Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Prophecy Of The Sisters - Michelle Zink



Satu ramalan kuno dan dua saudara kembar terangkum menjadi satu dalam kisah gelap dan misterius. 

Lia dan Alice Milthrope terlahir sebagai dua saudara kembar. Walau berasal dari sel telur yang sama, lahir pada hari yang sama, berparas yang nyaris tak dapat dibedakan, tidak menjadikan keduanya memiliki ikatan yang kuat. Entah sejak kapan. Namun mereka bukan dua saudara yang betah menghabiskan waktu bersama. Tidak hanya di rumah, bahkan di Wycliffe, sekolah yang mereka datangi setiap dua kali seminggu pun, semua terlihat dengan jelas. Alice terlihat lebih sering menarik diri dan menjauh dari Lia. Bahkan ia lebih memilih orang lain untuk dijadikan teman. 

Hubungan mereka pun semakin renggang sejak sang ayah meninggal. Perubahan dalam sikap Alice juga semakin terlihat. Suatu kali Lia mendapati saudara kembarnya berada di Kamar Gelap. Tak butuh waktu lama untuk menyadari bahwa Alice sedang melakukan sebuah upacara  aneh. Duduk di atas lingkaran yang terpahat di lantai sambil terus mengucapkan sesuatu yang sama sekali tak dipahami Lia. Walaupun penasaran namun Lia tak sekalipun menanyakan hal itu pada Alice. 

Rentetan kejanggalan pun terjadi.  Tanda di lengan Lia semakin jelas. Tanda yang berupa lingkaran itu didapatkan beberapa hari setelah kematian ayahnya yang misterius. Yang paling mengejutkan adalah ketika The Book of Chaos - Buku Kekacauan ditemukan. Walau sempat diterjemahkan oleh James, namun semuanya masih membingungkan. Untung saja, waktu segera mempertemukannya dengan Sonia dan Luiasa. Satu demi satu terungkap. Semua petunjuk mengungkapkan keberadaan ramalan kuno. Di dalamnya tersirat dua peran, Gerbang dan Garda, yang memiliki pengaruh besar  dan penting atas malapetaka yang akan terjadi. Terungkapnya ramalan ini juga membuat garis yang jelas bahwa kini Alice dan Lia berada di pihak yang bersebrangan. Ramalan kuno ini ternyata tidak hanya melibatkan Lia ataupun Alice. Namun masih ada empat orang lainnya yang harus segera ditemukan sebelum semuanya terlambat. Pencarian harus segera dimulai!.

Prophecy of the Sisters telah lama saya tunggu sejak buku ini untuk pertama kalinya disebut oleh Matahati. Tidak hanya sinopsis, covernya juga bikin penasaran. Oleh beberapa blogger buku luar, mereka memberi rating yang lumayan untuk buku ini. Rekomendasi memang tidak salah. Bagi penggemar genre fantasi, Prophecy of the Sisters tidak boleh dilewatkan begitu saja. 

Walau sempat bingung dengan isi ramalan begitu pula dengan istilah Gerbang, Garda, dan proses mengembara di atas Daratan, namun semakin lama arah ceritanya makin jelas. Banyaknya rahasia di dalam buku  yang gelap dan suram ini juga jadi bagian yang paling menarik. Saya berharap buku ini ditulis tidak hanya mengambil dari sudut pandang Lia namun juga saudara kembarnya. Sosok Alice yang misterius sungguh buat saya gemas dan geram bersamaan. 

Sayangnya semua pembaca harus menunggu kelanjutan kisah Lia dan Alice yang ditulis Michelle Zank ini di buku Guardian of the Gate dan Circle of Fire. Semoga oleh Matahati kedua buku ini akan segera di terbitkan. 

Cover
Suka banget ngeliat cover yang dipilih Matahati kali ini. Cover yang sama juga dipake untuk paperback di US. Modelnya yang dipilih pun pantas untuk mewakili Lia dan Alice. Walau kesan gelap yang ditinggalkan oleh versi hardcover menurut saya lebih terasa.

4/5

Prophecy of The Sisters
Penulis: Michelle Zink
Penerjemah: Ida Wadji
Penyunting: Aisyah
Penerbit: Matahati
Cetakan : I, Maret 2011
Tebal: 360

Review: The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas



The Count of Monte Cristo, buku setebal 568 halaman ini dimulai dengan kisah hidup seorang kelasi Kapal Pharon, Edmond Dantes. Tanggal 24 Februari 1819, bersama kru kapal lainnya, ia mendarat di Marseilles. Setelah tiga bulan melaut, pertemuan kembali dengan orang-orang terkasih adalah hal yang paling dinantikannya. Pesta pertunangan dengan kekasihnya, Mercedes pun dilangsungkan keesokan harinya. Pada hari yang sama, oleh sang pemilik kapal, Monsieur Morrel, Dantes diangkat menjadi kapten kapal menggantikan kapten yang sebelumnya mangkat. Namun takdir berkata lain, kebahagiaan itu hanya berlangsung dalam waktu singkat. Seorang komisaris polisi dengan surat perintah penahanan menerobos masuk ke dalam pesta. Edmond Dantes ditahan.

Ada yang salah dalam penahanan ini karena kelasi berumur sembilan belas tahun itu tidak melakukan satu kesalahan apapun seperti yang dituduhkan oleh sebuah surat misterius tanpa nama. Ia sama sekali tidak terlibat ataupun turut mengambil bagian dari Bonapartis. Tak butuh waktu lama untuk menyimpulkan bahwa ada komplotan jahat yang tak senang melihatnya hidup bahagia.

Sebenarnya hari itu juga ia dapat menghirup udara bebas dan kembali berkumpul bersama ayah dan Mercedes. Bahkan sang penuntut umum, Monsieur de Vildefort, pun sebenarnya tidak punya alasan kuat untuk menahan Dantes. Namun keserakahan telah menutup mata dan hati nurani sang penegak hukum. Bukannya mengembalikan Dantes ke pesta yang ditinggalkan begitu saja seperti yang ia janjikan sebelumnya, Vildefort malah mengirim sang kapten kapal ke Chateau d'If, rumah tahanan yang berdiri diatas sebuah pulau, yang diperuntukan bagi tahanan politik.

Oleh sang sipir, ia ditempatkan di sebuah sel bawah tanah yang gelap dan lembab. Ruangan sempit itu hanya diterangi lampu yang sumbunya terendam minyak kental. Bertahun-tahun mendekam di tempat yang mengerikan itu sempat membuat semangat Dantes pupus. Harapan untuk bertemu dengan ayah dan Mercedes dikuburnya dalam-dalam. Ia bahkan sempat berpikir untuk mengakhiri hidup. Sampai suatu hari ia bertemu dengan penghuni sel lain yang berencana untuk melarikan diri dengan menggali sebuah terowongan. Abbe Faria, begitu ia menyebut namanya. Terowongan yang dibuatnya selama empat tahun itu jauh dari selesai. Namun setidaknya menghubungkan sel mereka berdua. Mereka memanfaatkan semua waktu untuk bertemu, bertukar cerita sampai meneruskan misi pelarian saat penjaga penjara tak berkeliaran di bawah tanah. Bersama Faria, sang pria renta, Dantes belajar banyak hal. Dalam waktu enam bulan ia menguasai beberapa bahasa baru. Di bulan ke lima belas terowongan yang mereka buat pun selesai. Sayangnya hasil kerja mereka tak dapat digunakan. Faria sekarat. Sebelum menjemput ajal, sebuah rahasia besar ia diceritakan kepada Dantes. Sebuah rahasia besar yang membuat hidupnya sang kapten berubah. Rahasia yang memberinya kekuatan untuk keluar dari penjara yang didiaminya selama 14 tahun dan memulai rencana demi rencana untuk membalas sakit hatinya. Rahasia yang sama juga memulai petualangan sang Count of Monte Cristo.

Suka! Awalnya saya sangsi dapat melahap buku ini. Tidak hanya ketebalan dan ukuran font yang sangat kecil. Namun semua itu tidak menjadi masalah, karena kisah yang ditawarkan ternyata mampu menarik perhatian saya. Hanya dengan membaca beberapa halaman awal saya yakin buku ini tidak akan mengecewakan. Dan itu memang terbukti. Sampai beberapa bab terakhir pun, saya tidak kehilangan antusias untuk mengetahui bagaimana sang penulis mengakhiri cerita Count of Monte Cristo ini. Banyaknya tokoh baru yang bermunculan ditengah-tengah cerita disertai dengan nama yang agak susah untuk dilafalkan tidak menjadi gangguan yang berarti.

Tokoh yang paling menjadi favorit saya dalam buku ini tentu saja Count of Monte Cristo. Kemampuannya menarik simpati membuat saya terpana. Terutama di semua bab yang mengisahkan pertemanan yang coba dijalinnya. Pembawaannya yang tenang membuat rasa dendam dan kebencian yang disimpan jauh di dalam hatinya bahkan tak terlihat. Kecerdasaannya pun membuat saya kagum. Lihat saja bagaimana semua rencana yang disusun dengan matang. Perlahan namun pasti. Musuh-musuh Dantes juga memainkan peran mereka dengan baik. Kelicikan dan keserakahan yang ada dalam diri mereka menjadi bagian dari bumbu penyedap di buku ini. Namun tidak ada yang lebih menyenangkan menyimak bagaimana mereka akhirnya jatuh satu demi satu. Salut untuk kepiawaian Alexandre Dumas, sang penulis.

Tidak menyesal rasanya membaca buku yang menjadi salah satu pilihan Blogger Buku Indonesia untuk bulan Juni ini.

Cover
Warna gelap dan kelam sebagai latar belakang rasanya cukup mewakili apa yang ada di dalam buku ini. Sosok Dantes yang digambarkan juga rasanya pas. Yang membuat penasaran adalah bangunan yang berdiri di atas tumpukan karang. Untuk mewakili rumah tahanan Chateau d'If rasanya terlalu mewah.

Di wikipedia, terdapat diagram yang menggambarkan hubungan setiap karakter yang ada di buku ini. Bahkan yang hanya disebut beberapa kali pun tertuang di diagram ini. Untuk lebih lanjutnya silahkan lihat di sini

4/5

The Count of Monte Cristo
Penulis: Alexandre Dumas
Penerjemah: Nin Bakdi Soemanto
Penyunting: Dhewiberta
Penerbit: Bentang
Cetakan: I, Maret 2011
Tebal: iv + 568 hlm


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.(Goodreads)

My Thought
Forbidden is a contemporary book. It was written with two different points of view, Lochan and Maya. They are brother and sister. Since their father left and her mother did not take care the house hold, they were the one who handled and responsibled for everything. Preparing the meal, paying the bill, baby-sitting their three younger siblings were things that they did in their young age. Sharing this kind of situation and feelings made their bond getting tighter. For Maya, Lochan was not only her brother, but also best friend and soulmate. Same thought was also kept in Lochan mind and heart. They fell in love with each other. If Maya did not mind to show and talk about it, Lochan kept hiding and neglecting all those feelings.He knew for sure it was illegal. But one thing for sure, he just could not resist it.

I have never read this kind of story.. I was little bit surprised when I found out what happened between Lochan and Maya and everything they did. It was hard for me to believe. For me incest issued is intolerable. Call me naive when I thought that incest in a family no longer exists. But then I realized with all that kind of family, many terrible things could happened.

There was lots of emotion running through in each chapter. From Lochan till his dysfunctional mother have played a great role to make me feel different after done with one chapter. I hated their mother. I got annoyed with Kit. I loved all those breakfast or dinner session. I enjoyed all Maya’s thought. I liked when she shared everything especially about her little sister. I loved Willa. She was my favorite character. I liked when she started talking. Something weird from her chapters was when she talked about her feeling to Lochan. None of them made me feel gross. For sometimes, I felt there was nothing wrong with them. They were just like another normal couple. But different things happened when it was Lochan’s part. I was up and down with him. In his first chapter, it was hard for me to get what he said. The words that Tabitha chose for Lochan were out of my dictionary. His social problem was also confused me. How I hated when he kept lying to himself and denying everything while he realized the feeling for Maya was there. He made me thought that he was just not trying hard enough. Then in the end, he succeeded with his words. My eyes were full with tears.

I wish I got a different ending. Not the one which breaks my heart.

Forbidden is one of five books that written by Tabitha Suzuma. I have not checked the others. But for this hard topic, she wrote it well.

Cover
There is two colour for the cover of this book. The red one is for the Hardcover and the black for paperback. If they ask me to choose, I prefer the black one. It's suitable with the story inside.

4/5

Author: Tabitha Suzuma | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442419954
ISBN-13: 978-1442419957
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches

Source: Galley Grab
Buy Forbidden at Amazon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder


Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.
(Goodreads)
My Thought
I was little bit surprise when I read the first page. I thought it was just the prologue. But when I move to few next pages, I realized that the format of this book is different. It is written in verse.  I got no problem with this kind of book. But the verse made me almost miss the important part. That was way, In the beginning, I got confused a little bit. I have no idea what Amber was trying to said. But when I read the first letter, I started getting the red line. Especially when Cade appeared. I think I could get the track. So I decided to reread it.
 
The Day Before brought me to Amber, a girl who ran away from her family and one thing that troubled her for almost three years. After letting me get the picture of Amber's life, It took me to Cade. It did not take hours for them to get connected. For some books I would say it was just too fast. But this time, I did not feel the same. It might because the relationship between them was bonded naturally. Although I was not into both of them, but I did enjoy their conversation. Especially with those Heads and Tails or when they talked about the movie. I also liked when they finally shared anything. I loved how Lisa determined the ending for them.

One thing that I was also looking forward in this book was the letters. It helped me a lot in getting the story line. I was happy when the ending was attached with it, not the verse.
Even if I did not fancy the verse format, but I admit it was written well. I still enjoy the book however the emotions were not floating on the surface. 

This is the first book of Lisa Schroeder that I read. I hope there will be a chance to read the other book of hers. I am curious about I Heart You, You Haunt Me and Chasing Brooklyn. From her Goodreads page, I know that she also wrote Middle Grade book. I am looking forward to read it. For those of you who love a contemporary book, I am pretty sure you don’t wanna miss this one. If you are looking a face-paced and light book, I recommend The Day Before to you.

Cover
I like the color choice. But I wish it was not grass but the sand on the beach.

4/5

Author: Lisa Schroeder | Website | Twitter
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442417439
ISBN-13: 978-1442417434
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: The Secret Ingredient by Laura Schaefer

It’s nearing the end of summer before ninth grade and Annie has been busy working as a barista at her grandmother's teashop, Th Steeping Leaf. In between serving up chai lattes and matcha frappes, Annie has gotten involved in a scone bakeoff with one of Louisa's tea suppliers. The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to London for a tea vacation! Annie The competition is tough and sabatoge is in the air when suddenly Annie's food blog begins attracting mean comments. Then there's the whole matter of a stolen kiss with Zach Anderson in the Steeping Leaf stockroom. Could Annie's former sworn enemy become her current love interest? With the help of her two best friends, Genna and Zoe, can Annie come up with an awesome contest entry and sort out her love life before the end of the summer? (Goodreads)
My Thought
When I was child, I loved recipe books which had lots of picture in it. Not because I like cooking. There were not any ingredients that I read. I just stared at the pictures and pretended that I was munching them all. It was such a ritual before I took a nap. I do not do that silly thing anymore. I rarely open any recipe book. But I still love book that talk about food and The Secret Ingredient is one of my favorite.

This book introduced me to Annie, her grandmother, one tea shop, Genna and Zoe, the contest and many kinds of scones. I liked reading them all especially when Annie told me about the contest updates and all scone recipes posts. Something that make this special, there were tea quotations, illustration and some pictures of scones. Unfortunately, some of them were not available. I read the e-ARC, so some Annie's blog post designs have not finished yet. It must be great to read the finished copy. I really want to see those scones and another food that were mentioned. Laura, the illustrator and the one who took the photos of scone have made me curious. I am looking forward to see the final design.

I have never tasted that British snack but this book made me believe that it’s delicious. Not enough with that Scottish original bread, this book also shared some tea. Just like the scone, I have not sipped some of them. For sure, every chapter of this book made me want to grab snacks.

The Secret Ingredient is the second book of Teashop Girls series. I have not read the first one. Fortunately, nothing confused me. It lets me flow with its plot. By only reading the first chapter, I have already got the idea. This installment can be a standalone book.

To all middle grades who love book about food, you should buy and read The Secret Ingredient. Make sure that you have something to eat or drink when this book is in your hand. Because it has its power to make you feel hungry to the max. Do not say I have not warned you.

From the book, it is so obvious that Laura Schaefer is fond of tea and cooking. Her blog is the mute witness. I have seen some of them. No wonder why she can write such book. In Goodreads, besides of The Teashop Girls series, I also saw some books of hers. I wonder if yummy food were also there. I will check them out soon.

Cover
I love it. The colors that they chose are nice. The Scones are tempting. I wonder what kind of tea that they put in the cover. It must be great if the pictures on Annie's blog post are also colorful.

4/5

Author: Laura Schaefer | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (June 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442419598
ISBN-13: 978-1442419599
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Buy The Secret Ingredient at Amazon


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Excerpts: Raven's Kiss By Toni LoTempio


Usually, when one opens a closet door, one expects to see neat rows of clothes, or shelves with sheets or towels, or maybe a vacuum cleaner and assorted pieces of junk jammed into one small space.
What one does not expect to see is an office—desks, filing cabinets, state of the art computers.
Or people, staring back at them.
At one desk sat a woman with an angular face, close, cropped brown hair with gold highlights, a wide mouth, deep set blue eyes. Tiny gold hoops with small diamonds, possibly real, twinkled in her ears, and I noticed her fingers tapped at them quite often. She wore a pair of tight fitting gray trousers and a simple white shirt. Pinned to the shirt was a gold badge. Around her shoulder was a harness, in which reposed a nasty looking stunner.
The occupant of the other desk, however, was what made my mouth drop open.
He had to be well over six feet—I was guessing six three, maybe even six four. You could tell that by the way he was jackknifed into his chair. He was broad-shouldered, with thick hair the color of molten lava drawn back from his face and twined into a casual ponytail. The face was what got me. It was all angles and planes, and looked as if it had been sculpted out of marble by one of the great artists, maybe even Michelangelo. He had a firm jaw, a sloping Roman nose, eyes that were wide set and greener than grass. And the lips—oh, yeah, baby! It was the lips that really got me. Full and sensual, they looked both capable of delivering a threat and kissing a woman into submission. I stared, unabashed, as the man rose, walked over to the other desk, and perched himself on its edge.
Oh, yeah. Definitely six four.
The blonde looked up and waved a sheaf of papers under his nose. “Here’s the latest report, Finn, and it’s dated two months ago. He was last seen downtown, near his usual haunt—the docks—in the company of a young woman, name of Alex Steed. Quinn followed them for a block and a half and then—poof! They went into one of the deserted buildings there and he lost them. Has no idea where Aega could have taken the girl, and no one’s seen either one of them since. If she’s been bitten…” her voice trailed off and her shoulders lifted in a shrug. “I hate to think about it—about what she could become.”
The man called Finn frowned, shaggy red brows drawn together in a V effect. He rubbed his thumb against his lower lip and I felt my insides go soft, thinking of his thumb—hell, his entire hand—tracing lazy circles all across my body. I felt moisture between my legs and groaned. I couldn’t remember the last time a man had done that to me. “This has been going on for far too long. We still can’t figure out his game. The only thing we know for certain is—“
“What are you doing in my closet?”
I whirled around, automatically slamming the door shut behind me. Standing in the doorway, accompanied by Randy Hicks, one of the Carolers Falls police, was Jetta. She had her hand on her hip and the expression on her face was most definitely not a friendly one.
“I—Sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude.” I fished my badge out of my pocket, held it up. “Recovery. I was just taking a look around.”
Jetta’s expression softened when she saw the badge. “Oh. I didn’t realize you were an agent. No wonder you came to my aid so quickly.” She smiled. “Most people would have ignored me, a crazy woman yelling on a stoop. If she makes it, it’ll be thanks to you.”
The cop stepped forward, extended his hand. “Randy Isles. We weren’t aware the Recovery had an interest in this case.”
I slipped the badge back in my hip pocket. “The Recovery tends to take an interest in any incident that might involve a demon.”
Jetta’s eyes went wide. “A demon! Really? Is that who attacked Alex?”
The name startled me. “Alex?”
“We all call her Alex. Short for Alexandra.”
I felt a tingle along my spine. “And her last name?”
“Steed. Alexandra Steed.”
I set my jaw. Could it be coincidence the victim and the person Finn and Darla had been talking about had the same name? Was there a chance it could be the same woman?
As I debated this, Jetta moved past me toward the closet. “I can’t stay here—crime scene and all that. So they’re setting me up in a really nice hotel. I just came by for a few things.”
She started to twist the doorknob. “Wait,” I cried, and she turned toward me, eyes wide. “Do you happen to know where your roomie met this man?”
“The one you think is a demon?” Jetta shook her head. “She didn’t know him long—just a few days.” She barked out a short laugh. “First time I saw them, they were huddled right here.” She tapped the closet door. “Twined together so tight you couldn’t’ slip a stamp between them. I didn’t trust him. Something about him…his eyes. She told me I was just jealous, but—guess I was right, after all.”
With that, her hand snaked out and jerked open the door. I bit back a cry of surprise mingled with disappointment.
Gone was the office, the blonde, the sexy redheaded man. Now there were just rows and rows of neatly hung clothes, and an assortment of expensive shoes littering the floor.

About The Author

Hello! I’m Toni LoTempio, author of Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense/YA Fantasy! I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to read, when I didn’t like the endings of the stories my mother read me I simply rewrote them. Even though I write mainly in the paranormal genre, I have also written straight horror, as well as contemporary romance/suspense.

In 1995, I joined the staff of SUSABELLA PASSENGERS AND FRIENDS, a pulp magazine for collectors of antique children’s literature (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, etc.) Currently I’ve written over 300 articles for that magazine, and I was the first recipient of their Margaret Sutton Award for Distinguished Writing in 1998. I joined the staff of NIGHT OWL REVIEWS IN January 2011 as the suspense reviewer/columnist. My column, DARK STREETS, which features articles on suspense authors and their novels, is featured on a monthly basis. I love to spotlight new talent, so if you’re a suspense author, please contact me!

In 2007, Whiskey Creek Press published BOUND BY BLOOD, a tale of possession, and EBONY, which deals with zombies and the dark side of man. EBONY was #2 on the Fictionwise bestseller list for e-books for the month of July 2007, beating out Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. (and no one was more shocked than I, LOL) In 2010, after countless attempts to land another agent, I took the advice of a fellow author HP Mallory, and self published NO REST FOR THE WICCA, which has been on Amazon’s list of top one hundred in Occult since March 2011. My short story, THE SACRIFICE, appears in the e-published anthology KISS ME KILL ME, and I also have a YA fantasy, MY SUPERHERO SISTER on B&N and Amazon. A complete listing of my books appears at the end of this bio.

Currently single, I work full time and live in Clifton, NJ, with my muses: Rocco, Maxx, Gata and Trixie. (Rocco is also known as Rocco the SciFi Blogging Cat and has appeared on the SciFi Saturday Night website and radio show, and also on the Kids Need To Read website where he holds the distinction of being the first (and possibly only!) blogging cat to support this charity!)

I love hearing from fans, so please feel free to friend me on FACEBOOK, and visit my website, www.tonilotempio.webs.com Rocco and I post daily M-F on his blog, catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com


Toni LoTempio Books:

Bound by Blood – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback & e-book, Feb. 2007 (paranormal suspense)
Ebony – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback & e-book, July 2007 (paranormal suspense)
Witch’s Pawn – Echelon Press, trade paperback & e-book, December 2008 (horror)
Nom de Plume – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback & e-book, November 2008 (contemporary romance)
It’s in the Cards – Whiskey Creek Press, e-book, February 2010 – (paranormal romance)
Out of the Ashes – Whiskey Creek Press, e-book, May 2010 – Fantasy
No Rest for the Wicca – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book, September 2010 – paranormal suspense
My Superhero Sister – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book, Trade Paperback - January 2011 – YA Fantasy

Kiss Me, Kill Me – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book anthology –February 2011 – Short Story, “The Sacrifice”

Raven’s Kiss – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book, & Trade Paperback April, 2011 – Paranormal Romance

~~~


Next Stop : June 27 – In The Name Of Books

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Renegade Magic by Stephanie Burgis


Kat Stephenson is back to cause more chaos! Stepmama drags the family to Bath to find Kat's sister a new suitor. But, unknown to most of its gossipy visitors, Bath is full of wild magic. When Kat uncovers a plot to harness this magic in the Roman Baths, she finds her brother Charles is unwittingly involved. Kat must risk her newfound magical powers as she defies the Order of the Guardians to foil the plot and clear her brother's name (Goodreads)


I saw this book last Sunday on Goodreads. I was so excited. I wonder what will happen next to Kat and her sisters. The first book, Kat, Incorrigible, was a nice reading. There are many great element in that book. You can check my review about Kat, Incorrigible here


I have just checked that there is also UK cover for Kat series. Not only the cover, they also change the title. It's hard for me to choose. Because I like them both.


The cover below is the UK edition



For those of you who have seen the first book, which one do you prefer?

~~~


Author: Stephanie Burgis | Website | Twitter 
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Atheneum (April 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416994491
ISBN-13: 978-1416994497

Preorder Renegade Magic (Kat, Incorrigible) at Amazon


~~~



Waiting" On Wednesday is a weekly meme that hosted by Breaking The Spine

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Mishap & Mayhem by M.M. Shelley


For centuries magical beings have hidden in the darkness, waiting. Some good, some evil. A battle is brewing, and only twins, Grasiella and Tatiana, have the power to stop it.

A secret that has been kept since the dawn of time is about to be revealed with devastating consequences. It's the summer of the year 2045, and sixteen year old Grasiella, along with her twin sister,Tatiana plan to visit their grandmother in Hawaii. They have no idea that when they arrive on the island of Kauai, they are about to be drawn into a secret, the secret, of their family's dark origins and magical powers.

On the first day of their arrival, their grandmother is accused of a horrible crime involving a faerie. Whispers have spread throughout the islands about the disappearance of a faerie named Sita Knook and her connection to a mysterious group known only as the Cinerians.

Before long, Grasiella and Tatiana are doing battle with ancient races and magical beings. All the while trying to retrieve an ancient stone of power and impress a couple of local surfers, Kana'i and Kye, cousins who have some pretty exciting family secrets of their own. It's pretty serious stuff for two girls who were planning to spend the summer at the beach getting tans, but then that's the trouble with secrets, sometimes they just don't stay buried.

My Thought
This book grabbed my attention only in its few pages. It took me to the story about one faerie who was trapped on earth and its sad story. It also told me little bit about The Cinerians, frightening creature who hunted the humans and made them become slaves. Grasiella, a woman with great magical power was also introduced here. Three of them made the prologue become so interesting.

Then the first chapter brought me to Tatiana and Grasiella, the twin, in summer of the year 2045. As you can read in the synopsis, they were going to Hawai to visit her grandmother. One night, they were attacked by a faerie for something that they did not know. From her, Sita Knook was mentioned. The faerie said that she was captured and kept in the house. All things about Sita Knook was still a mystery. Till their grandmother explained everything. Since then another secrets were revealed and brought the twins to some adventure they never imagined.

It was nice to read this book. There were many surprises. I also found many new things. Let me say the idea about the faerie, the creature called Cinerians, even about Pele, the goddess who own the islands. All of them were fascinating.

Unfortunately, there were some things that almost stop me enjoying the book. There were too many characters that almost got me lost. It was little bit annoying. The relation between the characters were not that deep. Most of them failed me. Everything in Grasiella was actually great. But her relation with another character was not written well. I wish Grasiella and Tatiana had a better bond. Just like what the other twin had. Something that also confused me was indifferent grandmother. I wonder where she was when her grandchildren were in dangerous.

Thanks to the unpredictable plot who help me reaching the last pages. I like how it brought me to the end. The last paragraph made me wanted to read the sequel. If you love reading a fantasy book that give you many new things, I suggest you to read Mishap & Mayhem.

I'd love to say thank you to M.M Shelley, the author, who has sent me this book and gave me different adventure. I wish I can read the sequel of this book. I am also interested to read another book of hers about Zombie.

Cover
I like the background. It shows one of the setting of the book. But I have no idea about the girl. Is she Grasiella, her twin Tatiana, or Mnemosyne? I wish a better figure for them. :D

3/5


Author: M.M Shelley | Website | Blog
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1461031729
ISBN-13: 978-1461031727
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches

Source: A paperback from author for review
Buy Mishap & Mayhem (Volume 1) at Amazon

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Excerpts: Replay by Keira Lea



Dr. Henry looks down at the file on his desk and jots down a few notes. It’s so obvious he’s trying to mask a grin with that Mr. Serious Psychoanalyst expression. As Mom continues down her standard list of rants, I give Dr. Henry my best please-cut-this-short stare. To emphasize my point, I make the Kelsee puppet strangle the Mom puppet, who collapses in melodramatic death throes on my lap.
“Ms. Lewis, it’s obvious you’re very concerned,” Dr. Henry says, taking my subtle cue. “Would you excuse us for the last part of the session? I’d like to talk to Kelsee alone.”
Mom hesitates. For her, it’s all about calling the show. She doesn’t take direction very well.
“I’ll wait for you in the car,” she finally says. After she gathers her purse and jacket, she lingers at the door like she thinks he’ll change his mind and invite her to stay. No one says a word until she turns around and lets herself out. As soon as the door closes, Dr. Henry lets out a chuckle. He’s really not half-bad for a shrink. I think it’s hilarious that he looks like a cross between Tommy Chong and Steve Martin. I’ll have to ask him if he’s ever smoked weed or played the banjo. Or smoked weed while playing the banjo. Ten bucks says he has.
“Are you still having the panic attacks, Kelsee?” he says.

Our little secret. I work on curling my left shoe strap some more. I don’t know how to talk about what happens to me without sounding like a brain case. I don’t do angst very well, either. I’m more into comedy, laughter as the best medicine, smile through the tears, you know? I’m only here because Mom insisted we start therapy together during the divorce. A year later, she’s still dominating every session. The last time Dr. Henry dismissed her early from a session I told him about the panic attacks, with his express agreement that he would not say anything to her. I even made him sign a piece of paper to that effect. Dad taught me the importance of contracts.
“What are you thinking about?” Dr. Henry says when I don’t answer.
“I really don’t have that many,” I say. “They bore me, anyway. I need an affliction that will really launch my career. A wicked case of OCD would work.”
He refuses to play. “You should talk about them with your mother. Remember, this is a neutral place to discuss issues that are difficult to address at home. She might be more understanding than you think.”
I snort and then cover it with a snicker. “Or not. You know how she is. Neutral is not the precise word I would use.”
He comes around the desk to sit in the chair Mom vacated, giving me a quick pat on the knee like Dad used to do before he moved out last October. “You’re a perceptive young woman. You know that your mother is still struggling with the changes in your lives. That’s not unusual. But if you give her the chance to focus on something outside of her own worries, though, you might be surprised at her reaction.”
I think her reaction would be to jerk up on those puppet strings until the tiny bit of slack I have left is gone. No, I’m pretty sure it would be better to let her stew in her self-absorbed state for as long as possible.
“We’ll see how I feel about that next Friday, okay?” I say.
“You know a secret like this is not healthy,” Dr. Henry says. “Telling her might even help alleviate the attacks.”
“I’ll think about it,” I say. For about two seconds, I want to add.
The clock chimes its digital melody. Time’s up.

~~~

You can buy Replay at
About the Author
Keira Lea released her debut novel in April 2011. She is a devoted fan of the TV show FRINGE, a card-carrying member of the Apple cult, and a mother to two human children and three feline ones. She is working on a sequel to Replay.



Next Stop: June 20 - The Bookish Snob