Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Mailbox - 4/30/11

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature.

Here are the new books I got this week. I was really excited to receive these books as all were books I really wanted to read.

For review:

Fateful by Claudia Gray

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....
Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.
Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike. (I already finished reading this, and I loved it!)

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling—and downright silly—curse. Ridiculous though the curse may be, whoever breaks it will win a handsome reward.
Sharp-witted Reveka, an herbalist’s apprentice, has little use for princesses, with their snooty attitudes and impractical clothing. She does, however, have use for the reward money that could buy her a position as a master herbalist.
But curses don’t like to be broken, and Reveka’s efforts lead her to deeper mysteries. As she struggles to understand the curse, she meets a shadowy stranger (as charming as he is unsettling) and discovers a blighted land in desperate need of healing. Soon the irreverent apprentice is faced with a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul? (I'm reading this now, and really enjoying it so far)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Beautiful Days: A Bright Young Things Novel by Anna Godbersen (Published by HarperTeen, September 20, 2011)

In this must-have sequel to Bright Young Things, Cordelia and Letty are small-town girls no longer. Letty is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams. Cordelia thought she lost her true love, but a chance meeting will change her fortune—and her future. The unflappable flapper Astrid Donal has promised herself to Charlie Grey, Cordelia’s half-brother, but isn’t sure their love is true enough to survive. And a bitter rivalry will ensnare them all in a dangerous feud played out in the speakeasies of Manhattan and on the great lawns of Long Island. As these bright young things live out their beautiful days in the summer of 1929, they find romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, new friends and unexpected rivals.
Fans of The Luxe series, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Martin Scorsese’s hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and, of course, The Great Gatsby, will delight in the Jazz Age setting, a time when girls were enjoying newfound freedom and excitement could be found behind any door in Manhattan.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I am looking forward to reading the second. It's supposed to be at BEA next month, so hopefully I will be able to read it in a few weeks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest post from Jackie Morse Kessler, author of RAGE

By Jackie Morse Kessler

I heard once that when you don’t get feedback about your work, it’s like being an all-night DJ when no one calls in with requests: you don’t know if anyone’s really listening. Writing can be the same way—if you don’t hear from readers that they’ve read your books, you’re never really sure if, well, anyone is reading them. (Okay, maybe that’s just me. I sort of obsess. You should have seen me in my Duran Duran phase. My bedroom wall was covered with pictures of John Taylor.)

Getting positive feedback from readers is mind-blowingly amazing. There is nothing, nothing like getting an email (or snail mail) from a reader who’s excited about your book. (Negative feedback is slightly less exciting, but it can up the ante in terms of humor. Once I was accused of being a Satanist, which I thought was pretty funny.) But the best thing about this job is getting to talk to readers about my books, and then answering their questions in a live Q&A format.

And this, hands-down, was the bestest of the best for me:

I was doing a reading/signing at my favorite local indie when Rage hit the shelves. A number of my friends were in the audience, which is always nice, but there were also people whom I didn’t know at all sitting there and listening to me talk about the writing process, self-injury, the Riders of the Apocalypse, and why chocolate should be its own food group. (Another perk of doing readings is that you can talk about pretty much anything.) So when it was time for people to have their books signed, two folks I didn’t know came up to me, a girl and a guy. The girl confided that she was a former self-injurer, and that she loved reading Rage. I was thrilled to hear that the character I’d created had really resonated for her. But even better? When it was the guy’s turn, he quietly told me that the girl has been his friend for years, and he’d been trying to understand what self-injuring was, so that he could understand what she had gone through during that period of her life. And now, thanks to reading Rage, he felt like he finally got it.

That made my heart soar. It was like getting a hundred on a major exam, or a top-notch performance review at a job. Or eating Tim Tams from Australia. (I’m telling you: chocolate should be its own food group.)


Riders of the Apocalypse giveaway!

Three lucky winners will receive one copy each of HUNGER and RAGE along with postcards and a mini-poster! To enter, send an e-mail to In the body of the e-mail, include your name and e-mail address (if you're under 13, submit a parent's name and e-mail address). One entry per person and prizes will only be shipped to US or Canadian addresses. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on 4/30/11. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on 5/1/11 and notified via email.

Jackie's next stop is SciFiGuy at

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In My Mailbox - 4/23/11

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature.

Here are the new books I got this week:


The Time Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.
After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!
Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century? (I bought this book because of the Titanic setting then saw it got mixed reviews.... hopefully I enjoy it)

For review:

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

A startling pyschological thriller by Patrick Carman, complemented by multimedia downloadable phone apps.
Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers each spend time in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an older man, and his teenage assistant, Davis. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences and are cured of their fears. But each person soon experiences strange, unexplained aches and pains....
What secrets are hiding within the walls of Fort Eden?
The print book is a breathtaking must-have for fans of the interactive downloadable apps that will be released prior to the book’s publication date. (this book was a surprise review copy and I never heard of it before. I'm not really into the whole multi-platform thing so hopefully the book can just be read alone....)

The Last Apprentice: Rage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney

Thomas Ward has served as the Spook's apprentice for three years. He has battled boggarts, witches, demons, and even the devil himself. Tom has enemies: The Fiend stalks him, waiting for a moment of weakness. The terrifying Morrigan, goddess of witches, warned him never to step foot on her homeland, Ireland.
But now war has consumed their own country, and Tom, his friend Alice, and the Spook must flee to Ireland. The dark rages strongly there. No one can be trusted. Can Tom defeat the creatures that hunt him most fiercely? (another surprise review copy, I am not sure when/if I will be able to read & review this book because it's seventh or eighth in a really long series and I don't have any of the other books)


Dear America: With the Might of Angels by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Coretta Scott King winner Andrea Davis Pinkney brings her talents to a brand-new Dear America diary about the Civil Rights Movement.
In the fall of 1955, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson's life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She's the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is familiar to face great uncertainty in the school year ahead.
However, not everyone supports integration and much of the town is outraged at the decision. Dawnie must endure the harsh realities of racism firsthand, while continuing to work hard to get a good education and prove she deserves the opportunity. But the backlash against Dawnie's attendance of an all-white school is more than she's prepared for. When her father loses his job as a result, and her little brother is constantly bullied, Dawnie has to wonder if it's worth it. In time, Dawnie learns that the true meaning of justice comes from remaining faithful to the integrity within oneself.


The Year We Were Famous by Carol Estby Dagg

With their family home facing foreclosure, seventeen-year-old Clara Estby and her mother, Helga, need to raise a lot of money fast—no easy feat for two women in 1896. Helga wants to tackle the problem with her usual loud and flashy style, while Clara favors a less showy approach. Together they come up with a plan to walk the 4,600 miles from Mica Creek, Washington, to New York City—and if they can do it in only seven months, a publisher has agreed to give them $10,000. Based on the true story of the author’s great-aunt and great-grandmother, this is a fast-paced historical adventure that sets the drama of Around the World in Eighty Days against an American backdrop during the time of the suffragist movement, the 1896 presidential campaign, and the changing perception of “a woman’s place” in society. (signed copy, won from the YA Historical Fiction Challenge)

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause. (signed copy, won from the YA Historical Fiction Challenge)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Carrie Vaughn, author of Steel

Carrie Vaughn is the author of Steel, a time-travel adventure in which a teenage girl named Jill travels back in time and finds herself on a pirate ship. In addition to this interview with her, thanks to HarperCollins I have one copy of Steel to give to a lucky winner. The details for the contest are listed after the interview.

About Steel:

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure. The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain. Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn

The story of STEEL is very unique compared to most YA books - what was your inspiration for the story?

I wanted to tell a pirate story -- this is in reaction to some other pirate stories out there, including a certain movie franchise. But I wanted mine to be different -- as historically accurate as I could make it, for one. And I wanted it to be about swords and swordfighting, since I'm a fencer (like Jill, but not nearly as good as Jill). I think every modern fencer wonders how they'd do fighting with "real" swords back in the day, and this story gave me a chance to explore that.

If you could be like Jill and travel back in time, where would you want to go?

A lot of people have been asking me this... The answer is London in 1600, so I could see an original production of Shakespeare's plays.

What are some of your own favorite books and authors?

Robin McKinley is probably my favorite author, especially her Damar books, The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. I love Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which is space opera.

When you aren't writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I travel quite a bit. I walk my dog. Watch movies. I'm a bit crafty -- I do some costuming, and I'm learning to knit.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Such as your website, info on yournext book, etc.

My website:
My latest book, After the Golden Age, just came out. The next book in my Kitty series, Kitty's Big Trouble, will be out in June.

Contest details:

To enter to win a hardcover copy of Steel, leave a comment with your email address
U.S. mailing addresses only
Must enter by Wedneday, May 4
Extra entries: +1 for linking to this interview & contest on Twitter, +1 for linking to it on your blog

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Published by Greenwillow Books, September 20, 2011)

Once every century, one person is chosen for greatness. But the prophecy is vague, and Elisa, always overshadowed by her accomplished older sister, has no idea why she was chosen or how she will fulfill the expectations. Her future is unknown and her potential is tremendous—even if she doesn’t realize it. A king asks her to save his troubled country. A savage enemy hunts her for its own—dead or alive. A revolutionary asks for her heart. And in the midst of ferocious battles and harsh quests, Elisa will find herself. She will find the strength she’s always possessed. She’ll find deep and abiding love. She’ll awaken the power that only she can control. And she’ll face those who want to rip all of it away. Lush, adventurous, and wrenching, this is the first in a trilogy for fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books.

Yay for more YA high fantasy! I *love* the genre but there have been so few books in recent years. So I am very excited that this book is the first in a trilogy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

In My Mailbox - 4/16/11

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature.

Here are the new books I got this week:


Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crossley-Holland

It is 1036. Halfdan is a Viking mercenary who is determined to travel to Constantinople and become one of the Viking Guard serving Empress Zoe. He promises to take his daughter, but one morning Solveig wakes up to find him gone. Setting off in her own tiny boat, she is determined to make the journey from Norway to the breathtaking city. Her boat is washed up, but Solveig is undeterred. What awaits Solveig as she continues on her summer journey across the world? She finds passage with Viking traders, witnesses the immolation of a young slave girl and learns to fight. She sees the clashes between those who praise her Norse Gods and the new Christians. In this perilous and exciting world, a young girl alone could be quickly endangered or made a slave. Will Solveig live to see her father again, and if she survives, will she remain free? A glittering novel that explores friendship and betrayal, the father-daughter relationship, the clash of religions and the journey from childhood to adulthood.

For review:

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett

Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, finding companionship only with her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.
Then a ship arrives bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, and Ariadne meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship—one that could perhaps become something more.
But Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the minotaur, that monster beneath the palace—unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne’s brother . . .

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview with Kristiana Gregory, author of Dear America: Cannons at Dawn

I am very happy to post this interview with Kristiana Gregory, who for years has been one of my favorite authors from the Dear America series. Her newest book, Cannons at Dawn (which I reviewed here) is the sequel to The Winter of Red Snow, which was originally published in 1996 as one of the first books in the Dear America series and recently rereleased by Scholastic in September 2010. Kristiana has also written several other books in the Dear America and Royal diaries series as well as many other historical novels for middle grade and young adult readers.

Why did you decide to become a writer of historical fiction? Have you always loved history?

When I was a newspaper reporter, I loved digging for facts then writing a story. One day, my editor at the Telegram-Tribune in San Luis Obispo yelled across the newsroom that I needed to start writing fiction because my leads were too flowery! My excuse was that it was painful listening to a city council meeting then having to report the boring details. I wanted a little pzazz, a little something extra that would be FUN. Historical fiction was the next step: I loved history and I loved making things up.

What is your research like for your historical novels? Do you usually visit the places featured in your books?

The only places I was not able to visit were Russia and Egypt [for Catherine the Great and Cleopatra]. Otherwise, I went to France three times for Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine [poor me], and made several visits to Valley Forge, Philadelphia and Morristown for the Dear Americas set during the Revolutionary War. I went to Kansas for the Prairie River series; all my books set in California, Utah, Colorado and Idaho are based on research from when I lived in those states.

If you could go back in time for a day (with guaranteed safety!) where would you visit? Would you choose the setting from one of your books, or somewhere else?

The Holy Land, to hang out with Jesus for the day. I haven't yet written about that era.

How did you decide to write a sequel to The Winter of Red Snow after all these years?

I had always wanted to continue Abigail's story, so when Scholastic invited me to do the sequel I was thrilled.

What are some of your own favorite books and authors?

Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Theodore Taylor. Favorite book growing up was Island of the Blue Dolphins, because I lived on the beach looking out toward the Channel Islands. I could picture where the real Karana had lived in solitude for 18 years.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

For years teachers, parents and young readers have asked where ideas come from and what it's like to be a writer, so I've started a blog:
Whenever a book is mentioned there you can click on the title for a direct link to

Book review: Dear America: Cannons at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory

Dear America: Cannons at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory (Published by Scholastic, May 1, 2011)

In this sequel to The Winter of Red Snow, Abigail Jane Stewart continues her diary in January 1779. Her father has recently joined the army and she is worried about him. Then her family's home burns down, and they have trouble finding a place to stay because most of their relatives moved away during the British occupation of Philadelphia. While her older sister remains in Philadelphia, Abby, her younger brother and sister, and their mother join the Continental Army as camp followers.

Life following the army is full of many hardships for Abby and her family. The winters are long and brutally cold and there is rarely enough food. There is also the worry that the Americans will lose the war, as the British have occupied many cities in the southern colonies, the Continental Army does not have enough supplies, and the promised aid and troops from France have not yet arrived. But there is also happiness, too. Abby and her family make several new friends, and there is also romance, as Abby finds herself falling in love with Willie Campbell, a young soldier.

The Winter of Red Snow was one of my favorite books from the original Dear America series, so when I learned there would be a sequel after all these years I was so excited. And I am happy to say I was not disappointed at all. The American Revolution is one of my favorite settings for historical fiction, so I really enjoyed reading Abby's diary, which brought to life the hardships faced by the American soldiers and their families during the final two years of the war. This book is now one of my favorites from the series and I would highly recommend it to all readers who enjoyed other books in the Dear America series. And if you haven't read any books from the series yet but love historical fiction, these two books are a great place to start.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox - 4/10/11

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature.

Here are the new books I got this week. I also got another copy of Steel by Carrie Vaughn (which was in my IMM last week) to give away in a contest which will be posted soon, as well as some cool signed bookmarks for The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton, a new historical fantasy that will published in October 2011.


Cat's Cradle by Julia Golding

Following the multi award-winning "The Diamond of Drury Lane", here we present the sixth volume from our famous feisty heroine Cat Royal..."Cat's Cradle".In which Cat Royal spins a tale about the search for her family, weaving in friends and foes, old and new. Her journey takes her from riotous London to a revolutionary cotton mill on the River Clyde in Scotland.And a mysterious newcomer is introduced...So take your seats, ladies and gentlemen: the Industrial Age has arrived. (I am sad they changed the design of this series. I loved the hardcovers but the new book is only available in paperback, sadly.)

Dear America: When Will this Cruel War Be Over? by Barry Denenberg

Acclaimed author Barry Denenberg's WHEN WILL THIS CRUEL WAR BE OVER? is now back in print with a gorgeous new package! The peaceful, traditional Southern life that Emma Simpson and her family know is shattered when the Civil War reaches their soil. Soon, Emma's father and brother are called to battle, but her family is confident the South will quickly win the War between the States. As the months drag on, though, the harsh realities of war set in. Death and hardship are all around Emma, and food, medicine, firewood, and ink for her to write in her diary become increasingly scarce as troops from the North march deeper into the South. Finally, even her home is commandeered by the Yankees. Still, with a brave spirit and the knowledge of what is most important, Emma never loses hope that the war will end. (new edition for my collection, review here)

For review:

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without? (from Around the World ARC Tours)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Book review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Entwined by Heather Dixon (Published by Greenwillow, March 29, 2011)

Princesss Azalea is the oldest of twelve sisters. Although they are princesses, they are poor and their castle is not very elegant. Azalea hopes to fall in love, but as the oldest daughter, she must marry the man Parliament chooses to be the next king. Shortly after the birth of the youngest girl, Lily, their mother dies. They must now observe a year of mourning, which includes wearing black, putting dark curtains over all the windows, no parties, no going outside, and worst of all, no dancing. Their mother loved to dance, and dancing reminds the girls of her, but their father, who has become cold and distant, forbids it.

One day, by chance, Azalea comes across a secret passageway that leads to an enchanted pavilion where the girls can dance all night. The pavilion is watched over by the Keeper, who always prepares it for the girls' arrival. At first, Azalea and her sisters are just happy to have a place where they can dance again. But soon the Keeper becomes sinister and demanding and Azalea begins to fear him. Meanwhile, Azalea can't forget Mr. Bradford, a handsome gentleman she met at the last ball before her mother's death, but he thinks she is her sister and Azalea knows it is unlikely she will be able to marry for love.

As you may have already guessed if you enjoy fairy tale retellings, Entwined is a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." This book is rather long and so it was a bit slow to get into at first, but I ended up really enjoying it. One of the reasons it is so long is the character development of the twelve sisters. Each girl has her own unique personality. The sisters are very close and it was touching how they comforted each other and tried to find some happiness after their mother's death. The world the story is set in seems to be based somewhat on Victorian England, with the beginnings of industrialization as well as the strict, complicated mourning customs. Recommended for readers who enjoy fairy tale retellings or historical fantasy.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.

Book review: Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley

Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley (Published by Waterbrook Press, June 21, 2011)

Sixteen-year-old Melaia is a young priestess, being trained to someday take over as High Priestess of the temple where she has grown up. There are many stories about angels and immortals, but Melaia has always believed those stories to be nothing more than myths. She never believed angels and immortals really existed, until the day she witnesses a murder in the temple courtyard. The victim is an angel, and his murderer a man who can shift between his human form and the form of a hawk. Against her will, Melaia has been drawn into a war between angels and the evil man who stole immortality and destroyed the Wisdom Tree and the stairway to heaven.

Before long, Melaia must leave her home for the first time and travel to the city of Redcliff, where the king lives. She is told she is being sent as a priestess, to try and heal the ailing king with the music she plays on a magical harp. Away from home for the first time, Melaia doesn't know who she can trust. She doesn't want to be in involved in this war, but she learns it is not just the angels that are at risk, but her homeland too, as the evil hawk man will stop at nothing to gain more power. And it may be her destiny to save them all.

Breath of Angel was very different from most of the many young adult angel novels published recently. It's high fantasy, rather than the usual urban fantasy, set in an invented world with a rather Medieval culture. High fantasy is a genre I really like and would love to see more of. I thought the author did a good job at describing the fictional world and all the different ranks of angels and immortals. There was a little romance and I would have liked there to be more, but there are going to be two more books so hopefully that will be developed more later on. I recommend this book if you love fantasy novels but are tired of all the modern paranormals and would like to read something different.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.

Waiting on Wednesday: Titanic, Book Three: S.O.S. by Gordon Korman

Titanic, Book Three: S.O.S. by Gordon Korman (Published by Scholastic, September 1, 2011)

From bestselling author Gordon Korman, the thrilling conclusion to the adventure aboard the unluckiest ship of all. The Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable - the largest passenger steamship in the world, one of the biggest and most luxurious ships ever to operate. For Paddy, Sophie, Juliana, and Alfie, the Titanic is full of mysteries - whether they're to be found in the opulent first-class cabins and promenade decks or the shadows in the underbelly of the ship. Secrets and plans are about to be revealed - only now disaster looms, and time is running out. The four of them need to find the truth, unmask the killer...and try not to go down with the ship.

After reading the first two books in this trilogy, I am dying to read the final book and find out what happens to all of the characters when the Titanic sinks. I almost wish now that I had waited until the whole series was published and read them all together!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In My Mailbox - 4/2/11

Credit goes to The Story Siren for creating and hosting the In My Mailbox feature.

Here are the new books I got this week:

For review:

Shadows on the Moon by ZoĆ« Marriott Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself. Suzume died officially the day the Prince's men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity. Is she the girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Everyone knows Yue is destined to capture the heart of a prince. Only she knows that she is determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her. Not even love.

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.


Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison

Jane wants to meet a hero worthy of her extraordinary imagination: a gentleman who is dashing and daring and handsome and brave; who can dance like a viscount and duel like a king. Jane and Jenny are whiling away the season in Bath and there are plenty of dances, rumours and scandals to entertain them. But a good reputation, once lost, is gone forever; and Jane is in danger of becoming the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons…
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