Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop
May 1st – 7th

It is finally SPRINGTIME where I live, and to celebrate I'm giving away one book of your choice,* as long as I can buy it and ship it to you for $20 or less. 

If you live in the United States I will likely ship from Amazon, if you're international it will be from Fishpond or The Book Depository**. 

You must be at least 13 years old to enter
See my policies HERE

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

After SPRING comes SUMMER! You don't want to miss the upcoming Summer Series Challenge. Find for information, HERE

*Young adult, middle grade, adult fiction, nonfiction or even a picture book is fine. However, this is a family friendly giveaway so no erotica, please. 
**Before entering, please make sure that either Amazon, Fishpond or The Book Depository ships to your address. 

Introducing the Summer Series Challenge, June - August 2013

Hosted by Lauren @ Love is not a triangleHeather @ The Flyleaf ReviewAsheley@ Into the Hall of Books 

Summer Series Challenge
June - August, 2013

Are you having trouble keeping up with all the series you're in the middle of reading? 

Do you ever wonder when you're going to manage to read all of the series that you haven't even started?  

If you live in the northern hemisphere, summer is on it's way! For me there's nothing more indulgent and summery than reading books in a series in one big chunk, one right after another. And who doesn't love the feeling of accomplishment when you finish a book series while sunning yourself at the same time? This year, AsheleyHeather and I want to encourage you to focus some of your outdoor reading time on book series. 

The Summer Series Challenge is a three-month-long opportunity to complete unfinished series you've already started. Or read through series that are now finished, but you have yet to begin. Even better, consider reading an entire series all at once.

Beach + Books = Summer
Summer Series Challenge Objectives:

 1. Complete finished series that you've started but have yet to go back to. 
 2. Read a finished* series in its entirety.

NOTE: This is a completely individualized challenge. You set and monitor your own goals, though we will be posting reminders and helpful topics along the way. We also love discussion! Don't miss our hashtag #serieschallenge to follow all of the fun.

Summer Series Challenge Rules:
  1. The Summer Series Challenge begins June 1 and runs through August 31. Books must be read or listened to within that time. We will count audiobooks.
  2. Anyone can join the challenge, but you need to have some place that you can publish reviews in English – blog, Goodreads, Amazon etc. - for your reading to be counted towards the giveaways.
  3. Although there are no genre restrictions on the books you choose, they have to be part of a series. That means no standalones.
  4. Companion books in a series will be counted. For instance Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry series or Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series are fine. 
  5. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage readers to finish completed series.  That means the series you choose need to be fully published. You cannot count debut series that only have one book released.*  
*We will make an exception for unfinished series that have at least 3 books released.  For instance, Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series has 4 books released though 6 are planned, so those books would count
How can you prepare for the fun?
  • Make a list of all the series that you've started but have yet to complete. Highlight the ones with books that have already released.
  • Make a list of series that you haven't started yet. See mine HERE.
  • Follow the twitter hashtag #serieschallenge
  • Grab our button:
Summer Series Challenge
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.loveisnotatriangle.com/2013/04/summer-series-challenge.html" title="Summer Series Challenge"><img src="http://i1081.photobucket.com/albums/j341/nurseasheley/Blog%20Tours%202013/summerserieschallengebutton_zpscfcf493d.gif" alt="Summer Series Challenge" style="border="0" width=175;" /></a></div>

This event is being hosted by Asheley @ Into the Hall of BooksHeather @ The Flyleaf Review and Me @ Love is not a triangle  <<< Follow our blogs and tweets for more information to come! 

Although you will be seeing posts across all of our blogs, You only need to sign up for the challenge on one of our sites to be registered.

The Summer Series Challenge runs June - August, 2013. More information about giveaways and prizes will be coming when the event begins.

If you don't have a blog, link to your Goodreads page or wherever you usually post reviews. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Vain by Fisher Amelie

by Fisher Amelie
Read: April 20 - 22, 2013
Published:  February 7, 2013 by Fisher Amelie 
Source: Gift from Asheley @ Into the Hall of Books
Category: Contemporary (Adult, NA, older YA?)

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.
I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. (From Goodreads)


The set-up

Sophie Price is vain. She only cares about herself and what she can get from you. She is beautiful and rich and feels powerful because she is very good at making girls envy her and boys want to sleep with her, especially if they already have girlfriends. But Sophie has a secret. Inside she feels completely empty and unloved, a fact that she hides behind her façade of wealth and beauty. When Sophie is caught with cocaine one to many times, her carefully constructed world crumbles to the ground. As an unconventional punishment, Sophie is sent to work in an orphanage in Uganda for 6 months. What she finds there will change her life. 

Vain is a story that makes an impact. 

From Sophie's life of wealth and popularity in Los Angeles, to an orphanage in Uganda where children are missing parents and limbs and are excited that they have food to eat and can learn to read, her journey is extreme. Sophie travels as far physically as she does internally, when she goes to Uganda and opens her heart to the needs of others. It is very clear how little Sophie actually had in her life - no love or trust or happiness - when she is sent to a place where people have nothing but their lives, and are still thankful. It was also extremely gratifying to watch Sophie channel her drive and abilities into a far more healthy and rewarding direction. 

The horrors these children have faced are not just made up for a book. They are real. 

One of my favorite aspects of Vain is the fact that Fisher Amelie was not afraid to go big and address real world problems, namely the horrific affects of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army's (LRA) presence in northern Uganda. The LRA terrorized northern Uganda, abducting children and forcing them into its army or into sex slavery. If the children's families did not comply, their villages were burned, parents were killed and the children's limbs were cut off to punish them and diminish their worth. The orphanage where Sophie was sent to work serves those children. Although the LRA is not currently active in Uganda, the country and its children are still at high risk, especially as the nation is poor and so many in the north are displaced and living in refugee camps.

There's a little of Sophie in all of us. 

Sophie's journey from a selfish and shallow girl to someone with purpose and love, is dramatic, and that made it moving and effective. But this book is not just about Sophie, it is about the world at large and how little the wealthy parts of it (if you have enough extra income to buy books, then you are considered wealthy) know about poverty and the violence and horror being done to children in it. It is a book that makes you feel a little bit unsettled about your safe life, and want to take some action to change it. That is the mark of a powerful story for me. Although Sophie is an extreme example, and no one wants to compare themselves to her, I think everyone can relate to her in some way. 

You don't want to miss the hot guy either.
When Sophie arrives in Uganda she is picked up at the airport by Dingane, whom she is shocked to discover is a hot South African (real name Ian Aberdeen). Too bad he writes Sophie off immediately as spoiled and unlikely to change, and he wants nothing to do with her. Thankfully for Sophie (and us readers), they are stuck working together. The more Sophie learns about Ian, the more she is drawn to him, and it's definitely for more than just to his looks. Through shared circumstances, mutual respect and honesty, Ian and Sophie slowly build a relationship that is sweet and sizzling. In addition to writing compelling heroines and addressing real life issues, Amelie is excellent at writing boys who will melt your bones. Trust me, you don't want to miss this guy. 

Like Sophie, this book has some flaws. 
Despite how much I was moved by Sophie's story, it is not without its problems. This is a self published book with some grammatical and editing errors. It also includes a lot of telling not showing, especially long passages of transition. Although I grew to love Sophie, Ian, Pembroke and Spencer, most of the other characters were not well fleshed out. Several of them were talked about a lot, but never came onscreen. Sophie's parents read as more caricatures than real, mostly because we see very little of them, although their actions are described as over the top. Sophie also kept mentioning someone named Jerrick who died recently, but we were never given any sort of explanation about who he was or what happened to him. I know it's a small detail, but he seemed important to Sophie, and every time he was mentioned it felt like a dropped plot detail. 

Even with it's flaws, Vain is an excellent story and I'm thankful that I had the chance to read it. The next book in this Seven Deadly series is Greed and it is Spencer's book. Besides Ian and Sophie, he is my favorite character from Vain, so I'm very eager to read his story.

Cliffhanger Scale: None. Standalone that's part of a linked series. 
Love Triangle Factor: None

Friday, April 26, 2013

Of Triton by Anna Banks

Of Triton
by Anna Banks
Read: April 19 - 20, 2013
Published: May 28 2013 by Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Source: Around The World Arc Tours
Category: Paranormal Romance, YA, Mermaids
Series: Of Poseidon book 2

NOTE: Of Triton is the second book in a series. Find my review for Of PoseidonHERE (or in the previous post). My review contains some spoilers for book 1.

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known? (From Goodreads)


I really enjoyed Of Poseidon, the first book in Anna Banks' mermaid series, despite a few hesitations (see yesterday's review HERE for my thoughts). And I don't think it's just because I've been obsessed with mermaids since I was a child. That seems to have been confirmed for me this week when I read Of Triton and liked it at least as much. 

When Of Triton begins, Emma's life is in an upheaval, and she's not happy about it. As the only half-blood Syrena alive, she is realizing just how alone she is in the world. Her human father is dead, as is her best friend, and she doesn't have many attachments left on land. Still, that's where she's always lived, and the place she considers home. Emma's boyfriend Galen is a merman Syrena, and she's just discovered that her mother is the long lost Syrena princess. But Emma doesn't fully fit into their world either. She also resents her mom for lying to her about who she is. I will admit that I was totally with Emma when she threw a few tantrums at the start of the book - thankfully she realizes she needs to grow up a bit, before they got annoying. 

I had a great time being back in Emma and Galen's heads again. Both of their voices are engaging and made me laugh out loud at times. Their perspectives are also both distinct and integral to the telling of this story. Emma continues to be feisty and strong willed, and Galen is protective and determined. I really liked seeing how well they understand and handle each other. They are both willing to take risks to keep the other (and their families) safe, but thankfully they were each able to do that without making transparently stupid decisions in the name of 'protecting' the other. Galen understands Emma and her moods, and he tempers her without undermining her independence, while Emma respects Galen without being a floor mat. Emma and Galen's relationship is much more settled now, which is good because they have bigger issues to focus on than each other. (Don't worry there are some swoony moments in here too).

I think one reason why I like this series so much is its great cast of characters. In addition to Emma and Galen, Rayna, Toraf, Grom and Nalia are back. It was amusing to see how Galen's siblings tend to chose similar types of mates, because they all mirrored the spirited female/steadier male counterpart model. Rachel and all her mob learned talents, continues to be one of the best parts of this series, but Toraf and especially Grom stood out to me in this installment. At least one other amusing relative shows up as well. As I was hoping for after the first book, the characters spend a lot more time in the Syrena world in Of Triton.

While the plot in Of Poseidon was largely focused on introducing the characters and figuring out Emma and her mother's identities, Of Triton is about the aftermath of those revelations. Namely, what will happen now that Nalia, the Poseidon princess, has been found, and how will they best keep Emma safe. Revealing that Nalia is alive launches the usually peaceful Syrena into a fierce political debate with all the ruthlessness and diplomacy of humans. I though this was a realistic and fascinating plot turn. However, in the end many of these issues were solved superficially, not really addressing all Emma's internal questions about the Royals and Syrena laws. I wish that there had been a little more upheaval and change, but hopefully that will come to play in book 3. 

Of Triton is much more of a plot driven story than Of Poseidon, but its short 250 pages kept me reading quickly. Although there is something pretty shocking that happens at the end of this book, I was expecting a different kind of revelation to give this story a bigger impact. But even as is, I had a great time reading this book. Of Triton ends on a settled note, but I'm hoping Of Neptune confronts some of the deeper lingering questions. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low

Thursday, April 25, 2013

REVIEW REWIND: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Because I never blogged my review for Of Poseidon, I've decided to post it the day before I review book 2 Of TritonIf you have yet to start this series and are excited about the prospect of a mermaid book, now is a good time to jump in. Except for a few intense moments, this one is more the light and fun variety. Full disclosure: I have been obsessed with mermaid since The Little Mermaid came out. Reading about them is always somewhat nostalgic for me.

Of Poseidon
by Anna Banks
Read: June 9, 2012
Published: May 22 2012 by Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Source: Library
Category: Paranormal Romance, YA, Mermaids
Series: Of Poseidon book 1

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen — literally, ouch! — both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . . 

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
(From Goodreads)


Mermen! Mermaids! Or actually it’s Syrena in Of Poseidon. Galen would not be happy to hear himself referred to as a merman. I really enjoyed this book, even beyond the fact that it fed my childhood obsession to all things mer. 

Of Poseidon is told in the alternating perspectives of Emma and Galen, and it switches between first and third person respectively. Usually I think that it is strange to do this within one story, but I like how each perspective enhanced Emma or Galen’s voice. The book was funny too. I found myself laughing at Emma’s humor and Galen’s difficulty navigating human culture. Actually, watching them discover different things about each other’s worlds was one of my favorite parts of the story. I also like that Emma is feisty and that Galen likes that about her. The supporting characters were equally great. Loved Rayna, Toraf and Rachel, especially. The fights that they all get into was one of my other favorite things about the book. 

I enjoyed what I learned about the culture of the Syrena, but I hope that we get to spend more time “under the sea” in the next book. With a lot more world to discover, this was definitely written as the first in a series. 

Of Poseidon does utilize several typical YA paranormal plot devices. The heroine becomes isolated from her family and peers, opening her up to more time spent with the supernatural beings. There is a new mystery boy at school who happens to be wealthy as well as gorgeous. I’ve learned to expect these things in these tri-book paranormal romances, and they didn't really bother me so much in this story. For some reason, I still get sucked into these types of plots. 

The major difficulty I did have with this book had to do with the something these characters were trying to figure out. It takes them the entire novel to get to the conclusion that I reached within the first third of the book, and the process that they go through to get there became a bit tedious for me. On looking at reviews of this book, I do not think this secret was as obvious to everyone, and for many it came as a big shock and cliffhanger (I hope it will for you too!). However, I started to get impatient for them to figure it out so that we could move on to the consequences that will most certainly happen After (aka book 2). 

Despite my issues with the plot, I had a lot of fun reading Of Poseidon. This book also does a great job at making the reader anticipate book two, Of Triton, which I have read and will be reviewing tomorrow.

Love Triangle Factor: Mild
Cliffhanger Scale: I thought Low, with a heavy dose of anticipation for book 2. Some thought High.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

REVIEW REPOST: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta + GIVEAWAY

My review of Quintana of Charyn originally published in the fall as part of the 132 minutes blog tour. Because I love this book so much, I'm reposting it on the day of the US release. I'm also giving away a copy of the book!

Quintana of Charyn
by Melina Marchetta 
Read: October 11-13, 2012
Published: April 23, 2013 by Candlewick Press **TODAY**
Source: Purchase (also, ARC from Publisher. THANK YOU, Candlewick!)
Category: High Fantasy
Series: Book 3 Lumatere Chronicles

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn's unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn's war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves. (from Goodreads)


Quintana of Charyn is the type of book that I seize up trying to review. It is so vast and beautiful and heartbreaking that I don't know how to put it into words. Instead of trying and failing to capture everything, I wanted to talk about one thing that Melina Marchetta excels at: People. 

Quintana of Charyn is about characters and relationships. Between parents and children and lovers and brothers and kings and queens and even kingdoms. What makes all of Melina Marchetta's books amazing is the people in them - the absolute realness and beauty of her characters, who stand out because they are complicated and not perfect. But she doesn't just create individuals. It's when they interact with each other that Marchetta's magic happens. 
She builds families that connect in surprisingly intricate ways, even when they are not related at all. 

I fell in love with so many people in this book. Two entire nations in fact. And I felt their pain. There is so much sadness and heartbreak in these pages. But also great love and hope and wonder. I don't know how Marchetta does it again and again, but when I finished this series, I felt like I personally knew these characters. Every one of them has a story to tell. And tell it they do. 

I came up with a list of 30 people in Lumatere and Charyn who stole my heart in big and small ways. Some of them are major players, some are minor. But even the minor ones are capable of big things and huge growth. What is remarkable about this series is that I could tell you something significant about every one of these 30 people - who they are, what they've done and whether I could trust them or not. What is even more remarkable is that I had to cut this list down to 30. There are so many more that I don't name

Finnikin. Isaboe. Sir Topher. The Priestking. Lord August. Lady Abian. Celie. Beatriss. Vestie. Trevanion. Perri. Tesadora. Lucian. Phaedra. Jory. Yata. Rafuel. Quintana. Froi. Gargarin. Lirah. Arjuro. De Lacey. Grigio. Trippadeaux. Perabo. Scarpo. Olivier. Fekra. Dorcas. 

These people were beaten, tortured, raped, sacrificed, betrayed. They cried and bled and dared to hope. They are assassins, mothers, lovers, leaders, builders, fighters, healers and survivors. But despite all these things that they are, none of them would have been the same without their relationships with each other. I wanted to climb inside them and never let go.

Among these 30 people are six whose stories I came to know closely. Whose journeys have so completely woven themselves through the trilogy and into my heart that it was difficult to say goodbye to them at the end of the book. 

These six stories are about the love between a Queen and her Consort.
About a leader struggling to learn what it means not only to lead but to be good at it. 
About the sacrifices made by an unhappy bride.
About a girl who will do anything to survive.
And about the boy who will do everything to find her. 

And of those six it is Quintana and Froi whose journeys I've found to be the most heartbreaking and also breathtaking. From the first book to the last, Froi changes the most of almost any character that I have ever read about. A transformation that you must not miss. And Quintana is one of (if not) the craziest heroines that I have ever encountered. And yet, her choices make perfect sense. If you have not read this series and experienced these people, you are missing out. Pick it up now. 

Quintana of Charyn is the third and finale book in the Lumatere Chronicles that began with Finnikin of the Rockand Froi of the Exiles. This series is a masterpiece, and reading it felt like watching a beautiful tapestry being stitched one thread at a time. It's not until it is complete that you can see the vastness of it. How all the individual parts fit together. I love LOVE when pieces from earlier books finally make sense. When redemption is found after so much wanting. Finally seeing the individual thread of each person put together, takes my breath away.  

Cliffhanger Scale: The series is complete! But I'm hoping there will be more stories to come from minor characters, like Lady Celie. Have you read her short mystery?

Love Triangle Factor: Mild (This is hard to gage with so many characters, but I love that Marchetta's characters tend to mate for life.)


An ARC of the US version of Quintana of Charyn

Giveaway is for US or Canada residents only (sorry other international readers!)
You must be at least 13 years old to enter
See my policies HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eyes of Ember by Rebecca Ethington BLOG TOUR
Guest Post: Top Ten Movies Joclyn can’t live without.

Tour is hosted by GRC Promotions
See Full Tour Schedule HERE

Guest Post: 
Top Ten Movies Joclyn can’t live without.

1. Mean Girls

2. Iron Man (all of them)

3. Hairspray – the old one, with Ricky Lake – It’s great for a laugh.

4. This is embarrassing, but I actually kind of like Vampire movies.

5. 27 dresses

6. The fast and the Furious, all are good, but the first is the best.

7. Ever After

8. The Avengers

9. Batman- Dark Night

10. The Princess Diaries 

I love this mix of girlie and kickass superhero action. I would watch all these movies with you, Joclyn, so if you ever have a quiet evening free (haha) and want to do a movie night, give me call! 


About the book:
Eyes of Ember
by Rebecca Ethington
Published: April 6, 2013 by Imdalind Press
Category: Paranormal Romance, YA
Series: Imdalind book 2

Joclyn is in hiding, hunted by the man she still desperately loves. Ryland is gone, his mind erased, no memory of Joclyn remains. But, Joclyn’s heart desperately begs her to hold out hope. While, in reality the black eyed monster that possesses him, attempts to kill her over and over.

If it wasn’t for Ilyan, Joclyn would be dead by now. 

Ilyan. The man who once stalked her, is now Joclyn’s protector, the only thing she has left. He protects Joclyn from the men who seek to end her life, and while she is haunted by dreams where Ryland begs her to break the bond between them. 

Ilyan is there. Always there.

Ilyan trains and prepares her, teaching her everything she needs to know in the hope that one day she can avenge Ryland, if not protect herself from him.

And then there is her father.

The man who has never been there, is suddenly responsible for everything. And who he is has made Joclyn into something she never wanted to be.

The Silnỳ. 

Eyes of Ember is book 2 in Rebecca Ethington's Imdalind series, and it is even more surprising than Eyes of Ember. The story contains a pretty massive love triangle, but it's also fast paced and unputdownable. 

If you're curious about this series, see my review of book 1, Kiss of Fire, HERE

Find out more:

Purchase Eyes of Ember
Amazon | Barnes andNoble | Smash Words

Find Eyes of Ember

About the author
Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then on stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife toher best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.


A $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (your choice!) 

If the Rafflecopter form isn't showing up, click HERE for a link to it. 

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