Sunday Shout Out 26


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.


For Review
"Cinders & Sapphires" by Leila Rasheed (At Somerton #1)

I can't wait to read this! For all of the Downton Abbey fans out there :) The review copy also came with English Breakfast tea and shortbread-so fun!

"Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
 


"Waiting for Morning" by Margaret Brownley





Contests
 You can enter to win an autographed copy of the 9th book in the Goddess Girls series: "Pandora the Curious"!



Win Autographed "Pandora the Curious" Goddess Girls #9! Ends 1/5






Free Ebooks for Kindle and Nook! Dec 28


Hi everyone! 

Today, there are some great ebooks available for free for Kindle and Nook!



"Short-Straw Bride" by Karen Witemeyer
 
  
Kindle
Nook

"Lady in the Mist" by Laura Alice Eakes
 
  
Kindle
 Nook 

"The Goddess Hunt" Enovella-Goddess Hunt Series- by Aimee Carter


Kindle
Nook

Hurry and grab these while they are still free!

Giveaway and Review: "Pandora the Curious" Goddess Girls #9

"Pandora the Curious" Goddess Girls #9
 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: Dec 4, 2012
Source: sent by the authors

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary from goodreads.com:

Is Pandora about to open up a box of trouble?

One of the few mortals at Mount Olympus Academy, Pandora is famous for her mega quizzical nature—not that she thinks there’s anything wrong with being curious, of course!

Her curiosity kicks into high gear when a godboy named Epimetheus brings a mysterious box to school. Epimetheus is the nephew of an MOA teacher in whose class Pandora once opened another box that sent a few weather disasters to earth. Still, Pandora can’t help but take a peek inside this new box when it unexpectedly lands in her lap. What could be the harm in that, right? Little does she know that opening the box will open up far more trouble than she ever expected!

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

My Review:

This installment of one of my favorite series, The Goddess Girls, tells the infamous story of Pandora opening the box of troubles. I love that these books are inspired by the Greek myths, but also make them appealing to young girls. I realized that even though everyone knows Pandora and her box, I really didn't know the actual story at all, so I was inspired to look it up. I hope that young girls reading these books will do the same and expand their knowledge of classic tales by reading something so modern and fun.

I love the books about the supporting Goddess Girls, the characters outside of the main four girls. I think the other girls, like Medusa and Pandora, might have a few more flaws, and might appeal to girls who feel a little more different. Pandora doesn't really fit the mold of 'sporty', 'brainy', or 'popular', so it's fun to read about her thoughts and feelings too. She has a flaw, she can't help but ask so many questions that it becomes nosy, and she can't hold back from snooping where she doesn't belong sometimes. But it's great to see her find a balance of the times when it's great to ask questions, not just accepting answers without knowing why. But then she has to know when to hold back too, as she learned by releasing all of the trouble bubbles on her schoolmates.

I thought it was so fun to see the trouble bubbles affect the other Goddess Girls, and we got to see them act in the complete opposite way that they normally would. I won't give away too many of the trouble bubbles, but the first bubble turned brainy Athena into a ditz! It was too cute to see the smartest, most disciplined girl in school get lost in the school hallways.

As with all of this series, I love the sweet first love stories. Pandora doesn't really like Epimetheus at first, because she is smitten with Posiedon. But Epimetheus really proves that he is the godboy for her when he appreciates her, flaws and all. He actually helps her to realize that her curiosity isn't really a flaw, when used correctly, it's a strength.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: The Goddess Girls books just keep getting better and better! I love learning more about the supporting characters from the series!

This is the first Goddess Girl book to be available in both hardcover and paperback!

GIVEAWAY RULES
The authors have generously provided an autographed copy of "Pandora the Curious" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Jan 5
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you think this Goddess Girls book sounds great, check out my reviews for ALL of the books in the series!  

#1 Athena the Brain
#2 Persephone the Phony (one of my favorites in the series)
#3 Aphrodite the Beauty (another top pick in the series)
#4 Artemis the Brave
#5 Athena the Wise
#6 Aphrodite the Diva
#7 Artemis the Loyal 
#8 Medusa the Mean (another of my favorites)
Super Special: The Girl Games 

Review: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2

"The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2"
by HitRECord and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Publisher: It Books (Harper Collins)
Release Date: Nov 13, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  


Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Looper, 500 Days of Summer) made a big splash with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories - so now he’s back with volume 2! One of the most ingenious and successful projects to come out of Gordon-Levitt's online creative coalition hitRECord - an international collaboration of artists and writers - The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 offers more quirky, delightfully small, ingeniously illustrated haiku-like tales, proving once more that the universe isn’t made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories. The best things do come in small packages.

My Review:

After reading the first Tiny Book of Tiny Stories last year, I knew  I had to read Volume 2, and I wasn't disappointed. The second installment seemed longer to me, which is a good thing. I felt like there were a few more tiny stories this time around. Otherwise, readers will find that this book is the same format that worked so well the first time around.

It's amazing how deep such a small story can be. I love that each reader will take something different away from each story. They will not mean the same thing to everyone. This is such a great thing about the book, and in that way, I think almost everyone will enjoy it.

If I had to choose a favorite, I would still say that Volume 1 was my favorite of the books. Possibly due to the novelty, but also I think there might have been a few more profound stories in the first installment. Still, this book is definitely worth the read and will please fans of the first book.

Since reading the first book, I have visited the website, hitRECord, where you can view submissions, tiny stories, and art. But there is something about the tiny little book format that is so enjoyable to read. You can curl up with a cup of tea and dream along with the stories.

Bottom Line: This book is definitely a keeper, it would make a wonderful and unexpected gift for the reader on your gift list!


Here are a few examples of the tiny stories in the book. You can check out more here:  http://www.hitrecord.org/store/tinystories

Click the pics to enlarge!



(images used with permission)

Here is what Joseph Gordon Levitt has to say about Volume 2




Check out my review of the first book, with more examples of Tiny Stories!


"How to Tame a Willful Wife" Review

"How to Tame a Willful Wife"
by Christy English

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Nov 6, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

How To Tame A Willful Wife:

1. Forbid her from riding astride
2. Hide her dueling sword
3. Burn all her breeches and buy her silk drawers
4. Frisk her for hidden daggers
5. Don't get distracted while frisking her for hidden daggers...

Anthony Carrington
, Earl of Ravensbrook, expects a biddable bride. A man of fiery passion tempered by the rigors of war into steely self-control, he demands obedience from his troops and his future wife. Regardless of how fetching she looks in breeches.

Promised to the Earl of Plump Pockets by her impoverished father, Caroline Montague is no simpering miss. She rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. She finds Anthony autocratic, domineering, and...ridiculously gorgeous.

It's a duel of wit and wills in this charming retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. But the question is...who's taming whom?

My Review:

This book was a roller coaster of emotions. Unfortunately, I wanted off the ride pretty quickly. But I had to keep reading to see if Anthony could ever redeem himself. Wow, I just really did not care for the hero at all. I really advise you to read the description carefully, especially the first part, and see if you would like to still read it. I thought it was all going to be silly and fun, but really this was quite a sad tale of abuse and control.

I really thought Anthony was going to come around and start being a good husband around page 100. But sadly, he was back to his old tricks rather quickly. When he was angry because she did something dangerous, I was okay with that. When he found her in the middle of a knife fight, sure he was going to be mad, because he was scared for her safety. But I didn't like the way he took everything out on her, substantiated in fact or not. And when he raised his hand like he was going to hit her, I lost all remaining respect for him.

The writing was really good, I know the author has written historical fiction in the past, and I could tell. She writes a quickly paced story! The subject matter just wasn't romantic enough for me.

Main Characters: 1/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5

Romance: 1/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: The taming of the spouse plot is a little too heavy for me, and not enough tongue in cheek fun like I thought it would be.


Free Ebooks for Kindle and Nook! Dec 13



Hi everyone! 

Here are more great freebies for Kindle and Nook!

Another Christmas story and a historical by an author I've heard a lot about!


"The Christmas Shoppe" by Melody Carlson
 
   

 "The Girl in the Gatehouse" by Julie Klassen



Hurry and grab them while they're still free!

"Wolfishly Yours" Review

"Wolfishly Yours"
by Lydia Dare

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Nov 1, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Accustomed to running wild with her Lycan brothers in the swamps of Louisiana, Miss Liviana Mayeux is shipped off to London where Lady Hadley offers to sponsor and assist her. Before she knows it, Vivi finds herself in the middle of a pack of English wolves who are all vying for her attention. But Lady Hadley's handsome son Grayson is determined to keep her out of trouble. If only he knew how...

My Review:

I just love this series! Each book keeps getting better! I really, really love the Hadley brothers, so I especially enjoyed this installment. I always thought Wes was my favorite of the brothers, but now Gray has swooped in and won my heart!

One of my favorite things about these books is that they are so lighthearted and fun, without being fluffy. The family drama is so entertaining, and keeps me invested in the series, book after book. Sometimes, I felt like this one focused a little too much on Sophie and Archer, but they were so cute, it's really ok.

All of Lydia Dare's heroes are fantastic, and never over the top alpha or chauvinistic, but Gray was especially sweet, so I really fell for him. It was nice to see a very engaging hero who wasn't really over the top in any way. In fact, he had his klutzy, uh oh moments that were so endearing!

Livi was also a super sweet lady without being a goody two shoes. She understood the ways of the world, and she even had learned some especially foul curses from her brothers, but she was also quite innocent and sweet. It really made her likable and also, relatable. Livi and Gray just really seemed like a genuine 'sweet' couple.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: I love this series, and this is one of the best books yet!


Real Mermaids Love the Holidays Tour with Recipe!


As part of the blog tour for the upcoming book "Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels" by Helene Boudreau, I have a special post from Jade from the books! She has a special holiday recipe for all of you! Enjoy!

Here's Jade!

Real Mermaids Festive Treats

Hi everyone! Jade here from Real Mermaids.

One of my favourite things about the upcoming holidays is the great treats we get to make and share. I love food so much, in fact, that I included a recipe for some of my favourite snacks in each of the Real Mermaids books.

My friend Cori and I thought we’d experiment a bit and ‘holiday-ize’ each recipe for you!

In Real Mermaids Don’t Hold Their Breath, Cori and I were totally desperate for a sleepover snack so Cori whipped up a batch of chocolate covered popcorn with some popcorn kernels, chocolate chips, a brown paper bag and a microwave. I’m not kidding—that girl’s a genius! We added some candy cane sprinkles here to give it that festive touch.

Chocolate Popcorn with Candy Cane Sprinkles

Supplies:
- brown paper lunch bag
- stapler
- measuring cup
- microwave

Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp butter or margarine
- pinch of salt

- 3 candy canes, crushed

Pour the popcorn kernels into a brown paper lunch bag then fold the top of the bag ¼ of an inch, twice. Secure with two staples (trust me, Cori Googled it!) at the folded part to seal the bag shut. Put the bag flat in the microwave and cook on HIGH for about two minutes. Each microwave is different, though, so you may need to adjust the time.

Meanwhile, add the brown sugar, chocolate chips, butter/margarine and salt to a microwave-safe measuring cup. Cook on HIGH for about 15 seconds or until the gooey buttery-chocolaty mixture is melted. Mix well with a fork then pour it over the popcorn.

Toss like a salad, add the candy cane sprinkles on top and munch away!

Happy treats and have a great holiday, everyone!

Love,

Jade



Check out all of the books in the series, "Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings", "Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath", and "Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels!"

Free Ebook for Kindle and Nook! Dec 10


Hi everyone! 

Yay! Another Christmas ebook is available for free for Kindle and Nook!

It looks like another sweet Christmas romance!

"All I Have to Give: A Christmas Love Story" by Melody Carlson
 
  
Kindle
Nook

Hurry and grab it while it's still free!

Sunday Shout Out 25


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.


Contest Wins
"A Christmas Home" by Greg Kincaid


I'm so excited to read the newest book in this series! The first was "A Dog Named Christmas", you might have seen the movie on Hallmark! I loved both the book and movie :)

Won from Books Love Me


For Review
"The Lady and Her Monsters" by Roseanne Montillo
 


About Mary Shelley and "Frankenstein"!

"The House Girl" by Tara Conklin



Contests
 My blog is a stop on a blog tour for "The Warlock's Curse", you can find the Rafflecopter for the tour-wide contest here!

Enter to win "The Warlock's Curse" by MK Hobson!






Free Ebook for Kindle and Nook! Dec 8


Hi everyone! 

There is another great Christmas ebook available for free for Kindle and Nook!

I recently read and reviewed this sweet holiday story, I definitely recommend it!

"Christmas Roses" by Amanda Cabot
 
  
Kindle
Nook

Hurry and grab it while it's still free!

"The Warlock's Curse" Review and Tour Giveaway

 As part of the blog tour for The Warlock's Curse, I have my review as well as the Rafflecopter for the tour-wide giveaway!

Review

"The Warlock's Curse" 
by M.K. Hobson

Publisher: Demimonde
Release Date: Oct 31, 2012
Source: sent by publicist and author

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
THE YEAR IS 1910. Eighteen-year-old Will Edwards has landed a prestigious apprenticeship at Detroit’s Tesla Industries, the most advanced scientific research center in the United States. It’s a plum prize for a young man who dreams of a career in the new science of Otherwhere Engineering.

But his father doesn’t want him to go. And he won’t tell him why.

Determined to get there by any means necessary, Will finds unexpected support along the way. His old friend Jenny Hansen—daughter of a San Francisco timber baron—is eager to help him for reasons of her own. And so is his estranged brother Ben, who he hasn’t seen in over ten years.

But running away turns out to be the easy part. On the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday, Will is stricken by a powerful magic—a devastating curse laid upon his ancestors by the malevolent sangrimancer Aebedel Cowdray. Will must find a way to control the magic that possesses him—or the vengeful warlock’s spirit will destroy everything and everyone he loves.

My Review:

This was my first book by this author, and I really enjoyed it. Even though I didn't feel lost by jumping into book 3 in the series, I have to say that I probably could have benefited from reading the first two in the story. I did feel like I was thrust into this new and different world pretty quickly. However, the book can definitely be read as a standalone. This is a very exciting and intricate story with both historical and steampunk elements. Since I'm a fan of both genres, the book worked well for me. 

I was surprised with the quality of the writing and editing in an indie book. I really wouldn't have noticed that it wasn't from a big publisher. The writing flowed well and never felt elementary. The characters were really fleshed out and I wanted to root for them.

I have to apologize to fans of the male POV, I was a little disappointed that this book was only from Will's viewpoint. Maybe it was the girl featured on the cover, I'm not sure, but I was expecting a female POV as well. Will was very likable, but I wanted to hear more from Jenny as well.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5 (fantastic!)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: A great, new (to me) steampunk world with in-depth characters and storytelling.



Bio:
M.K. Hobson’s debut novel, The Native Star—the first book in her Veneficas Americana series—was nominated for a Nebula award in 2010. She lives in the first city in the United States incorporated west of the Rockies. Her favorite writers are Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Booth Tarkington, Gore Vidal, and William S. Burroughs. The Warlock’s Curse is her third novel. You can find out more at her website, www.demimonde.com.


Twitter: mkhobson
Follow the rest of the tour here: 
 
 

Giveaway

GIVEAWAY RULES:

This is a tour-wide giveaway. You can enter the same giveaway at each of the tour stops!
Prize package of *signed* copies of The Native Star, The Hidden Goddess and The Warlock's Curse as well as a swag pack of a Tesla Industries pin, magnets and a sticker *not shown*.
*Open to US only*

13 ebooks of The Warlock's Curse
*Open worldwide*
Ends 12/30/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Waiting on Wednesday 225


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:

"Cinders & Sapphires" (At Somerton #1)
by Leila Rasheed
Disney Hyperion
Release Date: Jan 22, 2013

The following description is from goodreads.com:

One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.
I am totally on the Downton Abbey bandwagon. I can't enough of books and films similar to it, so I can't wait for this! It's time for more Downton-esque books!

I first saw this at Christina's blog, and knew I had to read it!

What are you waiting for this week???

Sunday Shout Out 24


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.


For Review
"The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2" by Joseph Gordon Levitt


I loved the first book and the second volume is great too! Review soon!

"Shadow's Claim" by Kresley Cole


I've read one of her historicals, but I've never read one of her UF's.


"Rimfire Bride" by Sara Luck



Isn't this cover so sweet? I love it!

"Shiver" by Karen Robards


Another pretty cover!


Contest Wins
"Bitter Blood" The Morganville Vampires #13 by Rachel Caine



won from Confessions of a Book Addict

Contests
 Check out the contest running right now at In the Hammock! They end tonight!


 Win "The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart" Ends 12/2


Win "Dog Trots Globe: To Paris & Provence" Ends 12/2




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