Friday, December 30, 2011

ASHA IN TIME (review)

A Backwards Story is happy to help conclude The {Teen} Book Scene's tour for ASHA IN TIME!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events. A Backwards Story previously interviewed author Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney to kick off the tour!

NOTE: This post should have gone up yesterday.  With how busy I've been for the holidays [I haven't even posted on here in a week or so and had NO reviews the week before that...!  More proof in point?  I usually read 3-5 books a week.  In the past TWO weeks, I have read two was 100-odd pages, the other 200-odd pages.  Yeah....], I didn't have time to write a review until tonight.  I'm sorry for the slight delay!!!

NOTE: I wouldn't personally classify this as a teen book despite the main character's age.  I could see this being a book listed as adult fiction alongside historical Egyptian authors such as Michelle Moran.

Author: Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney
Release Date: Out now (May 31, 2011)
Publisher: Self-Pub
Received: Received from The {Teen} Book Scene for review


She was special. Her parents knew that; though it was not her sable hair, her wide amber eyes, but the fact that she had memories of things she could not possibly know. She remembered the palace of ancient Thebes, the palace pharaohs and queens had walked in. Finally, on her thirteenth birthday, she would find out where her memories were born. She would return to ancient Egypt to get her answers, but she had no idea that he was waiting for her.

She'll have to use all her wits and wiles to find her way in Egypt and into his heart without destroying herself.

I don't know as much about Egyptian culture as I'd like to.  That's one of the greatest things, to me, about historical fiction.  It doesn't matter how little I know (or retained in my grade-school days); by reading, I can still suck up all that knowledge--albeit in a fun way!  Author Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney spent months researching Egypt in order to create her world and it shows.  Ancient Egypt sprung off the pages of ASHA IN TIME, allowing me to envision the people, the culture, the buildings, the objects.  When I finished reading the book, I wanted to know more about the characters I'd spent so much time with, especially the fate of real-life Queens Isetnofret and Nefertari.

ASHA IN TIME starts off slowly, in our own contemporary world.  We find out how little Svana comes to be in our modern age and witness the way she grows from a newborn into a thirteen-year-old.  On her birthday, the amulet she always wears begins to glow and she is pulled backwards through time into Ancient Egypt, the land in which she was initially born.  She is given back her old name, Isetnofret, and must learn a whole new life away from the technologically-enhanced creature comforts she grew up with.  The reason for this shift in time period is quite sad, but I'll leave you to discover this element of the book on your own.  As Isetnofret grows up, she falls in love with Prince Ramses and the two become intrinsically entwined.  The novel occasionally shares a passage in the point of view from a secondary character, giving insight that Isetnofret would never otherwise be able to divulge to the reader.  While this could be distracting since not all of the characters were major or often mentioned, some of these moments were still worth reading, such as the segment from Asarsit's perspective that added an extra layer of richness or the passage at the end that had me fully on Nefertari's side despite the impossible predicament she found herself in with Isetnofret and Ramses.  I do wish Isetnofret's mother Solanda came back into the picture toward the end because she faded into the background after propelling much information along, but other than that, I liked that most of the story was from Isetnofret's point of view.

I will admit that, at first, I thought this might turn into a DNF book for me, which I haven't had yet on a blog tour.  The book begins slowly, from Solanda (Isetnofret's mother)'s POV and takes a while to unfurl.  I at least wanted to get to Egypt.  Once there, the book still had its slow moments, but had enough richness to keep me, and eventually, all of the political intrigue and full characters kept me hooked until the end.  I like the way Nachampassack-Maloney fleshed out historical Egyptian rulers.  She humanized Ramses and showed the softer side of a nation's ruler.  She brought out an innovative history for Isetnofret, a queen with very little information lining Egypt's history books.  She focused on a minor character such as Nefertari and slowly developed her into a major character and made readers truly care about the queen's plight.  She even managed to tug on the heartstrings while exploring true heartbreak and the limitless bounds of true love.  Another thing that made me falter when I began reading was the odd structure of the e-book.  I don't know if it was just my copy (I checked it on both my nook and my computer via Adobe Digital Editions), but for some reason, each page goes from a sentence or two in bold text to a few normal ones, then back to bold again.  I'm used to seeing a line of bold at the beginning of a chapter and that's it.  I also have a bad habit of skimming ahead when I'm involved in a book to see what's at the bottom of the page or the next page and then going back and reading from where I left off (yes, I'm impatient...), and my eyes kept getting attracted to all the bold bits, making it hard to stay where I was and not jump ahead and back again.  (But that's probably just a weird me thing.)  While ASHA IN TIME does have its flaws, it does a beautiful job of bringing Ancient Egypt to life and at only 99¢ on Kindle and $1.99 on nook, it's worth a chance if you love Egypt and/or history.


This cover really intrigued me and made me want to read ASHA IN TIME.  I love the coloring and the Egyptian symbols.  At the time, I didn't know much about the book.  Now, I think the cover could be of Isetnofret as she moves from our century to her native one.  It also represents the sensuous nature of the Egyptian culture.  

I really like the way all the elements come together on this cover.  It made me pick it up and give it a chance.  How about you?

Friday, December 23, 2011

FLYAWAY: Giveaway & Author This or That

A Backwards Story is happy to conclude The {Teen} Book Scene's blog tour for Helen Landalf's debut novel FLYAWAY.  I've been looking forward to this one for months and hope you have as well!

At the end of this post, you have a chance to win your own hardcover copy of FLYAWAY!  Check out the other posts on this week's tour for more chances to win!

FLYAWAY is Helen Landalf's debut YA novel.  She has previously written a couple of children's picture books.  You can  visit Helen's blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.  Helen is also a member of The Elevensies.

This or That with author Helen Landalf

(Writing) Picture books or novels?

Novels. I’ve actually written and published two picture books and really enjoyed the process, but I find writing novels much more satisfying.    

(Writing) Computer/laptop or hand-written?

Laptop. I used to write my novels longhand and then type them on the computer, but now I do everything on my laptop. The only exception is if I’m having trouble getting a scene started. Then I’ll write a few paragraphs of it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer. Somehow, writing longhand helps me push past any blocks.

Dance or theatre?

Both! I majored in theatre in college, and I’ve danced since I was seven and still teach dance to this day, so they’re both dear to my heart.

Summer or winter?  

Definitely summer. I grew up in San Diego and didn’t see my first snowfall till I went to college in upstate New York. I love going to the beach, wearing shorts and sandals, and enjoying long, long days.

Costume party or formal event?

Costume party, for sure. Just like Stevie in Flyaway, I like using outlandish clothes as a way of trying on different characters.

Dogs or Dragons? 

Dogs. I love my little Yorkie, Toto, and I’m honestly not a huge fantasy fan.

Go to the movies or curl up with a book?

Please, don’t make me choose! I live for reading, but if I’ve been writing all day, sometimes I like to go see a movie to get all those words out of my head.

Mythology or fairy tales?

Fairy tales. I haven’t thought much about mythology since middle school.

(Reading) YA or Adult?

YA. I read one adult novel a month for my book club, but I’m always happy when I finish it so I can get back to my stack of YA novels.

Travel abroad or travel Stateside?

Abroad. I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Finland, Russia, Mexico, Canada, and Israel. I can’t wait to travel more!

Helen, thank you so much for stopping by and playing This or That with us!  I always love the insight. ^_^  I've been looking forward to the release of FLYAWAY for months and am sure many others here have as well!

Bookworms, stop back at A Backwards Story sometime next week for my review of this novel!

And now, enter to win your own copy of FLYAWAY!  The contest is open until December 30th!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: HEAVEN by Christoph Marzi

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. This event highlights our most-wanted upcoming releases!

Author: Christoph Marzi
Release Date: Feb. 02, 2012
Publisher: Orchard Books

Add it: Goodreads


Someone posted the cover for this once, and I decided to check out the amazing summary.  I've been hooked ever since!  This book sounds AMAZING.  It's been translated into English from its original German.  The title may or may not come to the USA, so I have an imported copy on preorder from Book Depo.  And that's totally okay, because could any cover be better than this one?'re so close, yet so far away...!  (Even longer by the time the title arrives at my house!)

SUMMARY: The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood...

David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London's brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she's still alive...

And so begins David and Heaven's wild, exciting and mysterious adventure - to find Heaven's heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins.

Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away...

What are you anxiously waiting for this Wednesday?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Interview with Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney (Author of ASHA IN TIME)

A Backwards Story is happy to kick off The {Teen} Book Scene's tour for ASHA IN TIME!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events.  On December 29th, check in with A Backwards Story again for my review of this intriguing title!

ASHA IN TIME is Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney's second novel.  Her debut novel is entitled AUTUMNAL DANCER and features modern-day kings and magical abilities.  Follow her on Facebook. 

An interview with Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney 

How much research went into creating ASHA IN TIME?

About three months worth of research went into ASHA IN TIME. It almost became a full time job to delve into just a small portion of the writing there is out there about ancient Egypt. I used references books a lot, especially TEMPLES TOMBS AND HIEROGLYPHS by Barbara Mertz. I really wanted to take an untraditional route as well. I made an effort to read as much fiction as I could about ancient Egypt. I wanted to see how other people envisioned the Black Land, and that really helped me build the ancient world that made the most sense to me.

What made you decide to write about Ancient Egypt?

I’ve really always loved history and specifically been fascinated by the society that produced women like Cleopatra, Iras, Hatshepsut, Tiye, and Aahotep. That these women lived and were raised with expectations of greatness long before the modern world ever came to be is such a rich inheritance for young women today.

Thirteenth birthdays sound important. Can you tell us more about what turning thirteen entails?

In many cultures, including some sects of modern Judaism, thirteen birthdays mark a passing from childhood into adulthood. While this was not necessarily true in Egypt (some girl mummies have been found that claim the deceased to be a married woman at nine years of age), I felt that was simply too young for modern readers to feel comfortable with. I chose the thirteenth birthday as a special, magical one perhaps because it was when I felt I started to transition into womanhood.

Who was your favorite character to write about in ASHA IN TIME? Who was the hardest to write about?

My favorite character to write about certainly had to be Asarsit. There was a certain freedom in giving Asarsit a voice since she’s not a real historical figure like so many other characters in ASHA IN TIME, although she is based around an actual historic event. Plus, I thought it was really fun connecting the sacking of Troy with ancient Egypt. Mostly, those events are not thought of conjointly, but Egypt most certainly would have been aware of and effected by Troy’s destruction. 

I enjoyed making a daughter of Troy come alive in an Egyptian story. The hardest person to give a voice to had to be Isetnofret herself. Isetnofret was a real woman, a real wife of Ramses II. Yet, next to nothing is known about her. No one knows for sure if she had royal blood or was a common civilian. No one knows how she met the King of Egypt. No one even knows for certain when she died. All that’s really known is that she seems to have been married to Ramses before he came to his throne, which would have made them both fairly young. 

Most of what I had to go on about Isetnofret was a picture of a partially broken bust of her and Christian Jacq’s and Michelle Moran’s novels (which I thoroughly enjoyed) in which she was a character and a villainess. I knew that I wanted to give her a voice, the voice of a fairly innocent, maybe a bit naïve, but spirited and cheerful teenage girl.

What projects are you working on now? Will you return to Ancient Egypt in the future?

Right now I’m working (admittedly slowly) on my next novel, Autumnal Daughter, which is building off of my first novel, AUTUMNAL DANCER. After completing the writing portions of ASHA IN TIME in ten months, I’m allowing myself a measured start into my next book. Ancient Egypt could definitely be in my future! I haven’t ruled out returning to Egypt and even to some of the characters in ASHA IN TIME.

Mandy, thank you so much for stopping by and teasing us with hints of what is to come in ASHA IN TIME!

Bookworms, stop back at A Backwards Story on December 29th for my review of this novel! <3

Cover Crazy: CINDER (Spanish Edition)

Cover Crazy is hosted by The Book Worms. Each week, bloggers "admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, so I’m going to post minimal words. It is up to you to write how you feel and what you like about it the way you’d like to."

We've all seen the cover for Marissa Meyer's CINDER by now, yes?  Well.....not quite like this!!!
Last week, Marissa revealed Spain's cover for CINDER: Crónicas Lunares I.

Are you ready to see how pretty it is?

CINDER: Crónicas Lunares I by Marissa Meyer:

I love how you can tell it's still Cinderella, yet unique, too.  While I'm not such a fan of the obviously-Barbie doll hand, I can get why they did it that way and I love everything else about this image.  And that dress is really, really pretty!!!  I really like that this cover represents THE scene.  When you think of Cinderella, you think of the one-slipper-thing, yes?  I know I do!

And if you haven't been lucky enough to read a copy of CINDER yet, the wait isn't long now.  We're in the home stretch, bookworms!  January 3rd!!

Not only that, but the promotional material is coming full-force now!  Keep an eye on Marissa's blog as new developments emerge such as linking to articles on Feiwel and Friends' major CINDER marketing campaign and fun interviews that hint at upcoming books in the quartet!

Keep an eye on the blogosphere in January as a major blog tour kicks off, including a stop right here at A Backwards Story!

...Bookworms, I can't WAIT to share my review and tell you how much I loved this book!!

What do you think? What cover are you crazy about this week?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week in Review & IMM

IN MY MAILBOX: 12.18.11

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren because:

"I get books to read and then ultimately share my thoughts about with my readers. As much as I want to, I can’t possibly read every book I receive. Yet, I still wanted a way to feature those books on the blog, even though it might not be in the form of a review. Problem solved! Every week I'd share the books I received that week... ones I'd bought, or gotten at the library, and ones that I'd receive to review on the blog. That way I could mention titles that might not otherwise get some face-time on The Story Siren..."

I find the same thing happening at A Backwards Story. I'm so backed up on reviews atm... That's why I like these videos!


Check back soon!  And winners of the last giveaway coming this week!  Stay tuned :)


*HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand
*KISS OF FROST by Jennifer Estep [temporarily put aside]

[link to my GoodReads account so you can see my blurb feed as I read]


*GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers [ARC; out April 3, 2012]
*ASHA IN TIME by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney
*UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand


*FIRST FROST by Jennifer Estep [mini-review]

(Wow...I'm lame this week.  Sorry!!  Holiday Craze!)

*Cover Crazy: VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst
*Mythological Mondays: FIRST FROST
*Cover Art REVEALED: JUST FOR FINS by Tera Lynn Childs
*The Next Disney Princess REVEALED
*Waiting on Wednesday: ABOVE WORLD
*Songs of the Season ♪♪♪ (Featuring one of *my* favorite holiday songs.  Find out which one now!)


This week was a big ARC week.  Thank you to Macmillan, Spencer Hill, and Hannah L. Clark/KinStone Publishing for the amazing packages this week.  It felt like the holidays came early!!  (Though I couldn't wait to unwrap such lovelies...)

(All links go to Goodreads!)

*INCARNATE swag from author Jodi Meadows
*COBBOGOTH by Hannah L. Clark (Both signed!  One for me, one for GIVEAWAY!)  [Dec. 03, 2012; thanks to Hannah L. Clark/KinStone Publishing!] 
*Spencer Hill Press Swag
*PURE by Jennifer L. Armentrout [Apr. 03, 2012; thanks to Spencer Hill Press!]
(Mentioned/Shown: HALF-BLOOD by Jennifer L. Armentrout; reviewed here)
*UNconVENTIONAL edited by Kate Kaynak and Trisha Wooldridge [Jan. 15, 2012; thanks to Spencer Hill Press!]
*STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth [May 08, 2012; thanks to Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux!]
*OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks [May 22, 2012; thanks to Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends!]
(Mentioned: Marissa Meyer, author of CINDER, out Jan. 03!!)
*52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER by Jessica Brody [July 03, 2012; thanks to Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux!]
(Mentioned/Shown: Brody's previous novels MY LIFE UNDECIDED (review coming in January!) & THE KARMA CLUB (reviewed here)
*BEFORE YOU GO by James Preller [July 17, 2012; thanks to Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends!]
*MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama [Aug. 21, 2012; thanks to Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux!]
*THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen [Aug. 21, 2012; thanks to Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends!]

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Songs of the Season ♪♪♪

Songs of the Season
Event production by Random Magic Tours
Sasha Soren (author of RANDOM MAGIC)
Dec. 125, 2011

Welcome to the Songs of the Season music hop! 
You're invited to join us every day from December 10-25, to enjoy a virtual round of caroling.
You can visit another blog each day to find another wonderful music selection, handpicked by a great host.
Here's my selection for your enjoyment!

YouTube Link (If you can't see the above video or want to go straight to YouTube to watch!)
Title: "Holiday Lament (The Fruitcake Song)"
Artist: From the original holiday musical revue THAT TIME OF THE YEAR
Available at: Amazon Barnes and NobleBest Buy, etc. on THAT TIME OF YEAR Official Off-Broadway Cast Recording.  I personally first heard the song on the Broadway Cares Annual CAROLS FOR A CURE (Vol. VI) CD, as sung by the cast of Broadway's THE LION KING, available here (and tax-deductible if purchased straight from Broadway Cares!)
This particular version is one I found floating around on YouTube.  It features singers Kerri Jill Garbis, Erin Maguire & Bridget Beirne from the original Off-Broadway Cast.  Enjoy!
I think this song is just hysterical!  I've loved it since the moment I first heard it and have to play it every year!  It also makes me feel really bad for fruitcakes!

(I couldn't find the lyrics online, so I listened to the song and typed this up myself.  I ignored the gibberish parts.  Sorry if I misheard anything!)

Nobody likes a fruitcake!
Nobody likes a fruitcake,
We’re feeling pretty blue!
We see the looks you give us
At these holiday events.
We know when we’re not wanted,
Come on, we’re not that dense!

Nobody likes a fruitcake!
Nobody likes a fruitcake,
They just give us away.
The Dawsons got me as a gift,
They gave me to the Glicks.
I’ve been passed from house to house since 1986.

Everybody loves to eat fruit.
Everybody loves to eat cake.
So why is putting them together such a horrible mistake?

Nobody likes a fruitcake,
No, no, no, no!
Nobody likes a fruitcake,
It’s a lifetime of woe.
I just don’t understand it,
We’re fruit and nuts and rum.
And I’m the biggest seller in the catalogue I’m from…

People like blueberry muffins.
People like apple pie.
People like strawberry shortcake,
So why won’t they give us a try?

Nobody likes a fruitcake!
Nobody likes a fruitcake,
We all need therapy. :(
It drives a cake bananas,
When a person hates her guts.
No wonder all our name has come to mean
Someone who’s nuts

Every time they pass us on we get more disconcerted.
For once we’d like to be dessert,
Not deserted!
No, no, no!

Nobody likes a fruitcake,
Even a slice that’s small...
Nobody likes a fruitcake...
Nobody at all!
No, no!

Holiday Goodies!

Through Dec. 31, 2011: 

Win a pretty box of stationery, featuring quotes by writer Charlotte Brontë and her sisters, who were also novelists. Browse details!

Through Dec. 31, 2011:

Win a book-and-DVD set of a romantic drama set in New York during the Gilded Age.  Browse details!

Starting December 25:

Available starting Dec. 25, 2011: Win a book-and-DVD set of great classic film,Little Women (trailer shown above).  A chance to win this delightful gift will be available at the Dec. 25 session of Bookie Brunch, hosted at Jennie's Corner (Host: @JoanieFontana).

Event production by Random Magic Tours

Find RANDOM MAGIC: Print | Kindle
Explore Random MagicYouTube | Tumblr | Twitter

Waiting on Wednesday: ABOVE WORLD

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. This event highlights our most-wanted upcoming releases!

Title: Above World
Author: Jenn Reese

Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Add it: Goodreads


ABOVE WORLD sounds really interesting and different.  Believe it or not, it's NOT about mermaids (at least, it doesn't sound like it, not in any sort of traditional sense).  Instead, it's about human evolution, the fight for survival, and a quest for knowledge in order to save an entire colony.  How does that NOT sound like the makings of a great story?

Plus, how cool is it that humans are forced to evolve and grow tails or wings in order to survive and use special breathing necklaces to build a home beneath the sea despite the unnaturalness of it?  So cool!

SUMMARY: Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony's survival is at risk. The Kampii's breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna's fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku's tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt - growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains - here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.

What are you anxiously waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Next Disney Princess REVEALED!

Have you heard about the latest Disney Princess?

Princess Sophia the First is set to debut in late 2012 with her own animated movie, followed by an animated TV series in 2013.  She looks to be aimed at the younger set (possibly a Disney version of Dora?).

Sophia won't be (at this time, at least) joining the "official" Disney Princess line-up alongside favorites such as Ariel, Belle, and Cinderella (see what I just did there?  A, B, C!).  At the same time, some of Disney's royalty such as Cindy herself will be visiting Sophia at various points during the series.  Sophia will also attend a school where the headmistresses are none other than SLEEPING BEAUTY's Fauna, Flora and Merryweather!

Want to know even more tidbits?  Check out the entire article where I pulled this information from!

(And can I say, I love that Broadway alum Sara Ramirez has a role?  I'm hoping this means there will be SONGS.  Because, um, Sara Ramirez won a Tony Award for her role as Lady of the Lake in SPAMALOT and needs to sing more songs for us!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cover Art REVEALED: JUST FOR FINS by Tera Lynn Childs

Soooooo I was looking on Tera Lynn Childs' blog and I came across her poll asking readers to choose what they'd like from her for Christmas.  She mentioned the title of the third FINS novel coming in 2012, which I hadn't known had been revealed.  I scurried over to Goodreads to add it and what should I see but a COVER!!

Are you ready?

Are you SURE?

Ahh, I like it already!  It matches so well with the other two covers, especially the first one.  I really like the U and the N in the title, which remind me of mermaid scales or an underwater plant.  I love that the magic is once more streaming from the model's lips.  This book has me excited.  Seeing this cover has me even MORE excited!!!!

Mythological Mondays: FIRST FROST by Jennifer Estep

Mythological Mondays is a feature I created to spotlight books brimming with--you guessed it--mythology! I adore this sub-genre and can't wait to share my love with all of my fellow bookworms! This feature isn't just focused on novel reviews; it may also include interviews, looks at original mythological tales, etc. Please feel free to do this with me! If you guys ever do a mythological feature and want to join this and snag my lovely mermaid, I would LOVE to see the feature. I’ve even included a Linkbox for you. It doesn’t have to be Greek mythology, or even mythology per say. It can be mermaids, unicorns, or heck, even fairy tales (because I’m too lazy to do a separate fairy tale feature…). It doesn’t even have to be every Monday. I’m sure there will be Mondays when I skip, too. ^_^

Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: Out now (July 01, 2011)
Publisher: Kensington
Received: nook book


I am Gwen Frost, and I have a Gypsy gift. It's called psychometry - that's a fancy way of saying that I see images in my head and get flashes of other people's memories off almost everything I touch, even guys.

My gift makes me kind of nosy. Okay, okay, maybe a lot nosy--to the point of obsession sometimes. I want to know everything about everyone around me. But even I don't want to know the secrets my friend Paige is hiding or the terrible loss that will send me to a new school - Mythos Academy, where the teachers aren't preparing us for the SATs, but to battle Reapers of Chaos. Now I have no friends and no idea how my gift fits in with all these warrior whiz kids. The only thing I do know is that my life is never, ever going to be the same...

*This mini-review was scheduled to go live last Monday, but I wrote it on my phone at work and was unable to copy/paste it to Blogger (still learning how to use my Droid, sorry...).  So here it is a day late and a dollar short...but at least it's not expired milk!

Also, this mini-review is short because it's based on a short story meant to entice readers to the series if they're on the fence.  Next time, look forward to a review of TOUCH OF FROST!*

If you're thinking about reading Jennifer Estep's MYTHOS ACADEMY series, a good place to start would be e-book exclusive FIRST FROST, book 0.5 in the series. This short story will give you a taste of what lies in store for Gwen in the series as she learns about the school's existence and her own hidden powers.

I waited to read this until I'd finished TOUCH OF FROST, which was a mistake on my part. I did quite a bit of skim-reading because most of the information from FIRST FROST is included throughout the first full-length novel in the series. Granted, this time around it's in first person and fills in missing details, but it's not a necessary read if a reader has already invested in the series. However, if you're considering trying the series out, FIRST FROST provides a nice glimpse at all the mytholgical descendants Gwen will encounter at Mythos Academy.


The violet eyes are the first thing to stand out despite the way the model's hair is hiding most of her face.  Next up is the beautiful scenery of Mythos Academy.  I want to go to school here. I also love the series design where the "T" in Frost is a sword...and yes, the sword is there for a reason!

This cover is definitely intriguing and would make me pick it up blind!

Did you do a Mythological Mondays post?

Cover Crazy: VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst

Cover Crazy is hosted by The Book Worms. Each week, bloggers "admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, so I’m going to post minimal words. It is up to you to write how you feel and what you like about it the way you’d like to."

This week's cover is one that--I am ashamed to say--I just discovered this week thanks to Small Review.  How did I miss Sarah Beth Durst's blog post back in November revealing this beauty?  

VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst:

This is absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite Sarah Beth Durst cover yet.  It's GORGEOUS.  Those colors are like a beautiful sunrise.  Her name is lit with its own internal fire and blends perfectly with the image.  The transparency of the title and the curve of the V are stunning.  The fabric flows and drapes so well.  And the smoke...! 

Oh, I want this book IMMEDIATELY.  I like it even better than the cover for ICE, my previous favorite!  *covets* Fall is so very, VERY far away...

What do you think? What cover are you crazy about this week?


(I know this isn't book-related, but the movie is based on a comic book series, so it still counts, right...?  Right...!)

So we all saw the teaser poster for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES earlier this year, but the reveal of the "official poster" is absolutely amazing.

Seriously.  It gives me CHILLS.

Take a peek:

Seriously, is it not crazy-awesome?  From the tagline "The legend ends" to the way Batman's mask is lying in broken shards on the ground and Christian Bale's torn-up top paired with the grittiness of the poster, it looks epic.

Granted, I'm one of those hypocrites.  The ones who have never read the comic books, but still likes the movies.  Mais c'est la vie, non?

Actually, this poster reminds me a bit of a scene from one of the Spider-Man movies where Peter throws away his uniform into a trash can.  What's with superheroes giving up? :(

It's not the time to be philosophical, though.  Let's just stop and stare again, no?  In wide-screen, this time! (And, as always, click the pictures for a full-screen image...especially if you're browsing is showing distorted images on this blog!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

IMM 12.11.11

IN MY MAILBOX: 12.11.11

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren because:

"I get books to read and then ultimately share my thoughts about with my readers. As much as I want to, I can’t possibly read every book I receive. Yet, I still wanted a way to feature those books on the blog, even though it might not be in the form of a review. Problem solved! Every week I'd share the books I received that week... ones I'd bought, or gotten at the library, and ones that I'd receive to review on the blog. That way I could mention titles that might not otherwise get some face-time on The Story Siren..."

I find the same thing happening at A Backwards Story. I'm so backed up on reviews atm... That's why I like these videos!


Autographed MISTWOOD/NIGHTSPELL bookmark swag and a chance to win a one-of-a-kind signed annotated copy of MISTWOOD from Leah Cypess.  Check out my tour stop here!


*KISS OF FROST by Jennifer Estep [temporarily put aside]
*GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers 

[link to my GoodReads account so you can see my blurb feed as I read]


*TOUCH OF FROST by Jennifer Estep
*FIRST FROST by Jennifer Estep [short story]
*NIGHTSPELL by Leah Cypess
*MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess [re-read; first read in 2010]


*NIGHTSPELL by Leah Cypess [blog tour stop with GIVEAWAY!]

*Official Blog Tour Stop for Leah Cypess' NIGHTSPELL


This week was a big paperback week for me.  I got a great deal on every one of these books, so it was time to stock up!


*SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE by Katie Dale [Feb. 02, 2012; thanks to Simon & Schuster!] 
*GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley [Feb. 14, 2012 (US Release Date); thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House!]


*REASONS TO BE HAPPY by Katrina Kittle [Also featured:  All four of Kittle's adult novels, which I already own]
*KISS OF FROST by Jennifer Estep [Also featured:  TOUCH OF FROST, which I already own]
*FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John [Mentioned: Just Contemporary month and the amazing guest post on Ashley from Basically Amazing's blog]
*SPHINX'S QUEEN by Esther Friesner [Also featured:  All four of Friesner's other novels, which I already own (except for SPIRIT'S PRINCESS, which I have an ARC of...)]
*THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY by Kay Cassidy [Which I already reviewed this past week]
*DESTINED by Jessie Harrell (99¢ e-book)
*OBSIDIAN by Jennifer Armentrout ($5.99 e-book)


*Two new Disney Movie Rewards items arrived!  These are the CINDERELLA and SLEEPING BEAUTY Keepsake Boxes to go alongside the two I previously mentioned in this IMM (along with info on how to join DMR and get free stuff like this!).

What did you get in your mailbox this week?