Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sourcebooks new British Babes Book Brigade Facebook Page + $0.99 books!

The Facebook Fan Page: The British Babes Book Brigade has been launched today .  It will give you an all access pass to connect with the most beloved British female authors, who are now published by Sourcebooks! Thank you to everyone who “likes” use and for the comments on the page already; we’re happy to see you’re just as enthusiastic about this page as we are in creating it.

To celebrate the launch of our Facebook page, Sourcebooks is offering a number of British Babe eBooks for only .99 Cents from March 22-March 28. Here’s a link to our eBook Specials page, and where you can also sign up for a newsletter that let’s you know about our eBook deals on a regular basis: http://www.sourcebooks.com/readers/browse-our-lists/ebook-specials.html

·         The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
·         The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick
·         Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
·         Amelia O’Donohue Is So Not a Virgin by Helen FitzGerald
·         Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell
·         Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley
·         Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe
·         The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
·         Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange
·         Beautiful People by Wendy Holden

I went and got all of them for my Kindle - I can't pass up a $0.99 special - so go check out the Facebook page and like them, there will be prizes and lots of information - I look forward to following it.

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Publish Date: March 22, 2011
Hardcover, 368 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1

My Review:
Why I read this: It was a surprise from the publisher, and a book I really wanted to read.

My thoughts:
Wow, this is a powerful book in so many ways yet still entertaining.  What would you do if you knew that you would die by a certain age?  What would you do if you were taken by the "Gatherers" to be a suitable wife to a house Governor?  That is exactly what Rhine faces.  She is carefully existing in a post-apocalyptic type world where the genetics of humans were played with so much that the offspring of the super-race only live to 20 if you are female and 25 if you are male.  Pretty girls are snatched off the street to become one of several wives to the elite young men in society to simply exist to procreate so society can continue.  Scientists are looking for a cure for this generation, kind of  like they did before when they cured cancer and other diseases but left this problem to be taken care of.  Some exist to find the cure and some believe the race should just die off and not subject more children to the shortened lifespan.

That's the overview.  The real story is Rhine and how she becomes one of three wives to Linden.  But she doesn't want to be there, she wants to be back home in New York City with her brother.  Linden is kind as a husband and Rhine gets to know and like her "sister wives" Jenna and Cecily.  She doesn't like her new father-in-law though and she begins to suspect that things aren't always as they seem in the household she is living in.  But the good thing in the house is Gabriel, one of the house servants, who Rhine becomes fond of.  He and her brother keep her going and keep her from giving up even when things seem dire.

Rhine is a strong character.  I really liked her.  I liked how she was street smart enough to know how to handle Linden to get what she wanted.  In some ways this seems manipulative and wrong, but she didn't choose to be married and one of three wives.  She didn't choose this life she is living.  I liked watching her develop her friendships with Cecily and Jenna who made interesting secondary characters.  I liked Jenna, and Cecily not as much, but I think that was the point.  One additional thing I really loved was the description of the fashions that were worn and the servants that helped design and make them for the wives.  I loved this addition to the story.

The plot is amazing.  First the world building was so well done I could almost picture being a part of this world (scary as it is).  Second the plot just keeps you moving through the whole book.  What will happen next, what will Rhine do, how will she handle this situation?  The questions keep coming and keep being answered right up until the end.  The ending is tied up in a way but very open for the next in the series, which I cannot wait for.

To me this was the caliber of The Hunger Games - a world so horrible yet so real that you could almost believe in it.   An author who makes this world come to life and populates it with people you like and people you don't.  And an author who keeps the action moving at a pace that makes the book hard to put down and when you finish it you are dying for the next book.  A brilliant debut for what I see to be a very up and coming author.  I know I will eagerly await book #2 in The Chemical Garden trilogy.  I am eager to see more of Rhine and learn more about her world and how she finds her place in it.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?
About the Author (from her website): 

Lauren DeStefano was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has never traveled far from the east coast. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College recently, and has been writing since childhood. She made her authorial debut by writing on the back of children's menus at restaurants and filling up the notepads in her mom's purse. Her very first manuscript was written on a yellow legal pad with red pen, and it was about a haunted shed that ate small children.

Now that she is all grown up (for the most part), she writes fiction for young adults. Her failed career aspirations include: world's worst receptionist, coffee house barista, sympathetic tax collector, and English tutor. When she isn't writing, she's screaming obscenities at her Nintendo DS, freaking her cats out with the laser pen, or rescuing thrift store finds and reconstructing them into killer new outfits.
FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Book Review: Texas Blue by Jodi Thomas

Texas Blue
Texas Blue by Jodi Thomas
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: April 5, 2011
Paperback, 336 pages 
Fiction, Historical Romance
Setting & Timeframe: Texas, late 1800s

My Review:
Why I read this: Jodi has me completely hooked on her Harmony, Texas series so when she contacted me about this blog tour, I was definitely on-board :)

My thoughts:
I love Jodi's contemporaries, so trying a historical was a little different.  I like historicals, but honestly haven't read many of the romances set her in the U.S. and especially those with western-like settings.  I must say that after reading Texas Blue - I will not shy away from this time period or setting any longer. Jodi writes this time-period and setting so well that I felt like I was right there.

Texas Blue is a great story that involves two people pretending to be other people.  They meet, they clash at first and then they learn there is something else there, but neither one wants love or marriage.  We all know that when that happens of course they find it, but there will be bumps along the way.  I thought the romance and characters were great in this book.  I really liked Em and her independent streak and her ability to run their ranch in their father's absence.  She's a strong female who is sure she will never marry and does not want to be involved with a man.  But she finds she has a softer side when she is with Lewt.  Lewt is a gambler, that is what he does and usually he makes no apologies for it, so when he tries to pass himself off as a well-bred gentleman to find a rich woman to marry, he quickly learns that the well-bred life is not the life for him.  He finds himself more at home helping out the mysterious boyish-looking Em than hanging out with the three McMurray sisters (one who is not a McMurray but standing in for Em since she doesn't want to be a part of finding a suitor) and the other two well-bred gentlemen.

There is also other conflict in the novel that made a great sidestory.  Duncan is the McMurray sisters' cousin and a Texas Ranger.  He is also the one who sent the men to Whispering Mountain to meet his cousins, though he would have never sent his gambler friend Lewt.  Duncan goes on a mission with the Rangers that goes wrong and there is the adventure plot of the story.  I liked this part for the suspense and the edge-of-your-seat what would happen next.  And I found myself really liking Duncan.  He's one of those white hat cowboys - always doing the right thing, the good guy.

The novel moved quickly for me.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and this is a continuation of the Whispering Mountain series featuring other characters in this family and I will be checking those books out along with continuing with this series as it moves along.  But I found you do not have to read the earlier novels to enjoy Texas Blue - it stands-alone quite well.

If you love this time period and love romance, especially ones where the characters pretend to be something they are not, then this is a book for you.  Or if you are looking for one of those first beach reads of the season I urge you to pick this one up, throw it in your beach bag (or pool bag) and enjoy it one beautiful afternoon.

I'll finish with one quote that really just shows the romance in this novel (this is Lewt thinking):

When he kissed her, the whole world seemed to stop, and if he could get her to look at him he swore she had the bluest eyes in all of Texas.
My Rating: 4.25/5.0

Other books in this series (though Texas Blue can be read on it's own)

Texas Rain (Whispering Mts)Texas Princess (Whispering Mts)Tall, Dark, and Texan (Whispering Mountain)The Lone Texan

Be sure and check out my guest post from the author, Jodi Thomas about Texas Blue and also enter the giveaway.

About the Book:

Gambling man Lewton Paterson wants to marry into a respectable family, even if it costs him his friendship with Duncan McMurray. After fleecing a train ticket from one of the three gentlemen picked to call on Duncan's cousins, Lewt makes his way to Whispering Mountain. But seducing a well-bred woman is harder than Lewt thought, and he realizes that to entice a McMurray sister, he'll need to learn a thing or two about ranching and love.

About the Author: 
A fifth generation Texan who taught family living, Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon.   A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable. 

With a degree in Family Studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer In Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, "When I was teaching classes full time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher, or nurse, or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place."


FTC Information: I received this book from the author/publisher for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop Winner

I had 370 entries into this giveaway and the winner is:

#237 - Christine Jensen

I'll be emailing Christine to get her book choice.  If I don't hear from her in 48 hours I'll draw a new winner.  Thank you to all of you who entered.  Thanks to my old followers and to my new followers - I'm almost to 900 followers which makes me very excited!

Make sure you take a look at the sidebar and enter some of the other giveaways I have going on if you haven't yet.