Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekly Preview & Giveaway (7)

Welcome to week seven of my feature where I preview what I will be reviewing this week and also where you get a chance to enter to win one of the books I am reading this week plus two books from my giveaway page.  All you have to do to enter is leave your name and email in the Rafflecopter below.  All other entries are optional.  Open to US/Canada only, ends 11/26.  NOTE: Paper Angels is the only book up for review that is not an ebook this week, so you can have your choice of winning it or a third choice from my giveaway page.

First up last week's winner is: 


 Waves of Deceit by Marlene Sanchez (Sizzling PR tour)
The Pascual crime family is getting bigger and stronger and taking over more and more of Miami every day. The FBI has been trying to take them down for years, but they can’t seem to make anything stick. Enter former Marine sniper, Agent Michael Walker.

Until age 17 Michael was best friends with Manny Pascual, the heir and current head of the Pascual family. Now the FBI wants him to infiltrate the family he was once a part of in order to collect enough evidence to bring them down for good.

Although it has been more than ten years since Michael has been back to Miami, Manny is more than happy to have his best friend back where he belongs. Not everyone is as happy to see Michael, but one person is secretly thrilled to see him. Bianca Martinez, the family lawyer, can’t keep him out of her head
The FBI is closing in, but Michael is becoming more conflicted between his job, his friendship with Manny and the life he missed in Miami. The hot relationship sparking with Bianca complicates things further when he learns Manny wants to claim her as his own.

Will the years of friendship between these three endure as they find themselves between the tightening vice of rivaling families and the hard fist of the law? Or will they all drown in their Waves of Deceit? 

The Man Who Couldn't Eat by Jon Reiner Interview
Jon Reiner was middle-aged, happily married with two children, living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and acclimating to his role as primary parent-caregiver when he suffered a near-fatal collapse due to complications from his chronic battle with Crohn’s disease. From that point, he was forbidden from eating food, fed intravenously, and denied the pleasures of taste, which, as an award-winning food writer, had been a central part of his life. In The Man Who Couldn't Eat, Reiner reinvents the foodoir, recounting what happens when a man obsessed with food cannot eat, and what happened to his family as a result. Coping with illness, unemployment, and financial ruin spun him into a deep depression, straining his relationship with his wife and children. It was this deprivation, ironically, that forced Jon to recognize what he’d been taking for granted.
Eloquent and powerful, this is one man’s journey from deprivation and despair to ultimately acceptance and appreciation of what is truly important.

 Bonjour 40 by Karen A. Chase book review and special giveaway tour stop
If Karen A. Chase absolutely had to turn forty, she decided she could do it gracefully in Paris… for nearly forty days. What began as a blog to communicate with friends and family, became a travel journal filled with over a months’ worth of humorous and insightful glimpses into her Paris adventures, each of which could be read in about forty seconds. Journal entries are interspersed with Chase's own inspiring photography. Additional, longer stories richly fill in details allowing readers to reflect upon her experiences with food, travel, photography, Parisians, writing, and love in the City of Lights. Through her Parisian- and self-exploration, comes a book that brings to life the richness of Paris as seen through the eyes of a romantic travel junkie. Chase shows readers the joys of turning 40, and with her magical view of Paris, they'll be ready to board a plane before they've turned the last page

 Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne and Travis Thrasher
Kevin Morrell is a forty-three year old husband and father who runs a successful design and marketing firm. Attempting to navigate the busyness of the mall at Christmas, Kevin is humbled when he stumbles across the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Project. He picks up a paper ornament and is both moved and intrigued by the list. Why would a fourteen-year-old boy want shoes a size bigger than his foot? And why specifically a Banana Republic card? Why of all the stores would a fourteen year old pick that store?

Thomas Reed is the fourteen-year-old boy on the card. He is still reeling from the implosion of his family—from years of verbal abuse from an alcoholic father to a mother who finally left him behind, only to find herself and Thomas penniless and struggling. The only thing has allowed Sandra to survive is her faith. Thomas shares that faith, but he also wonders why God has seemingly abandoned them.

This is the story about a man and a boy one December. A man whose life is changed by a simple expression of kindness the day after Thanksgiving. And a boy who takes that expression of kindness and shows the true meaning of Christmas.

 Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly
Miss Marian Wynswich is a rather unconventional young lady. She plays chess, reads Greek, and is as educated as any young man. And she s certain falling in love is a ridiculous endeavor and vows never to do such a thing. But everything changes when she receives a Christmas visit from someone unexpected--- a young and handsome English lord.

Win a Kindle Touch for YOU and a Friend from Tricia Goyer!

Tricia Goyer is celebrating the release of her novel, Remembering You, with a KINDLE Touch Giveaway for you ... and for the friend of your choice. Then on 11/29 she'll be wrapping up the release of Remembering Youwith a Book Chat Party!

During the first half of the party Tricia will be chatting, sharing a sneak peek of her next book, and giving away a ton of great stuff. Then she'll head over to her website for a Live Chat! Readers will be able to chat with Tricia via video or text.

Don't miss your chance to win a Kindle Touch for yourself ... and to "remember" a friend this holiday with a Kindle Touch for them!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Touch and a Kindle Touch for a Friend (winner's choice!) 
  • A copy of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer for each
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 29th. Winner will be announced at Remembering You Facebook Party on 11/29. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away copies of her other WWII books and gift certificates to Starbucks and So grab your copy of Remembering You and join Tricia on the evening of the 29th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

The Iron Knight Tour: Q&A with Julie Kagawa & Book Review

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publish Date: October 25, 2011
Paperback, 361 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
 ISBN: 978-0373210367
The Iron Fey #4

Q&A with Julie Kagawa
What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Hmm, is there a difference?  I guess a reader is someone who reads and enjoys the story, but a real Book Lover is someone who falls in love with the characters, can’t wait to get home to start reading, thinks of books as treasured possessions, and would rather be engrossed in a story than anything else.

Considering his often-mentioned icy demeanor, was it hard for you to switch from Meghan’s perspective to Ash’s in writing The Iron Knight?

It was different.  I know Meghan; I know her voice, her personality, her character.  It was harder writing Ash, because if you know the Winter prince at all, you know he isn’t very chatty.  Some days I’d be sitting at my keyboard, yelling “Will you TALK already!” at him.  So I’d say it was different, and a little more difficult, but I finally got him to open up in the end.

You are an admitted gamer. If approached, would you prefer a movie version or a gaming version of your Iron Fey series?

As much as I love gaming, I would have to say movie. (Because if the movie is a success they’ll make a game anyway, right?)

When writing about the Fey, there are a lot of tricks and loopholes involved, especially where Grimalkin is concerned. How do you manage to keep them all straight?

Thankfully, my husband is very good at catching inconsistencies.  He is the first to read the finished book, and will always tell me if something doesn’t work or make sense.  (He’s also threatened to rip the semi-colon key off the keyboard, for all the semi-colons he’s had to take out, lol!)

My Review:
Talk about a hard-to-put-down book, The Iron Knight was one of the hardest.  The only reason I put it down on Friday night was because my sleeping pill kicked in and I almost forgot to start supper trying to finish it up Saturday evening.  Thankfully I have a very understanding family.

First off I will admit that I have shamefully not read any books in this series since The Iron King, which is book #1 and I loved it.  With my review schedule there is very little time for other books even though I have been dying to get back to this series.  That is the reason I quickly accepted the chance to read and review The Iron Knight.  I had big plans to read The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen along with the in between novellas before my tour date came up, but as usual that did not happen so I jumped right into The Iron Knight.  So even though I missed what happened in books 2 & 3, I still had the basics from book 1 and the relationship understanding behind me so I did not feel lost at all in this book.

This book is primarily about Ash and his quest to become mortal so he can be with Queen Meghan again in The Iron Kingdom since he can't be there as a Faery.  I loved the quest and his companions.  Of course Puck is there and Grimalkin, who is always interesting, but this story adds two others who are new to the story and I won't give away here.  It rounds out an interesting bunch and a perfect group to accompany Ash.

As they make their way to The End of the World, things are learned about each character and the world they live in and especially about each character's relationship with Ash.  I found this fascinating.  I also found Ash's constant thinking and wavering fascinating, yet in his heart his love for Meghan never really seems to waver at all.  It's a beautiful love story on his part.

Of course Ms. Kagawa does not only focus on character, the main focus is on action and there is plenty of action and danger as they make their trip and eventually run the gauntlet.  I felt so on the edge of my seat at times and could picture the scenes so well that I could see this easily being made into a movie.  You know how sometimes fantasy books kind of get beyond you in setting and overwhelm you.  The Iron Knight does none of that.  I could see each scene clearly through Ms. Kagawa's descriptions.  It was wonderful and the action was just amazing and really kept my attention.

As the story starts to wind down, you think you know just what is happening (or I thought I did) only to be surprised again and I love that.  The Iron Knight was delightful.  I loved the book from Ash's view.  It's romantic without being cheesy.  It's action-packed and interesting.  It's full of great characters and interesting places, and while I am sure this is a series that has been marketed to teenage girls, I will at least share this last book with my son when he's just a little older because I think he would really enjoy it.

I do recommend reading this series the entire way through just because it is a wonderful series.  But if you want to read it quickly you could do what I did and read books #1, The Iron King and #4 The Iron Knight.  However I will be going back to read The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen as soon as I can to find out what happens in the middle.

If you enjoy fantasy novels, faery novels, novels about friends going on quests, adventures or anything similar, then these are books for you.  They have romance, action, political intrigue (of the fae kind), plenty of adventure and lots of witty banter to keep you reading all night long if you don't take a sleeping pill like me.  Ms. Kagawa has a way with words and world creation and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

About the Author: 
Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, when she was nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks is at an all- time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon.

The Iron Fey Website

FTC Information: I received this book from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations for an honest review.   Clicking through and ordering with the B&N or the Book Depository links do provide me with a small commission which helps me continue to hold giveaways on the blog.

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