Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Dark Debt

Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11)
Published By: NAL Trade
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Page Count: 368
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Urban Fantasy
Review of Book #10: Blood Games
Review of Novella #10.5: Lucky Break

FYI - Chloe Neill is celebrating the release of DARK DEBT, the 11th Chicagoland Vampires novel, with a Cadogan Medal giveaway and swag contest:

Chicagoland Vampires is one of my favorite paranormal series EVER. I love the Chicago setting and the characters. Chloe Neill's take on supernatural beings never ceases to intrigue me. Dark Debt was so enjoyable that I polished it off in one day. (Thank goodness for snow days that allow me to stay home and read all day!) You must sink your teeth into this series if you haven't already and you're an urban fantasy fan.

Novella Review: Lucky Break

Lucky Break (Chicagoland Vampires #10.5)
Published By: InterMix
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Page Count: 112
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult - Urban Fantasy

One would think that a series this lengthy could start to stale. I think the opposite is true of the Chicagoland Vampires. I grow more attached to Merit and company with each installment and find myself craving more time in this world.

Lucky Break takes place soon after the end of Blood Games. Ethan and Merit are off on a much needed vacation in the beautiful wilds of Colorado. They hope to escape supernatural drama for a few days to bask in each other, nature, and relaxation. In true Merit fashion though, all hell breaks loose. This time it isn't directly related to the Cadogan vampires, but they are pulled into the drama anyway.

Author Interview & Giveaway: Haunted by Lynn Carthage

We're excited to welcome the author of Haunted, Lynn Carthage, to Reading Lark today. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How did you choose the setting for Haunted? 

Lynn: Haunted is set in England, although the main character Phoebe Irving is American. I knew I needed a dark, ancient Gothic place to set it, and the U.S. is frankly too young. I invented the Arnaud Manor, whose architecture is based on Versailles—an abandoned, decrepit Versailles stuck in the middle of the woods—as Phoebe’s family’s ancestral home. They chose to move there from San Francisco…I blame them for all the troubles that ensued… 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Review: Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls
Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 368
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publicist
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery

Nick (Nicole) and Dara are sisters who were inseparable when they were younger, but became more competitive as they grew up...especially when it came to Nick's best friend, Parker. Nick was the nice, obedient sister. Dara was the sister who drank, did drugs, ran around with boys, and became Parker's girlfriend. But Dara was also hiding a secret. And one terrible night, Nick and Dara got in a horrific accident that left them completely at odds with each other. 

 Nick and Dara's parents are divorced. Nick has been living with her father, but he's decided she needs to move home with her mom to work out some of the struggles she's been having since the accident. Nick is worried about seeing Dara again, but as Dara's birthday looms closer, Nick wants to try to make amends with her sister. 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invasion of the Tearling

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on...

The Invasion of the Tearling
(The Queen of the Tearling #2)
By:  Erika Johansen
June 9th, 2015

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review: Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter
(The Arcana Chronicles #3)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published By: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Page Count:  336 pages
Source:  Purchased by Reviewer
Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy with Mature Themes

NOOOOOOO!!!  ARE.YOU.KIDDING.ME????  What the hell???!!!!!  You can’t leave us hanging like that!!!!!

I am SO not a fan of cliffhangers.  I was very tempted to throw my book against the wall.  BUT…I cannot deny how much I loved this story and how invested I have been in these characters from the beginning.  The fact that the cliffhanger upset me so, I suppose, is a testament to how much I have loved these books so far.  Which also might explain why I tend to have a harder time reviewing books I love so much…I just find it hard to avoid gushing…and I’m afraid I won’t be too successful here.

I will try my best not to spoil any major plot points from Dead of Winter, but events from the previous two books will be hard not to mention.  Be forewarned…

Teaser Tuesday: Lucky Break, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, & Trigger Warning

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

... we needed a break. So we were heading west to spend a few days in Elk Valley, a quiet town in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, at the mountainside retreat of an old friend of Ethan's. We hadn't previously traveled together for reasons unrelated to magical drama, and I was both excited and apprehensive. But in the best possible way.

~ Lucky Break (Chicagoland Vampires #10.5) by Chloe Neill, Kindle Location 62

"Anyway, what's yours then? What the one superpower of June Elbus?' 

I thought about myself from head to toe. It was like being forced to read the most boring part of the Sears catalog. Like leafing through the bathroom accessories pages. Boring brain. Boring face. No sex appeal. Clumsy hands. "Heart. Hard heart," I said, not sure where it came from. "The hardest heart in the world."

~ Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, pg. 179

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Rebound

Rebound (Boomerang #2)
Published By: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Page Count: 288
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: New Adult - Contemporary 

I'm enjoying the newest series trend - companion novels. While you do need to read Boomerang first to understand what's happening in this one, it's not truly a direct sequel. The first novel focuses on Mia and Ethan. Rebound tells the story of Adam and Alison. It was nice to see old friends - like Mia and Ethan - make appearances in this one, but they aren't the driving force behind the plot.

Cover Crazy: When My Heart Was Wicked

The purpose of Cover Crazy is to feature a cover each week for us to admire its beauty. I really like this idea since there are so many great covers out there! Cover Crazy is a feature that was started by The Book Worms.

As I read my copy of When My Heart Was Wicked, I found myself wrapping up my quick summary of the book with, "...and just LOOK at how gorgeous this cover is!"to anyone who would asked about the book. And really, is IS gorgeous. First of all, I love the sea green paired with a pinky mauve and the black/white, but the juxtaposition of the black birds flying out of her head and the lone, white sea gull on the opposite side intrigues me. Add to the beautiful colors, the fact that gardening and Lacy's love of botany play a significant part in this book, and the black, smoky ground with vines weaving throughout makes a whole lot of sense. 

Great book, great cover!

What are your thoughts on this cover?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Magic Lamp Sunday 2/22/15

We discovered this feature at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. It's based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one wish each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:  

Andrea: I wish that I could climb Chimney Rock in North Carolina. (Inspired by The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris)

Julie: I wish I had an Uncle Finn. (Inspired by Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt)

Michele: I wish I could eat all the sugary sweets that Layla can without any of the repercussions she doesn't seem to have. (Inspired by White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Aimee: I wish I could spend 24 hours inside Neil Gaiman's head. Seriously, the man is a genius. (Inspired by Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman)
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