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Angels

    How to Win an ARC of Original Sin

    Original Sin ARC by Lisa Desrochers

    The next book in Lisa Desrochers amazing Personal Demons series, Original Sin, is releasing in four months. FINALLY.

    It will be released on July 5, 2011 and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback format.

    In the meantime, for those of us who are eager fans, she is offering us a chance to win an ARC with her “Spread the Word” contest.

    CLICK HERE for details on the contest and to enter on her blog.

    If you’d like to know more about the first book in the series, Personal Demons, click here for a description from Goodreads.

    And if you’d like to check out my review, click here. (Note: as my review is a bit older the name of book 3 is not the same as in my post.)

    The description of Original Sin from Goodreads is below. Click on the link in the text box to be taken to the Goodreads page where you can add this amazing book to your “to be read” pile!

    Goodreads description:

    When secrets and old histories come to light, Frannie realizes that nobody is who she thought they were. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Some are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

    And not everyone will get out of it alive.

    ***

    Yes, this is not the first dedicated post I’ve done for this book for a chance to win an ARC. But even if I didn’t have a snowballs chance in Hades I would still spread the word.

    Author Lisa Desrochers is an amazing author and I want her next book to be as successful as it possibly can so that she will write more books that I can read.

    Here are a few book trailers for your viewing pleasure

    Book trailer for Personal Demons:

    Book trailer for Gabe:

    Book trailer for Luc:

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    Review: A Touch Mortal

    A Touch Mortal is the debut novel for author Leah Clifford. It was released in the U.S. on February 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Greenwillow Books, the hardcover edition is 432 pages.

    A Touch Mortal is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com and was the my second pick for the DAC.

    Goodreads description:

    Eden didn’t expect Az.

    Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

    Yeah.

    So long, happily-ever-after.

    Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

    She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

    And that’s only the beginning of the end.

    ***

    Mortals have a path. Their lives have a set direction that they follow. But there are those who don’t. The pathless. The Siders. They begin to fade from the minds of everyone they’ve known and when they choose to end their existence they don’t simply die.

    Instead of death, they are fated to wander the earth carrying Touch. Forced to release it before the pain becomes too much to handle. Passing it to mortals who may end their lives because of its effect.

    There are Siders that do not care, even take pleasure in the fact that they are harming others. But there are those that don’t want to pay this price for immortality. With no way to stop their suffering, every day is a nightmare.

    That is until the day that Eden meets Az and her fate becomes intertwined with theirs, offering them an escape from an eternity of agony, guilt and sorrow.

    But falling in love with an angel who is no longer bound to Heaven and forever at risk of becoming one of the Fallen puts her in danger in ways she can’t even imagine.

    Will Eden’s love be enough for Az to fight the temptation or will the urge to fall be too much to resist?

    ***

    A Touch Mortal is a clever, distinctive and absolutely astounding debut novel from author Leah Clifford. The world that she has begun creating in this series is edgy, dark and intricate.

    This is not simply a love story between a mortal and a fallen angel, but rather a complex story of immortal beings who are caught between Heaven and Hell. Every moment in this story will leave readers filled with trepidation about what might happen next.

    Eden is a troubled girl who thinks she is getting a second chance at happiness when she meets Az. But Az is an angel who was sent down from Heaven for falling in love and now the Fallen want to claim him for their own.

    With everyone he’s ever loved tortured in an attempt to cause his fall, Eden is his last hope. But when his friend Gabe, an angel still bound to Heaven, discovers that she has no path, the risk to her becomes even greater. And, in order to protect her from the Fallen Az must deceive her and risk losing her love.

    A Touch Mortal will keep you in suspense until the very end as you follow Eden as she learns more about what she is, what she is capable of and how to cope with her new existence. The atmosphere in the story is foreboding and will culminate in a cruel, devastating and heartbreaking ending.

    Author Leah Clifford has created a new series with so much possibility for what is to come. There are many characters we have yet to learn about, many questions still remaining about Eden and her abilities, and a conclusion that has flipped everything upside down for the start of the next book in the series.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=6]. Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note:

    I have been waiting for this book for months, which felt more like lifetimes. Just check out the description…and the cover. And yes, I am resorting to something I never thought I would put in a post, but – OMG. It was so worth the wait. This book was so freaking cool!

    I completely blame Cassandra Clare for getting me hooked on Angel-themed books. She can now share some of the blame with Leah Clifford for the agonizing torture I have to endure between books.

    Part of me was totally afraid that I wouldn’t like this book when I started reading it. I lived in fear that I over-hyped it and that I would hate it and then have absolutely nothing positive to say.

    I will admit, for the first few pages I was a bit confused. If I hadn’t read up as much as I did on this book, the concepts of the Siders would have had me slightly baffled, but if you just go with the story all becomes clear.

    This was one tense read. I was stressed and worried the entire time – which for me is one of the things I like in my books. This book is so wonderfully dark and edgy. I love and hate Eden, which is also something I like to feel about main characters.

    But, you see, I totally fell in love with Az at the very beginning. So anything Eden could possibly do that was anti-Az made me want to have Kristen kick the c**p out of her!

    It’s so hard to write this section without revealing anything, but I can say, “I knew it!” about a few things and can also add that the end has absolutely left me shattered. And a wee bit despondent after spending all those hours on edge and keeping fingers crossed for a happily ever after.

    ***

    A Touch Mortal is the first book in a planned trilogy. To read an excerpt from HarperTeen, click here.

    Favorite passage:

    Memories rose, rippling like pebbles tossed into the lies she’d told herself to try to forget about him.

    (I knew it immediately when I read it that this was my favorite passage, which is funny as it was the very passage that was rephrased and quoted later in the book by a certain evil dude.)

    UPDATE 3/15/11: Book trailer for A Touch Mortal:

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    Review: Heavenly

    Heavenly is the first book in a trilogy by author Jennifer Laurens. It was released as a paperback and eBook on August 15, 2009 and has been re-released on November 15, 2010. The paperback, published by Grove Creek Publishing, is 292 pages.

    Heavenly is available in both formats online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Goodreads description:

    I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him.

    Zoe’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe’s autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny.

    But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever.

    Partying. Drinking. Hooking up. Some consider this fun. For Zoe Dodd it was just a way to escape.

    Escape from the responsibility of taking care of her autistic young sister Abria. Escape to anyone who would give her the attention that she was missing from her parents and so desperately desired.

    She never would have thought that all she needed were the feelings of peace, comfort and warmth that Matthias could give to her. But then she never thought that Guardian Angel’s existed either.

    Matthias was not her Guardian Angel. He was sent to protect her sister Abria, an innocent. Yet Zoe could see him and talk to him as if he were mortal. The one thing she could not do was touch him. And she so wanted to touch him.

    You can’t choose who you fall in love with, and Zoe is no exception. No matter how inconvenient or impractical, Zoe loves him. But does he love her back? With all her mistakes and flaws why would he? Can an Angel even love her as a mortal man would? And even if he does, what price would Heaven demand?

    Is getting what you wish for worth any cost?

    ***

    Heavenly is a stunningly beautiful story about love, forgiveness and understanding. Only with the arrival of Abria’s Guardian Angel Matthias is Zoe finally able to find happiness and peace. Knowing her sister has someone Heaven-sent who is looking out for her takes that extra burden off her shoulders and gives her the strength to change the course of her life.

    Not everyone is as accepting of Zoe’s happiness. No longer willing to turn a blind eye, Zoe is set on fixing her brother’s addiction. And with her new-found sobriety, Zoe’s best friend Britt has lost her party-girl partner in crime.

    Complicating matters is Zoe’s growing love for Matthias. Her heart is fragile and the joy he has given to her can quickly lead to despair if her feelings go unrequited.

    Jennifer Laurens has written a book that is a rollercoaster of emotions. Heavenly is sad, sweet, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Although involving the supernatural, the author has written a very real and believable story, touching on many issues that a girl of Zoe’s age might face.

    Zoe is an extremely sympathetic character who is very easy to connect with and relate to. Abria is absolutely delightful. Her simple joy and sweet nature come through in the writing, making it easy to see why everyone is willing to sacrifice so much for her. And of course, Matthias is absolutely heavenly.

    While this is the first book of three, it can be read on its own. The ending will not leave you hanging unless you choose to read the sneak peek of Penitence.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    I absolutely love this book. It’s one I’ve now read twice, and want to go back and read again.

    That’s not to say that I don’t love the other two books in the series, but things take a much darker turn in Penitence and I just want to enjoy the smiley feeling I get from Heavenly for awhile before going on with the remainder of the trilogy.

    Matthias is the perfect, not-so-perfect, Guardian Angel. I think his old-fashioned references are absolutely adorable. Only he could pull off saying something is “dandy” and get away with it. And I definitely don’t think Zoe would let anyone else call her a “sassy bearcat.”

    His very interesting mortal past and circumstances surrounding his death are just teasers in this book, so you’ll have to read on to find out Matthias’s deep, dark secrets.

    Though this is a story about Guardian Angels (versus fallen angels), it does not have an overly religious or morally preachy feel.

    I did not completely fall apart after reading Heavenly though I did tear up. But if I recall correctly I did sob a bit while reading Penitence and Absolution.

    This book, if you haven’t yet read it, is a must read for young (or not) adults who love stories about angels or just love a good love story.

    ***

    How I “discovered” this book:

    Heavenly is a “Just Discovered” re-read book.

    I had read the first two books in this series back in July and then the final book in October when it was released. I absolutely loved the series and when the author had a giveaway of a print version of the book I was ecstatic. I figured it would motivate me to re-read the series in its entirety and then get a chance to pass the book along to a younger family member who I know would love it.

    I did not immediately have a chance to re-read Heavenly until this past weekend, and have yet to re-read Penitence and Absolution but plan on doing so very soon. And I was pleasantly surprised to find out the book was signed by the author, so will just have to buy my niece her very own copy and keep this one for myself.

    There is no question that this series is worthy of a re-read. I actually liked Heavenly better (if that is even possible) with the second read and discovered that I missed a few things simply because I was rushing to see how the story ended the first time around.

    ***

    Heavenly includes a sneak peek at Penitence, the second book in the trilogy.

    To read an excerpt of Heavenly from the author’s website, click here.

    Book trailer for Heavenly:

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    Review: Fallen Angel

    Fallen Angel, the first book in a new series by author Heather Terrell was released as a paperback and an eBook on December 28, 2010 in the U.S. The print edition is 336 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    The first book in a dark, edgy new angel series about a girl who finds herself forced to choose sides in the battle between fallen angels, even if that means going against the boy she loves.

    When Ellie Faneuil first sees Michael Chase she feels an instantaneous connection. But she does not realize how much they have in common, including the ability fly and to see what others are thinking – not to mention a taste for blood. Reveling in their new powers and their growing feelings for each other, Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way … together.
    But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict between fallen angels that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

    In this electrifying novel Heather Terrell spins a gripping tale of soul-mates, supernatural powers and a truth that will change Ellie and Michael‘s world forever.

    Note: This reviewer thinks the Goodreads description is a tad misleading.

    Ellspeth Faneuil dreamt she could fly. At least she thought they were dreams until she met Michael Chase. In a town as small as Tillinghast it was rare for her not to know everybody, but Michael was definitely new. From the first moment that she noticed him at school she sensed he was different.

    Even though she felt an instant connection to him, she never thought it was anything but one-sided. He was handsome, charming and athletic. She had always felt awkward and never fit in with the popular girls at school. Coming from a family who believed in giving back, living green and spending summers traveling to foreign countries to assist the poor made Ellie feel even more of an outsider.

    When Michael claims to have met her three years before, Ellie has no memory of him. And when he tells her that her dreams are not dreams, but reality and that she can actually fly, she becomes even more distrusting of him. But when she finally comes to believe him it just raises more questions. Why doesn’t she remember him? Do their parents know? What are they?

    When a stranger arrives in Tillinghast, someone who claims to have answers, will Ellie and Michael be willing to give him what he’s asking for in order to get them?

    ***

    Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell is a slightly different and unconventional story about angels in the young adult market. While in keeping with the traditional theme of fallen angels left behind on earth – with those trying to return to heaven and those who choose to remain – the author has added the element of bloodlust to the mix.

    In their search for answers, as Ellie and Michael try to figure out what they are, they discover that they have a strong pull toward each other’s blood. It is in the blood that they are able to truly see one another.

    While the story does have this slightly different twist it lacks some of the depth that other books in this genre offer. There are no points at which the story grabs you and the connection between the two main characters is not strong enough. Michael’s expressions of affection for Ellie lack emotion and don’t feel believable. It is missing that magical element that makes a reader instantly fall in love with the characters and storyline.

    The book is marketed toward an audience of ages twelve and up, but much of the writing doesn’t seem to relate to this age group. Using terms that seem old-fashioned or out-dated, such as “throng,” “nefarious tentacles” or “malingerers,” makes the story less relatable. When language geared toward an older audience is used in a way which flows beautifully it can elevate a readers’ vocabulary, but here many of the passages felt clunky and that they were trying too hard.

    The book is written from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old main character from a small town, and even though she is to have spent summers in third world countries, her viewpoint would still be that of a teenager. It doesn’t feel realistic that a teenager would be referencing Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings or thinking in phrases such as: He looked at me a bit askance but answered cordially enough.

    Further, while much of the story moves slowly, when the conflict finally does arrive it is so quick that it’s over just when you start to feel like you’ve found something to really enjoy. And some events that you would think would have more substance are simply glossed over.

    The electronic version of the book includes a peek at the next book in the series, Eternity, which shows promise, and with the fact that the premise of this book was interesting, it may be worthwhile to read Eternity to see where this story leads.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=2]

    On a personal note:

    I wanted so much to love this book. I found the cover art beautiful and pre-ordered this book quite some time ago and couldn’t wait for its release. The description on Goodreads was captivating and I was excited to find and love another story about angels.

    Sadly from the get-go I had problems with this story. I got a bit confused during the prologue – I didn’t realize it was a dream at first – and then ran into some continuity issues at the beginning, but was willing to look past all that. Sometimes books start off a bit awkward but once they get moving all is forgiven. Here, I just felt so disconnected with the story. There was a magic that just didn’t happen between the characters.

    The vocabulary used throughout really felt unrealistic for someone of Ellie’s age. Even the name of Ellie’s friend, Ruth, had an old-fashioned feel and the parents constantly referring to her as “dearest” felt misplaced. Having read the author’s bio I see she had written historical fiction, so perhaps she just didn’t quite adjust her style toward YA paranormal novels, but there were many other things that just didn’t ring true in this book.

    Also, when writing stories involving vampirism or the drinking of blood, it has to be approached carefully. It can either be written as something terrifying, something that’s an unfortunate necessity or something sensual. Here, for some reason it just came off creepy.

    Although I never really developed any emotional connection with the characters, the story picked up at the end, so I do want to give this another chance. I wait to reserve final judgment until I read Eternity.

    ***

    The next book in the series, Eternity (A Fallen Angel novel) is currently available for pre-order and will be released on June 28, 2011.

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    Book Watch: Fallen Angel

    Fallen Angel is the first book in a new series by author Heather Terrell. It will be released on December 28, 2010 in paperback and eBook format in the U.S and is currently available for pre-order for Amazon’s Kindle.

    Amazon.com description:

    Heaven-sent?

    Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.

    Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.

    Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

    In this electrifying novel, Heather Terrell spins a gripping supernatural tale about true love, destiny, and the battle of good versus evil.

    With its intriguing synopsis and beautiful cover art Fallen Angel by author Heather Terrell appears to be a book worth checking out this holiday season.

    Click here for a lengthier description from Goodreads.

    The second book in the series,  Eternity will be coming out in 2011. Click here for synopsis from the author’s website.

    Cover art for Eternity:

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    Review: Unearthly

    Unearthly by Cynthia Hand will be released on January 4, 2011. It is currently available for pre-order in print format as a hardcover.

    Imagine living life as a normal teenage girl only to be told one day that everything you thought you once knew is a lie and that everything will change. That you are part angel and that you will have powers, wings, and a calling that is your sole purpose for being. One that must be fulfilled.

    Imagine having to leave behind your friends and the home you’ve grown up in when that purpose makes itself clear. Clara and her family must drop everything to chase a vision of a boy, a boy she that she must save, a boy whose face she has not yet seen, but one who is her purpose.

    Leaving California for the wintry mountainous terrain of Jackson Hole, Wyoming is both exciting and terrifying. Having finally discovered her purpose sets Clara on a path that will force her to choose whether to answer the call of a higher power or follow her heart and live with those consequences, whatever they might be. But will she make the right choice? And if she turns her back on her purpose just how will her decision alter the future?

    ***

    Unearthly is a story about choices and consequences. A story about love and duty. Not of love at first sight, but one that grows in contradiction to everything Clara has been lead to believe is her reason for being. The story is written with an eloquence to the narrative that makes this story move beautifully.

    What starts out slowly for the first few pages begins to pick up momentum as you get to know Clara and begin to feel, along with her, her frustration about what she is and what she must do and share with her in her anger about secrets that her mother has been keeping from her. You will become so enchanted by the characters and the meaning behind the story that you feel just as lost and confused as Clara when the story ends.

    Debut author Cynthia Hand has created a novel for young adults that is exceedingly thought provoking. Questions are raised about how much a single act will affect an outcome and whether deviating from what seems to be a definite direction is actually what is mean to be?

    At the end of the book there are so many questions remaining, so many answers that are yet to be revealed and secrets still to be discovered, that readers will be left helplessly awaiting the next book in the series.

    On a personal note:

    Once this story got going I could not put it down. (I took my kindle everywhere with me in the hopes of getting a few pages in when I could.) It was nice to read a book where the female character was the angel and savior rather than being the one needing saving. For a part angel Clara was absolutely adorable. And the mishap with the hair dye (or was it all part of the plan) was hysterical.

    Even though it wasn’t completely one of those “torn between two loves” stories, filled with the requisite anguish and heartache, I definitely felt for Clara when she was faced with her choice. I loved the fact that even though she was part angel she did not immediately come into a new school and have every boy falling at her feet and that her love grew over time and not instantly.

    What makes this story even better are the hints of things amiss, like Clara’s moms odd behavior and secrets her friend Angela is keeping. Things that will (hopefully) be revealed in the upcoming novels. I already cannot wait for the next book to come out even though the first one isn’t yet on shelves.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    Thank you HarperTeen and NetGalley for the review copy.

    Book trailer for Unearthly:

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    Review: Falling from Grace

    Falling from Grace by S.L. Naeole was published in November 2009 as an eBook and in June 2010 as a paperback. Falling from Grace is the first book in the Grace series by author S.L. Naeole. The fourth book in the series, Grace of Day is due out this month.

    Grace Shelley is an outcast. Having lost her mother to a car crash as a child, one she managed to escape without a single scratch, made her an oddity to her peers and neighbors. Through this she’s always had her best friend Graham Hasselbeck at her side. Graham who is handsome and popular and who would defend her against their cruelty.

    But Grace committed the ultimate friendship “no no” and revealed her hidden love for Graham. Right before the beginning of senior year. Now she’s left to face her final year of high school completely and utterly friendless. That is until she meets Robert.

    Robert is immediately drawn to Grace. He notices something in her that no one else has before. Something that allows her to let down her defenses not only with him but with her family and with a new friend. Something no one else has ever been able to do. No human anyway.

    Robert is an angel. While his friendship is all that is saving Grace, his beauty not only begets jealousy but also danger. Befriending an angel may be more than Grace ever bargained for. And falling in love with one could cost her her life.

    Falling from Grace was simply wonderful. A suggested read by Amazon due to the genre of books typically purchased, it was such a surprise to find a self-published book that hit all the notes, and then some, of the fully vetted and marketed novels being published.

    Grace is such a sympathetic character – a young girl grieving the loss of her mother, the loss of a best friend, her father’s new relationship and being a misfit in school and in life. And the author has created a friendship, and more, between her two main characters that is tender and heartwarming and devastating and heartbreaking. This angel-themed story has definitely creative and distinct ideas and a storyline that is intelligent and magical.

    While Falling from Grace and the next books in the series, Bird Song and Black Halo, are not short in length, they are all very quick reads with each book getting just a little bit darker and more tragic as the story of Grace and Robert continues, culminating in Black Halo with an absolutely heart-rending scene.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    Grace of Day should be out for release this month.

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All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.