Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: Birthmarked by Caradh M. O'Brien

Title: Birthmarked
Author: Caradh M. O'Brien
Number of Pages: 361
Published: March 30th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press
Source: Library (Hardcopy)
 Science Fiction > Dystopia
Reading Level: YA 
Star Rating: ★★★
Goodreads | Purchase

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve.

Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

 My Review: I read Birthmarked some time ago but waited to do my review because I wanted to read the next books in the series before hand. I really have trouble finding the words to describe my feeling for this book. Why? Well because I find it hard to tell other of it's sheer perfection. I know that some of my book friends have told me how amazing the book truly is but I have also heard other say they did not care for it so I was somewhat apprehensive to try it but WOW. I am super glad I did. I have read a number of Dystopian novel in the past couple year but Birthmarked is by far the most unique and inspiring one. There was never a dull moment; such a total page-turner to the very end. 

Birthmark takes place in the distant future where the world as we know it is quite different from our own. The population is slowing dying in this post apocalyptic setting. Gaia and her parents live among outer wall of the city of Enclave. Both Gaia and her Mother are midwifes. Gaia mother has taught her everything she knows. Including the harsh protocol in which they must give the three newborn babies each month of the woman outside the wall to the families which dwell inside Enclave. Gaia and her family must do this to survive life on the outside, until one day her parents are taken and put under arrest in Enclave. Now Gaia must find away inside to rescue her parents and fight to understand what strange events that are taking place in Enclave. Her world will soon be turned upside down with the knowledge she finds and will question everything she knew to be right and safe. As the story progresses she will not only come to find everything she once new is wrong but also finds true love on this unexpected journey for the truth.

I just adored everything bit of Birthmarked. The world building was amazing, the character's are so real and beautiful. The story itself was wow, just WOW! I mean I must have cried at least 5 times while reading it. Gaia is a strong heroin with such passion and she really makes the book come alive. I so totally feel head or heels in love with Leon (he is Gaia's love interest in the book). I just could have not asked for a more perfect story. The ending was sublime and I was thinking about Birthmarked days after I read it. Caradh M. O'Brien is a most brilliant writer and she really knows how to take the reader and make the fall in love with with her story. To anyone who has been debating on reading this book and the series. I would so yes please do so. I can not stress this enough, go now and borrow or buy Birthmarked. You will be glad you did. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Blog Tour: Solstice by Donna Burgess [Promo + Character Interview]

Hello my awesome readers! Today is my stop on Solstice book blog tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. I am so pleased to share with everyone today a fun promo piece and a Character Interview. Donna Burgess is the author of Solstice as well as many other great novels - found here. I hope everyone will enjoy reading more about the book and the author. Thank you and Happy Reading!

Solstice: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse
by Donna Burgess

On the eve of winter Solstice, a massive flash envelopes the Earth and then there is nothing. The sun no longer shines and civilization is plunged into unending darkness. Those exposed to the mysterious flash have changed—they have become bloodthirsty, cunning, and determined to devour anyone who is not infected. They are Ragers.

In Sweden, a group of uneasy travelers hears a broken broadcast. There is hope. Something called Sanctuary waits, but it is thousands of miles away, somewhere on the shores of the British Isles.

Meanwhile, in a London supermarket, a high school English teacher from the States finds himself stranded along with a handful of students on a senior trip. Outside, hoards of hungry Ragers await, ready to tear them limb from limb. Their only hope is to find Sanctuary.

Solstice is a tale of hope, terror, survival, and finding love at the end of the World.

I’m Donna Burgess and I want to welcome Melanie from my new novel Solstice. We’re going to
learn a little bit about survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

DB: Hi, Melanie. Tell me a little about yourself.

M: Before the world ended, I was a university student, majoring in Psychology. My parents died
in an accident when I was seventeen years-old and I ended up living with my father’s best friend
and his family.

DB: How did that work out?

M: It was rocky to say the least. Tomas, my father’s friend was (and is) wonderful. I’ve always
loved Tomas. His wife, on the other hand, was a queen bitch.

DB: Discuss your situation in Solstice for the readers. What is the post-apocalyptic world of the
novel like?

M: Dark! Imagine living in a world without sunlight. It’s terrible to never feel the sun on your
face. Even worse are Ragers, who make life incredibly difficult.

DB: Ragers?

M: If you’ve seen zombies, you have a pretty good idea of what a Rager is. Except Ragers have
retained some degree of consciousness. They can talk. They remember where home is. They’re
fairly cunning. And they’re quick!

DB: How has trying to survive the end of the world changed you?

M: Obviously, a girl as to change her priorities. Things like electricity and warmth are luxuries.
Staying alive is all that matters. I’ve learned to use a gun—something I would have never
imagined. I’ve seen some terrible, terrible things, but I’ve gotten through them. I’m a much
stronger person than I realized.

DB: Is there any more to your story?

M: Maybe. I guess it depends on the readers and if they want to see more or Melanie and Tomas
and the Ragers.

Find Donna @ Website | Facebook Twitter
BUY Solstice @ Amazon | B&N 
Donna Burgess lives with her husband, daughter, son, many cats and one goofy Golden Retriever in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. When she is not writing, she can be found on her longboard, behind a good book or on the soccer field. She is the president of E­Volve Books. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Journalism and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

Well, I don't know about you guys but this book sounds amazing! I so added it to my TBR pile. :) I hope you all enjoyed learning more about Donna Burgess and her newest novel, Solstice.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu Whirlwind Tour! Interview + Giveaway!

Welcome to Moa Book blog tour hosted by Novel Publicity and co. I hope everyone will enjoy this post and will learn more about Tricia Stewart Shiu novels. Be sure to enter in the amazing giveaway below to win prizes and amazon GC's.   
- Happy Reading! 

Please enjoy this interview with Tricia Stewart Shiu, author of the paranormal YA novel with a literary bent Moa. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $6000 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.

1. The Moa Book series has a metaphysical theme. Do you have any expertise in this area?

I am an energetic intuitive and have a talent for creating powerful healing essential oil blends and gem elixirs. The unearthing of these talents occurred as I embarked on a metaphysical journey, which included studies in mediumship, pagan and Huna rituals as well as an energy healing technique called “Crystalline Consciousness Technique.” I also studied a variety of shamanic clearing methods and healing rituals.

2. You get pretty heavy into the metaphysical. Are you, in fact, a witch?

Like, Hillary, I question who I am on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. For centuries, women have been persecuted and even killed for being labeled a witch. I have studied many forms of healing rituals and magic and discovered that I have talents for using essential oils and crystals for the highest good. Others, who have witnessed the results of my practices, have called me many things: healer, shaman, and yes, witch. I choose not to accept any of these names but to embrace all of them as one growing changing name—wishealer or heshitch—to coin a phrase...or maybe not. As I discover more talents, gifts and unique parts to myself, this unusual word is sure to undergo a metamorphosis and may grow to the size of Moa's real, and quite lengthy, Hawaiian name.

3. What are your favorite books and how have they touched you as a reader?

Albert Einstein said, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The books/stories that touch me most echo the theme of humanity and self discovery and include a sense of adventure and wonder. Ray Bradbury's short story, Frost and Fire is a shocking, but tender story about a boy's journey into a world where people only live eight days. James Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man inspired me to unleash my inner censor and allow my truth to shine though my writing. If I could wish anything for those who read my books, it would be the gift of self acceptance and self acknowledgement.

4. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

Good question. I went back into my notes and discovered that it took me exactly three months and ten days to write Moa from beginning to end. That seems to be my average writing speed, three months. My aunt Rebecca Gummere is my editor extraordinaire. We have developed a comfortable and productive working rhythm that balances creativity and structure and brings such joy and enrichment to the work.

5. Who designs the covers for your books?

The brilliant and talented Sydney Shiu took the cover photos when she was six during a trip to Hawaii. Scott Torrance brought his years of experience in photographic art and design to the layouts.

6. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The time between stories is the most challenging for me. When I am inside a story and writing I am filled with peace and joy. When I finish and have to leave that world, I mourn the loss of this comforting place--the same is true when I finish reading a great book. Nevertheless, I believe that this sadness brings with it a great opportunity and depth of creativity and I wouldn’t change a thing about the process.

7. Any take-away message you want readers to grasp?

Each of us has at least one divine gift to remember. The moment we wake up and retrieve the memory of who we are and what we are here to do, that's when the adventure begins.

8. When did you first consider yourself an author?

I was in middle school and read James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist for the first time. About an hour later, I was overcome by an urge to write, an impulse I readily indulged. Time stood still, I still can't quite remember what happened during that frenzied period of first creation. All I remember is coming to with pages upon pages filled with words in front of me. It felt incredible to express myself so freely. I've never looked back.

9. Did you start out writing novels?

No. I started out writing short stories when I was young. Then when I began acting, I wrote one-woman shows and plays, eventually combining my efforts of performance and writing in a piece called Doing Lunch which made it’s way into a short film trilogy directed by Hal Trussel. That film won “Best Dramatic Short” at the Houston Film Festival.

10. What was your main source of inspiration for the Moa book series?

When I was five, I was visited by a vision. I'll never forget it, I was running down the stairs and the entity, a girl with dark hair, stopped me in my tracks. The spirit said that I would go through a deeply challenging time in my life, but would resurface, later in life, with unimaginable joy and fulfillment. That vision stayed with me. In middle school, I would sit quietly at my desk adding up the years to figure out exactly when my life would turn around.

And then I forgot. I got busy, my work and the stress of family life took over and I was completely overwhelmed and in desperate need of a vacation. My husband, daughter and I decided to go to Hawaii.

When the plane landed in Honolulu, I remember feeling the difference in the atmosphere as I disembarked. The air made me somehow, remember that there was a part of me that knew…something…what was it?

Never mind, I was in Hawaii it was time to see the sights! So, I sped off to see Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and then headed home for an afternoon nap before an evening luau. As I drifted toward sleep, I heard my name being called. In my mind's eye, I saw a beautiful young woman with dark hair, who said her name was Moaahuulikkiaaakea’o Haanaapeekuluueehuehakipuunahe’e—Moa for short.

And then I remembered.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents

  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity

  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon About Statue of Ku:  The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.
About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Yes, I am sick. I have the flu. I rarely get sick with a flu or cold but this one is a doozy. I really need to get things done on my blog and I had every intention of doing so but these things can't be helped. I went to my doctor yesterday who told me to stay in bed and get better. I will try to be back asap but my goal is Monday (if I feel better). 

I will have up my scheduled blog tour post this week so no worries about that. Everyone gets sick and book bloggers are with no exception. I dearly hope I feel better soon.

Thank you all for understanding. :)

- Beckie

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Catalyst Book Tour | Excerpt + Giveaway!

Hi everyone! How are all my lovely reading this Monday morning? I have the perfect way to start this week off right, with a fun book blog tour. I am the first stop on The Catalyst Tour brought to you by Dark Mind Book Tours and I am very pleased to take part. I will be sharing with you all some wonderful info about Zoe Winters new novel as well as a excerpt from The Catalyst. This book is the 3rd in the Preternaturals series. If you have not heard of the first two then check them out here and here. So enjoy and please stick around for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 

The Catalyst Book Trailer:
[ hehe, I just adore this book trailer. ^_^ ]

Book 3 ( Preternaturals series )

It started with one lost, shivering pup; it may end in a war... 

Panthers don’t do responsibility. They don’t do long-term relationships. They definitely don’t raise kids. But when Z discovers a young wolf in the forest, he takes him in, unaware of the powerful beings hunting the pup.

Fiona is a witch who can’t leave her house; the birds have told her something bad will happen. The mailbox is as far as she’ll go, but even that may provide more danger than she’s bargained for. When a wolf pup stumbles into her garden, her safe, wrapped-up world heads for a free fall. 

But along with danger, the pup brings a chance at love—a chance an agoraphobic witch and a bachelor panther shifter aren’t likely to find on their own.  


Please use rafflecopter form below to enter to win a free ecopy of The Catalyst.
OPEN to everyone!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Cover Reveals: YA Books // 6-22-2012

Hi guys! 
Are you ready for some more A-M-A-Z-I-N-G new book covers reveals? ^__^
Yes? Well your in luck because I have found some beautiful new covers that have been recently revealed. So if your like me and LOVE *Swooning* over them than feast your eyes below.

 I personally am in love them all and so very excited to read these new books once they are released. 

by Brodi Ashton
Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen - and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.

---> Love Love Love this cover!!! I can't wait to read it! <--- 

 Blood Song (Blood Series, #2)

Julia has been ripped from the escape she'd planned for herself. When she awakens to discover that her reality has shifted to include a supposed soul-meld with a man she hates... and who hates her, she rebels. Julia doesn't want to be Queen of the Blood Singers if it means captivity in a gilded cage.
Broken from the horrific events surrounding her friends, Cynthia migrates to the very city that Julia resides in and determines to find her as the police follow the bread crumbs she left in her wake. Detective Truman's discovery at her apartment exposed her departure for the escape it was.
The Feral has come full circle and must begin a new life from the shadow of the old. His placement in the hierarchy of the pack is uncertain when he finds that he has an integral enemy already in place and a pack member to protect. While he desperately seeks answers to what had been... what could be.
Can the vestiges of Julia's former life be restored so she might reunite with her one true love or has that door closed forever because of supernatural circumstances beyond their control?
---> I really like the model used in the image and her hair is pretty! Although if you look closely you can see she is nude from the waist up. 0_o <---

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be contained or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has deeply hidden away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
---> I do like the new cover but I LOVED the older one. Besides that Imaginary Girls is one of my favortie books. A MUST read! <---

Rise (Eve Series #3)

When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.
But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.
Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.
In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.
---> I have really adores all of Anna Carey's book covers. They are so stunningly beautiful. Rise is amazing and I love the purple and blue hues. <---

Which covers do you enjoy? 

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon: Goals & Updates

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
 Hosted by: Rebecca @ Kindle Fever & April @ My Shelf Confessions

What it's time for?! Yep, another read-a-thon! Yay! I so happy to be able to join the Wicked Wildfire read-a-thon. I always have a lot of fun with these. Reading more book in my TBR pile, making friends and doing some awesome challenges for some wonderful prizes. Sound like fun? Well everyone is still welcome to join. Come on by and check out the details - HERE.

Time Devoted to Reading
  • I will be reading from the 20-24th (off and on - not continuously )
  • Read 1-3 Books
  • Do mini-challenges.
  • Work on reviews for the books I will be reading.
  • Meets new people, make friends but most of all have fun!
  • Do not get stressed out if I can not read all I would like to. 
Books I will be reading - ( This may be subject to chance )

Reading now = 
Finished reading = 
To-Be Read = 

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

My Updates will be displayed below for each day as well as found here -->
@SyCo4Twilight  You can use the hashtag: #WWReadathon to find them.

Day One Updates: June 20th, 2012
Number of books read today
Number of books read in Total: 
Total Pages Read today: 
Total Time Spent Reading:
Mini Challenges Completed Today: 

Day Two Updates: June 21st, 2012
Number of books read today: 0
Number of books read in Total: 0
Total Pages Read today: 230
Total Time Spent Reading: 4 hours
Mini Challenges Completed Today: 
Cover Lover Challenge @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

Day Three Updates: June 21st, 2012
Number of books read today
Number of books read in Total: 
Total Pages Read today: 
Total Time Spent Reading:
Mini Challenges Completed Today: 

Book Blog Tour: Fate's Design by Lola James | Book Spotlight + Giveaway

Hello everyone! 
Guess what?! It's time for a super-duper book blog today hosted by Moi "me". =D
I am very pleased to once again be working with Misa @ These Paper Worlds to bring you a Book Spotlight of Fate's Design by Lola James. Her new novel is a super fun Paranormal Romance novel which I hope everyone will enjoy learning more about. Also if you stick around until the end of this post you can enter to win a e-book copy of the book and a GRAND PRIZE giveaway for a chance to win $25 for

Fate's Design Book Trailer:

Fate's Design by Lola Jamas
Book 1 / Fate's Design Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance
A summer vacation in Italy with her twin sister, Morgan, is just what Megan Romano needs. But instead of fun, wine, and relaxation, she finds unexpected romance. Alexandros DiPiero, a sexy and mysterious Italian businessman, falls for Megan the minute he lays eyes on her, but Megan knows it’s too good to be true. Increasingly haunting dreams that warn of danger and destiny plague Megan’s every sleeping moment. As her nightmares become deadly and her love life heats up, Megan will come face to face with her worst fear.

Blog | Website | Goodreads | Twitter | FB

Lola James calls herself a “hopeless romantic,” which lends itself well to the paranormal romance genre.  She is the author of Bound to Remember, the first novel in The Spellbound Series. More information on the Fate Series can be found on its blog,  For updates from Lola James, follow her on Twitter @1Lola_James, visit her website at, or visit her blog at

 Use the rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a ecopy of Fate;s Design.

Also for a chance to win a $25 amazon gift card leave a comment on THIS blog. Once you are done doing so, then go ---> HERE <--- and leave a comment on the post with:

: : Your name
: : A valid email address
: : Leave a comment on one of the tour stops, then link me to the stop and let me know which comment's yours

If you have any questions about the giveaway details please e-mail me @ (

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