Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review: Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: November 29, 2011
Paperback, 354 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
 ISBN: 978-0758266941
Mythos Academy #2

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My Review:
You can't imagine my excitement when I received this book in the mail.  I participated in the Touch of Frost tour for Teen Book Scene so it came as a surprise to get the Kiss of Frost book from Kensington as well.  A wonderful surprise - so thank you Kensington.

Kiss of Frost starts up just a few weeks I would say in future from where Touch of Frost ends.  Gwen has settled into Mythos Academy a little more.  Daphne is her best friend, Logan is her sparring partner and the boy she not-so-secretly lusts after.  But as usual trouble seems to be finding Gwen again and this time during the Winter Carnival.

I found this installment to be a lot of fun.  And while it was a lot of fun, it also furthered the development of the world of the Mythos Academy and the warriors there and ones we learn about at other academies around the world.  I also learned more about the teachers and about Gwen's family.  So in a nutshell, this is a great second installment for the world-building.

But Jennifer Estep doesn't stop there of course.  Kiss of Frost also has a great story and great character building as well.  Gwen really starts coming into her own in this book and I learned more about Logan as well.  The story kept me turning pages wondering what would happen next and just when I thought the story was over, Ms. Estep took me for another thrill ride right until the end, and left me wanting and ready for the next installment in I believe June of 2012.  Mercifully she does give us a teaser chapter at the end of Kiss of Frost for the next book, Dark Frost.  Of course, the plot line for Kiss of Frost is mostly tied up at the end, but things are left open to continue the story.  She doesn't leave you hanging in a bad way, just in a way that makes you want to read the next story.

I can't really say much more without giving anything away, but Kiss of Frost is a must-read.  Reading Touch of Frost is not necessary to read Kiss of Frost because Ms. Estep does hit the main points of what happened in Touch of Frost.  But I feel to get the full feel for Gwen and some of the other characters and the Mythos Academy the books should be read in order.  Touch of Frost was an excellent book and my review can be found here.  And Kiss of Frost is an outstanding follow-up.  Now if June will hurry up and get here so I can enjoy Dark Frost as well.  I am enamored with the world of the Mythos Academy and how down-to-earth Gwen Frost really is.  I think Ms. Estep has created a character that everyone can relate to in Gwen in a mythological world and that makes it fun and interesting and definitely keeps me reading.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

Parental guidance: Sexual references through the book but nothing graphic, usually references to couples hooking up (no actual sex takes place on the pages, just kissing), very little bad language, there is violence, but you would expect that, it's not over-the-top.  I suggest for ages 14+.  It's really not that bad in the scheme of things, nothing that a 12-year-old does not know is in this book.

My review of Touch of Frost

About the Book:
Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle...

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...

About the Author: 
Jen­nifer Estep is a USA Today bestselling author, prowl­ing the streets of her imag­i­na­tion in search of her next fan­tasy idea.

Jen­nifer writes the Ele­men­tal Assas­sin urban fan­tasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she's not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional south­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals - Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Books in the series are Spider's Bite (2010), Web of Lies (2010), Venom (2010), and Tan­gled Threads (2011). Spider's Revenge, the fifth book in the series, will be released in Octo­ber 2011. By a Thread, the sixth book, will be released in February 2012, with the seventh book (untitled) tentatively set to be published in the fall of 2012.

Jen­nifer also writes the Mythos Acad­emy young adult urban fan­tasy series for Kens­ing­ton. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psy­chom­e­try, or the abil­ity to know an object's his­tory just by touch­ing it. After a seri­ous freakout with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Acad­emy, a school for the descen­dents of ancient war­riors like Spar­tans, Ama­zon, Valkyries, and more.

The first book, Touch of Frost, will be out in August 2011, while the sec­ond book, Kiss of Frost, will hit shelves in Decem­ber 2011. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, will be released in July 2011.


FTC Information: I received this book from the author for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.

Common English Bible Tour: Advent Bible Verse & Common English Bible Tour Translation Background #CEBtour

A few weeks ago I received a copy of the Common English Bible Translation to participate in a blog tour through the end of January.  I plan to feature several more posts between now and then to highlight this great translation of the Bible.  First I thought I would share a Bible verse from the Advent time of year and then introduce what makes the Common English Bible Translation what it is.

I think today's Bible verse is perfect for the time of year and very clear to understand in this new translation.   I will continue to post verses through the rest of the Advent season so stay tuned for more great examples of the Common English Bible.

Today's Bible Verse: Matthew 2:9

When they heard the  king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was.
Common English Bible Translation Background
Known for being “built on common ground,” the Common English Bible is a collaboration of 120 academic scholars and editors, 77 reading group leaders, and more than 500 average readers from around the world who joined together to clearly translate the Bible’s original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages into 21st century English. More than half-a-million copies of the Bible are currently in print. It’s also available online and in 20 digital formats.

“When we say ‘built on common ground,’ we mean that the Common English Bible is the result of collaboration between opposites: scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; teens working with retirees; men working with women; many denominations and many ethnicities coming together around the common goal of creating a vibrant and clear translation for 21st century readers, with the ultimate objective of mutually accomplishing God’s overall work in the world; in essence, helping Bible readers live on common ground,” says Paul Franklyn, PhD, associate publisher for the Common English Bible.

The Common English Bible is written in contemporary idiom at the same reading level as the newspaper USA TODAY—using language that’s comfortable and accessible for today’s English readers. It’s available—with and without the Apocrypha—in multiple editions and bindings. Information about the Common English Bible is available on its website, Twitter stream, Facebook page, and video.

Combining scholarly accuracy with vivid language, the Common English Bible is the work of 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations in American, African, Asian, European, and Latino communities, representing such academic institutions as Asbury Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Bethel Seminary, Denver Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Wheaton College, Yale University, and many others.

Additionally, more than 500 readers in 77 groups field-tested the translation. Every verse was read aloud in the reading groups, where potentially confusing passages were identified. The translators considered the groups' responses and, where necessary, reworked those passages to clarify in modern English their meaning from the original languages. In total, more than 700 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible to fruition; and because of the Internet and today’s technology it was completed in less than four years.

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Author Interview Video: A Dog's Purpose author W. Bruce Cameron

Today I welcome author, W. Bruce Cameron who will answer my interview questions in this great video for the blog tour promoting both A Dog's Purpose and Emory's Gift.  My interview focuses on Emory's Gift.  For more tour stops, check out the tour schedule here.