Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: Mayhem by Artist Arthur

Mayhem by Artist Arthur

Publisher: Kimani Tru
Publish Date: July 19, 2011
Paperback, 256 pages
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
ISBN: 978-0373229932

My Review:
Through two books I have been getting to know Jake and have been looking forward to a book devoted to him and I was not disappointed in my wait. I have loved the Mystyx series from the first book and getting to know each person in each book.  So far we have met Krystal and Sasha so it made sense that Jake would come next.  I really like that the Jake in Mayhem becomes a different Jake than he has been in the earlier books.  I loved getting to know Jake even more in this book.

The excitement level is also ratcheted up a notch in this book as the series is reaching it's mid-point.   There is a lot of excitement in Mayhem and it made the book very interesting and hard to put down.  I don't want to give anything away, but this is a very good book that has a lot of action, adventure and choices that have to be made.  There is also romance and excitement between the characters.  The book is just excitement all-around and I cannot wait until the next installment in this series.  I have enjoyed this from book one and look forward through to the end of the series as well - Ms. Arthur knows how to write a fun and exciting series that captivates the reader.

One additional thing I would like to add is the fact that bullying is addressed in this book and I think Ms. Arthur does a great job addressing this very timely topic in this book with Jake's being bullied and how he has to handle it.  Great job for tackling this in the book!
My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
A lot can change in a few months. Jake Palmer is living proof of that. In a short time, the once–shy loner has discovered his incredible supernatural abilities and forged a tight bond with his fellow Mystyx. What's more—he's fallen for his best friend, Krystal. And fallen hard.

Still, some things remain the same—like the jocks who keep bullying him. Even though they have no idea how powerful Jake has become. And while he tries to follow Krystal's advice, he may not be able to keep his cool much longer. But there are bigger problems ahead, because the darkness that's been hovering nearby is about to descend on the town of Lincoln, Connecticut. And when it does, the Mystyx will learn who to trust, who to fear and just how much is at stake…

About the Author: 
Learn about her here.

Her Website

FTC Information: I received through Teen Book Scene for an 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 Feature: The Last Musician and the Pool of Lorelei (The Galilean Quartet Book #2)

The Last Musician and the Pool of Lorelei (Volume 2)The Last Musician and the Pool of Lorelei by Christine E. Schulze (The Galilean Quartet Book 2)
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publish Date: February  26, 2010
Paperback, 206 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult
 ISBN: 9781449990466

My Review:
Why I read this:

My thoughts:  

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
When Gail mysteriously disappears, she is accused of being responsible for the mysterious deaths of the seven other music teachers of the Lynn Lectim Academy. Knowing such an accusation is impossible, Chasmira, one of Gail's faithful students, uses musical magic to embark on a quest to find her. Chasmira finds more than she bargained for though. She learns Moragon is harnessing the powers of music to fulfill his own dark purpose of usurping the Carmella throne. Meanwhile, Lori, Head of the Octavial Eight, searches to find and appoint the new members of the Octavial Eight, whose powers will be needed to defeat Moragon in the end. One of those she searches for is the true king of Carmella himself. Finally, Lori, Gail, Chasmira, and Jonathan join together to find the rest of the Octavial Eight and save Carmella from Moragon's clutches. But can Chasmira unravel the secrets of Jonathan's dark past and lead him to a saving faith in Amiel along the way? Can they save Carmella before Moragon's shadows spread across the entirety of Carmella?

About the Author: 

Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books by publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers.

Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WEbook online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.

Her latest and most exciting venture includes her publications with Old Line Publishing: Bloodmaiden and Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. She also anticipates her upcoming publication with Old Line, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.

Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois in her first and most thrilling apartment. 



The author, Christine has a giveaway going on her blog here:


FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an 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.

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard: Cover Interview

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard - Cover Interview

How much input did you have on the cover?

I was very lucky that I had a fair say in what I wanted in a cover. The publisher, of course, had the final say but I liked that I was able to express my own creative direction in terms of what I envisioned with the cover designer. I was also incredibly lucky to be able to work with an extremely talented designer, Alan Pranke, who took my vision and translated it into what I consider to be a work of art. The final product was perfect, capturing everything that I wanted the cover to convey. I have to say that when I first saw it, I cried, it was that beautiful to me.

I think the cover is beautiful - does it convey what you want it to about the book?

Absolutely. I wanted a cover that communicated a sense of strength with underlying fragility, one that portrayed a feeling of fierceness but also of wistfulness. I think Alan did a wonderful job with all the details and the feel of the cover. He has a great eye for drama. His intense graphic art on the title together with the softness of the portrait-like background and the whimsical nature of the girl just blended together perfectly to create that juxtaposition that I was looking for – the combination of the fierce and the fragile. It’s edgy but delicate at the same time. There’s also a masquerade ball in the book, so I loved that this was present in the cover especially since that’s a pivotal moment in the novel. Add in the spectacular work on
the spine and the lettering on the back cover, and I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together.

So much is going on with the cover but it doesn't seem overcrowded, what would you say your
favorite element of the cover is?

My absolute favorite element of the cover is the journal writing. Victoria’s dark secrets are revealed in a mysterious journal she receives from her grandmother, and I adore how the faded snippets of handwritten text are used in the background of the main images. Plus, there’s a number in there, just between the title and my name—1835—and that’s the year Christian was turned as a vampire! Believe it or not, that number was totally random … I call that fate.

If you could change one thing about the cover what would it be?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change the cover at all. To me, it’s perfect as is. But maybe I’d add a fantastic quote from an awesome review! I always love when I see those kinds of quotes on books on the front cover – “Brilliant!” by Famous Author Name. Of course, that’s just my ego talking! Ha!

What is one thing you are glad is not on the cover of Bloodspell?

I’m glad that there is no blood on the cover. It would have been way too clichéd and obvious to have blood on there. I mean the title is Bloodspell after all, and a huge element in the novel is Victoria’s powerful blood, but I like that it wasn’t an “in-your-face” thing. The way it is now, where the title incorporates that element in a very tasteful manner, in terms of its color and the actual art of the lettering, is perfect. If you look very closely, you will see that it almost looks like it is blood with the slight splatter effect along the edges, but it isn’t that obvious, which again, has the right amount of suggestion.

Do you pick up books just because of their covers?

Absolutely! I mean, who doesn’t? It’s like the most awesome first impression of a book that you get! If a book cover is just gorgeous, I will totally pick it up in the store, and immediately read the back to see if it’s something I will enjoy. If they cover is so stunning and evocative that I don’t care what’s on the back, I will probably end up getting it. I’m a very visual person like that.  Anything beautiful or striking will win me over. I like artistic covers, I like minimalist covers, I like modern covers … I like anything that makes me feel something. And I especially like covers that spin a story already, one that whets my appetite for what’s inside!

Your favorite cover of all time?

One of my favorite covers of all time is a very old Oxford edition of His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle (published in 1917), which has a very Eclipse-esque type cover. It’s incredibly dramatic, with white script text on the front and a swatch of vivid red art in the middle of the black back cover.

Another of my all-time favorites is the original A Clockwork Orange book cover byAnthony Burgess because it’s so conceptually striking and modernistic with the face and the single fringed eye. I actually own a copy of this book with that cover!


On the more artsy side, one of my more recent favorite covers is Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson because it’s so evocative … it’s beautiful and broken at the same time. I feel very moved by this cover for some reason, as if the girl is stuck on the outside looking in or is forever outside of herself. The colors and icy feel of it also heighten the sense of remoteness and deep sadness. It’s a very poignant cover, and the artistry of it is beautiful.