format I'm not starting with the main character nor the summary. My delicious confusion can be summed up in one word: Luka. What? When? How? Why? Kate's enlightening revelation wiped away my doubts: Savor is set in an alternate universe from Taste. Luka, the blue-eyed, curly blond boy, had become a magnetic and mysterious rockstar. He was a complex character, equally charming and frustrating at the same time. Half the time I wanted to understand him and give him a hug. Other times, I just wanted to give him a slap so he would wake to reality.

Dakota was unlike any other heroine I've met. She wore an eye-patch and not just for fun. She had the appreciative perception of a photographer. That was what interested me the most. Aside from that, she was a real person, not afraid to address her wants and needs in life. In her one-month stay at the Lunar Manor, she wound her roots around Vicious - the members, their lives and their secrets. It had been a long time since I read about something band-related. I was so delighted to have the familiar elements of band-in-a-story, their background, their music and their lives. Vicious was unlike any other band I ever encountered.

Dakota and Luka's push-and-pull dynamic really got to me, in a good way. I was just as eager as Luka and just as frustrated as Dakota. There was an undeniable zing between these two, so palpable that it could be cut with scissors. They were strangers attracted towards one another. It was like looking across the street and meeting someone's eyes and feeling this spark. You are interested and intrigued and yet you are afraid to cross that street, afraid to break the modicum of "no talking to strangers." Nevertheless, I loved them together. I wish there was more time for their bond to develop into something more definite. I'm looking forward to that in the sequel.

Kate's writing was just as superfluous as I remember it. Honest, funny and colorful, giving life to every bit of her fictional world and characters. The photography and music involved made Savor worth reading for me. I am a frustrated photographer, so Dakota's hobby and future career appealed to me. Aside from these things, the plot unraveled smoothly. The entire stay in Lunar Manor felt like a mini-vacation for me. I wanted to extend. 80% of my questions were answered by the end. But that killer cliffhanger definitely zombified a few of the answered questions in my head, mutated them into complex musings and predictions. To be honest, the shift from through and through contemporary romance to slight paranormal jolted me out of my seat. There was a spark of what-the-heck-is-happening?? but at the same time, there was a part of me that guessed this paranormal element. I liked how something so small in Savor had suddenly roared to life at the end. You'll find out when you read it.

Savor is sizzling, picturesque and sensually tantalizing. I recommend this for readers of Kate Evangelista's awesomeness, contemporary readers and paranormal romance readers. Suitable for older teens.

4.5 Cupids = Obsessive book love.
Almost made it as one of my favorites! I strongly recommend this!

Prize: 5 - E-copies of TASTE by Kate Evangelista (International Giveaway) running from Jan 1 till Feb 7, 2014.

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