Golden Blood Review & Giveaway

This review is part of the Golden Blood book tour, sponsored by A Tale of Many Reviews



The first book in Melissa Pearl's Time Spirit series is a refreshing entry to the YA supernatural world. Far from the familiar vampires, werewolves, and ghosts (oh my!) the time spirits are helpful beings who travel into the past to right wrongs and to help the helpless, or so it seems. Scattered throughout this tale are hints that the Hart family has secrets from each other. Clearly, Gemma is something special, something more, but we'll have to wait until book two to fully understand what that means for her. 

Set against the rich backdrop of St. Augustine, Florida, Golden Blood wastes no time in introducing readers to the cons of time travel. We meet Gemma as she has just returned from a "trip" and is trying (and failing) not to be noticed by the popular girls in school as she reorients herself to the mendacities of high school life. Despite being a loner, Gemma is strikingly beautiful, thus drawing the ire of the other girls and the attention of class hottie, Harrison. 

The romance is predictable but sweet. Harrison is unsure why he is drawn to Gemma, and I have some guesses about that, as well. While Gemma's mystery is central to the plot, Ms. Pearl's narrative hints that there may be more to Harrison than readers suspect. 

Of course, as these things go--there are complications of both the time travelling variety and the typical high school drama variety.  Gemma's father controls when and where the family travels and Gemma and her two older siblings are thrown into many adventures, from palace guards to revolutionaries, there is plenty of action to keep readers' pulses racing. 

Full of action and romance, this was an enjoyable read that kept me saying,  "just one more page" well into the night. I'm eager to begin the second book in the series to see exactly what secrets Gemma's father is hiding and to test if my suspicions about Harrison are founded.  If you need a fast-paced weekend read to help you escape reality, this book will definitely satisfy you.

Giveaway:

Melissa Pearl & her publisher are giving away an e-copy of Golden Blood t0 one lucky reader. Just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Winners will be announced April 4th and books will be sent out directly from the publisher. 


Coming Soon


Stay tuned for a review and giveaway of Golden Blood, the first book of Melissa Pearl's new series.

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop


St. Patrick's Day is the one day where everyone can celebrate Ireland. I'm celebrating by hosting a giveaway as part of I'm A Reader, Not A Writer's Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop.

What better way to celebrate than with one of my favorite pieces of Irish literature and tea to enjoy while reading. 




The Picture of Dorian Gray is gothic tale of a man who trades his soul for the promise of youth. I'm giving away a graphic novelization of this Oscar Wilde classic.  Eerie and atmospheric, this tale is sure to send shivers down your spine, and when that happens--warm up with a hot mug of Twinings Irish Breakfast tea -- one of my favorites :)

Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter--be sure to follow all the directions or your entry will be deleted. Good luck, and be sure to visit all the other blogs participating in the hop by following the links at the end of this post. 


Cover Reveal & Teaser: My Super Sweet 16th Century



My Super Sweet 16th Century won't be in stores until September 11, 2012 but today I'm excited to be part of the cover reveal. This is such a fun premise for a story--I love historical fiction and am fascinated by Renaissance Italy, so it's right up my alley. 


Look how fun the cover is:



I love the juxtaposition of the big sunglasses with the beautiful brocade dress -- it's a brilliant visual anachronism.


BUT THAT'S NOT ALL -- Entagled Publishing has kindly shared with us an excerpt from the book.

EXCERPT FROM My Super Sweet 16th Century by Rachel Harris

I hear their muffled whispers and understand every Italian word. Every witty comment made at my expense. It’s like my brain is automatically translating.
I bunch the soft fabric of the dress in my hand and then reach up to feel the ribbon in my hair. I lightly skim my fingers over my chin and feel my lack of zit. I take in the costumes of the crowd, the stench of the animals, and the Italian I can now speak and understand. And suddenly it hits me. Reyna must have pulled some kind of gypsy mojo. Maybe this is one of those nifty “change your life” magic scenarios like in the movies. I mean, mostly I’m still expecting to blink and be right back in the midst of overpriced, gaudy tourism, but for now, the gypsy-time-warp explanation is infinitely better than thinking I’ve lost my mind. As I decide to go with that option, I feel my frantic tension melt away.
The growing crowd seems to notice my change in demeanor and begins shooting one another amused looks, but I don’t care anymore. A smile stretches across my face. Evidently, I was wrong earlier; Reyna is a psychic mind reader, because if this is her special brand of bibbity-bobbity-boo, then she made my exact daydream from earlier in the courtyard come to life. The long red gown, the braided hair, the Italian merchant’s daughter, the time period.
I am in Renaissance Florence. I stare dumbly at the ground, the words and reality sinking in.  
I’m in Renaissance Florence!        

© Rachel Harris 


Thanks so much to Rachel Harris, Danielle Barclay and Entangled Publishing for sharing the beautiful cover and excerpt. September can't come quickly enough!


My Super Sweet 16th Century, by Rachel Harris is available for pre-order on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads

Booking Through Thursday 08 March

Photo used with permission from shutterstock
Booking Through Thursday is a weekly event that poses questions to readers and bloggers. All you have to do to participate is answer the question posted on their blog.



Today's question is:
Which non-series book would you most like to read the sequel to? Do you have any wishes for what might happen in it?

This is a tough question, I feel like every book that has come out lately is part of a series. There are three stand-out stand alone books I've read recently, though: The Fault in Our Stars, The Near Witch, and Shine

While John Green's The Fault in Our Stars ends beautifully, I'd love an epilogue or maybe a short stand alone the lets us know what became of the protagonists. I can't give you any more details of questions I'd like answered without also spoiling the book for you, so I'll move on.

The Near Witch, written by Victoria Schwab is a beautiful, picturesque, and haunting tale; absolutely one of my favorite books, not just of 2011, but of all time. I don't know if I'd want it to be made into a series, but a follow up (like Alice's Looking Glass) would be awesome. Or a companion novel dedicated entirely to Magda and Dreska, those two are fantastic and deserve their own book. It would be great to know what they were like when they were younger or to see the village of Near through their eyes. I would give Victoria Schwab the fanciest narwhal I could find if she wrote this book!

Finally, Lauren Myracle's Shine--a book that brought me to tears and which I forced almost everyone I work with to read. A brilliant and powerful book that tackles some pretty heavy issues in the way that Myracle does. The writing is crisp and vivid, the characters real and beautifully flawed. I want to know what comes next for Patrick and Cat. Cat, the tenacious girl who is so much bigger than her tiny rural hometown--I picture her going on to become the next Erin Brocovich. 

The truth is though, each of these books are entirely complete. I'm not a fan of the new trend towards series that drag on forever as it often results in a stellar first novel followed by a few less awesome books. Also, part of the joy of reading (at least for me) is losing myself in the book and deciding for myself what comes next. In each of the books mentioned in this post has stayed with me and I find myself from time to time wondering what came next for the characters; but I can't help but think that some of the magic would be spoiled if any of the books ever happened to have a sequel.  (BUT--the Magda/Dreska book would be a companion piece, not a sequel--so I'm holding out for that ;p)  

What do you think about series? What books do you think should have sequels?





Musings on Love Triangles

Image used with permission from ShutterStock

What is it about love triangles?


  • Lysander, Demetrius, and Hermia
  • Elizabeth Bennet, George Wickham, and Fitzwilliam Darcy
  • Scarlett O’Hara, Ashley Wilkes, and Rhett Butler
  • Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Tom Buchanan 


The love triangle is certainly nothing new; however, lately it seems like many readers, myself included, have been getting down on books featuring love triangles.

Earlier this week, I was watching an episode of the BBC/SyFy show Merlin in which Arthur discovers his love Guinevere is also secretly harboring feelings for Sir Lancelot. This certainly isn't a new tale; most people know of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot. Yet, few people complain about that particular love triangle. This made me wonder what causes so many people to puff with exasperation at the mention of a love triangle.  started thinking about books I'd read, reviews I'd recently seen, and (of course) all the chatter on twitter. Here's what I've noticed.

1. If done well, the love triangle should blend into the rest of the story without detracting from it.
A great example of this is the Katniss/Gale/Peeta arc in The Hunger Games. Without becoming a primary point, it helps to develop all three characters. 

2. Often, love triangles perpetuate the stereotype of a female as helpless without a partner (usually a male).
The Twilight series is one of the worst offenders here. Bella is helpless without either Edward or Jacob and can't even function when Edward is away. is this really the message we want to be sending to our young girls?

3. Love triangles are also sometimes guilty of falling into the trap of pitting girl against girl for the love of a boy.
This is summed up best by Meghan of Coffee and Wizards in her post on female friendships in literature. 

4. Sometimes, the triangle unnecessarily complicates matters.
My friend Katya summed this up nicely by saying, "romance is hard enough without adding a third to the mix."

5. Too much of a good thing can be bad.
You know that feeling after over-indulging at a large, decadent meal? I think that's what we're seeing now. In the same way we've seen vampires and werewolves run their course, some readers my be feeling bored with the triangle motif.

For me, I'm growing weary of the forced triangle--the one that seems present in the book as a trope and nothing more. But, if well done, a brilliant triangle can add dimension and depth to a story.

What are your thoughts about love triangles in literature? Do you love them, hate them, or are you somewhere in between? 


Getting to Know You . . .



books and green tea by ~suzieqhorrorshow on deviantART



I haven't done one of these posts in a while, so I thought it would be fun to give one a whirl. Laura (Burgandy Ice) of Colorimetry send me these questions. Here it goes . . .

1 - Give me your take on LOVE in YA fiction. Is kissing ok? More? How much more?!  (That's ONE question!!)

This is a tough one. I think romance in any literature has to be central to the story and has to be non-gratuitous. Any romance that feels fake or overdone can ruin an otherwise good story.


2 - What's your favorite part of a ROMANTIC relationship?!  (That's very different from question #1!)

The build up--the part where the characters are just realizing their feelings for one another. It's full of tension and suspense, it's the best part :)


3 - What paranormal creature would you like to read MORE of?  

Hmmm . . . something altogether new. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies are all feeling a bit overdone right now, but with a great new take on the story any of them could be amazing. But I'd like to read something fresh--maybe something we've never heard of before. I am loving the Soul Screamers series currently, it's creative, original, and fun.


4 - Who got you into reading?

My mom. She always read to me and encouraged me to read. Also, growing up, I wasn't exposed to much TV or film. I would get books as gifts and as incentives (in lieu of an allowance). This is something for which I am infinitely grateful.


5 - What was the first book you remember obsessing over the awesomeness of?

Alice in Wonderland. It's still my favorite.


6 - Do you journal?

Yes. I am never without my journal. I keep quotes from books I'm reading, ideas for stories of my own, observations, rants, doodles, magazine clippings . . . it's quite eclectic. 


7 - Why do you read?  For fun?  For escape?  To make the train commute faster?!

All of the above?


8 - What is your favorite weekly blog Meme?

Hmmm . . . so many to choose from. I don't regularly participate in memes, though this year I've decided I'd like to do so more. Not sure I could pick a favorite at the moment.


9 - What's a lesson you have learned blogging?

Stay true to who you are, don't be someone you're not. Also, blogging should be fun. When it starts to feel like work, it's time for a little break.


10 - What do you want to do next with your blog?  

I'd like to increase my readership, but other than that--I'm happy with where I am now.


11 - If you could be a character in one of your favorite books, who would you be?

Wow, so many great choices here . . . I think I'd choose a character like Belatrix LeStrange, someone slightly evil just to see what it's like to be in their skin for a bit. Wait, I don't have to be them forever do I, because I'd like to eventually return to being me :)


So there you have it, a little more about my reading habits and quirks. I'd love it if you'd choose one or two of the questions to answer in the comments :)


Hello March: Feature & Follow



I was happily surprised to find myself one of the featured blogs on Feature & Follow Friday. The Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. So a big thanks to them and a huge welcome to all my new followers :)
It's always great to meet new readers, so please leave a comment introducing yourself and if you have a blog, let me know so I can visit.  I have some exciting changes coming to the blog soon and there are several giveaways and tours planned for the next several months. 
Q: What book would you love to see made into a movie or television show and do you have actors/actresses in mind to play the main characters?

I'm always sort of hesitant to see books I love made  into movies or shows because the film version so rarely matches my vision.  The Hunger Games series is one I'm of course eager to see the film versions of, and so far, the casting appears to be pretty good. Lauren DeStefano's books, Wither and Fever, are both so full of colorful characters and rich with detail that I think they'd be a natural fit for the screen. In terms of casting, I think I'd prefer to see some new faces--ones that I don't already associate with other roles.


Thanks for stopping by :)

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