Friday, 28 February 2014

Book Review: Fire Within (Guardian Witch 2) by Ally Shields

Series: Guardian Witch #2
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: 06 March 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Author / Chelsea's Author Promotions (In exchange for an honest Review)

Goodreads Synopsis:
Ari Calin refuses to believe her human friend Eddie murdered a vampire—in spite of his confession. Her human partner Ryan thinks the case is a slam dunk, even though there’s no weapon and no witnesses, but Ari’s not about to let her friend take the rap without finding out more.

When Ari attends a charity event on the arm of a handsome werewolf, she finds someone she never expected to see again—Andreas De Luca, the charismatic vampire she used to date. When their eyes meet across the room, memories come rushing back. His kiss, his touch, a savage death…and a terrifying magical bond. A reconnection is the last thing she wants. Only by staying away and forgetting Andreas can she hope to avoid the Legend of Ramora.

But when vampires keep dying, one thing becomes clear: Riverdale has a serial killer on its hands, and Andreas could be next. Ari begins to fear there’s more to it, though. Something truly evil is stalking the city, waiting to take control…




Previous reviews:
Awakening the Fire (GW #1)
Vampire in the Shadows (GW #1.5)

My Review:

This is the second time that I have read this book and it did not disappoint. I always worry about my early review assessments and wonder if I would rate books differently later on, after I have had a bit more reviewing experience. I love it when I see my opinion doesn't change and my thoughts about the series are consistent.

Ally Shields takes this story to a whole new level. The book is gripping from the first chapter and is filled with action. Guardian Witch is a paranormal romance with a CSI drama feel to it.

Characters: 4.5/5
Ally creates great characters, and each of them has their own interesting story.

Ari - I definitely loved Ari in this story and connected with her easily. She is a kick-ass heroine and even with her 'magical disadvantage' she is a worthy guardian.

Andreas - Andreas is awesome. He is mysterious, and I believe that there is still much to be revealed about him. He is smart, witty and very well controlled with his behaviour when it comes to Ari. Andreas challenges her in a good way. As much as I loved Stefan in Book 1, Andreas wins this round.

Ari and Andreas have a slow burn romance, it is developing slowly, yet it still remains intense.

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 4.5/5
The plot is captivating and the pace is perfect. I can definitely see how Ally has grown as a writer in this book, and am excited to see how much more she improves in the books to come. Her writing style is easy to follow and pulls you in easily.

Cover talk: 3.5/5 I really liked the cover, other than the model’s hairstyle! Also, as Stefan did not really feature in this book, I could not understand the reason for the wolf on the cover. It is, however, still a great cover that catches your attention.


Final Thoughts: I love how the love story is unfolding with Ari and Andreas, and cannot wait to see where it goes in the rest of the series.



My Rating:

Books in the series / Other books by this Author:









Author Bio:I write urban fantasy/supernatural mysteries. The first three novels in the series have been released and Blood and Fire is scheduled for the fall of 2013. I am currently working hard on book 5. When not writing, I read multiple genres--urban fantasy, thrillers, mysteries, romance, and I love to travel-anywhere, anytime. I live in the Midwest with my miniature pinscher Ranger within driving distance of the Mississippi River that is the setting for my books.

Author Links: Goodreads l Twitter l website


Love

Chanzie


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Topic of Light: The Five Levels of Attachment: Chapter 3 ~ Knowledge and Attachments (Part 1)

Hello lovelies

Welcome back to another topic of light. I have been a bit disconnected with writing at the moment, maybe it has to do with what is going on around me as well as trying to balance life in general. I have been overwhelmed by trying to reach my own dreams and goals, as weird as that may sound, that I sort of lost momentum. Luckily with persistence and commitment, you can work through anything. In a way covering some of the concepts in this books has been a bit of a challenge, I have been practising grasping the concepts myself, in order to try write about it for you. 

Please remember, this is only my personal interpretation. If you enjoy the parts I cover I do encourage you to purchase this book to get a more clear and thorough picture of the Toltec Teachings. 

If you missed the previous posts, you can catch up here

This week's chapter is about knowledge and attachments. Sometimes when we think we know it all, we actually limit our options. Our knowledge is controlling us instead of giving us the freedom to choose. We create an attachment to this knowledge and it forms our Personal Dream for us. 

I will be spitting up this chapter into 2 parts to help go through the meanings more thoroughly.

'If my attachment to what I know blinds me to all the available options, then my knowledge is controlling me; it is controlling my intention, and it is creating my Personal Dream for me. But with awareness of my attachments comes the opportunity to take back that control and to live as I choose.'

~ The Five Levels of Attachment

I came across one of my favourite sayings, and I was so pleased to find it's true source:

Ever-Changing meanings

I am only responsible for what I say; I am not responsible for what you hear. 

- Don Miguel Ruiz

We all have a level of understanding and association in the language we speak. We are taught words and associate them with objects. Book, table, chair and so on. What differs is what that means to you. A book is a wonderful escape and adventure to me, with characters that are as real as anything else. To you, a book might just be a bunch of words, printed on paper and bound together. We place different value and meanings on the exact same object. Experience will also change our perception of things. 

We communicate with each other based on the symbols that we each understand and associate the same thing too. Universally a sun will remain the sun and the moon will remain the moon, no matter what language we translate it too. For example, We have all agreed that the huge yellow ball in the sky that radiates heat and sustains the Earth is know as the Sun. This knowledge connects us all. 

'A Symbols meaning is derived from agreement by a community, a culture, a nation and so on. A definition is created by consensus - and when enough of us say yes to that representation, we call this knowledge.'

~ The Five Levels of Attachment

Perceptions and point of view will also alter our understanding of these concepts we have come to agree on. Love, spirit, mortality - we all know what they mean but I will never truly understand what it means to you and visa versa. In a way we all speak a different love language. We have given a form to the formless and intangible. 

'This is why we refer to the Dream of the Planet as an Illusion; the meaning of the symbols, the words, that construct out ideas and beliefs only feels solid through the agreement of the majority of individuals who are part of that society or community.' ~ The Five Levels of Attachment

In this way if the consensus changes, through enough individuals changing their own personal dreams, the dream of the planet illusion will change too. 

Once again, a joke I share with a friend is 'Who defines what normal is anyway?' Normal is what we think society wants from us, because of a large group of individuals that said yes to this agreement. These days we are constantly evolving and the world is changing before our eyes. Boys were pink, same sex marriages are accepted, woman can now compete in the corporate world - these are just things that have changed in my lifetime. These agreements don't exist out there somewhere, they are mental agreements we have accepted. 

Join me next week as we continue to discuss this chapter. 

My wish for you this week is know what you mean and mean what you say. 




Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Teaser Tuesday #14 City of Bones by Cassandra Clare




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

 Grab your current read • Open to a random page  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Here is my teaser for today:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
by Cassandra Clare

Page 82


"Those don't look like knives. How did you make them? Magic?" 
Alec looked horrified, as if she'd had asked him to put on a tutu and execute a perfect pirouette. 
"The funny thing about mundies," Jace said, to nobody in particular, "is how obsessed with magic they are for a bunch of people who don't even know what the word means." 


Books Description
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... 

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.



~ ~ ~ 

I loved this scene. I burst out laughing when I read Alec's reaction! 
What do you think? Share you teaser in the comments or leave a link to your post!



Love

Chanzie



Monday, 24 February 2014

Guest Post: Ally Shields ~ Top 5 Paranormal Romance Covers




This week I am featuring the lovely Ally Shields, Author of the Guardian Witch series!!
Check out my review of book 1 - Awakening the fire, here and her novella, Vampire in the Shadows here



Awesome Paranormal Romance Covers

When asked to chose my five favorite paranormal romance covers, I knew I couldn't do it. There are just too many excellent choices! But I can show you five that I think are awesome!

Before I list the five I've chosen—and in no particular order—I should mention how I judge a cover:

1. Does it tell me something about the story or characters? Other than it's a romance.
2. Does it catch my attention?
3. Does it include or imply paranormal elements?


One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost has one of the best covers I've seen. It is wonderfully dark and atmospheric, has good clarity, and tells a story. The reader knows immediately what type of book this is. If I hadn't already read it, I would pick this book from the cover alone!
Dream Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon is another terrific cover. While there is no specific paranormal element in the picture, who can doubt this is an otherworldly atmosphere? And could he be more dark and dangerous?

Adding a lighter note is Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory. The reader knows exactly what this story will be like from the first glance at the cover: paranormal chicklit. Looking at it always makes me smile!

Kim Harrison has several good covers, but I particularly like this one from Every Which Way But Dead. You don't get much more eye-catching than this, and you know right away you're dealing with a kick-ass heroine!

My last cover is Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh. I have to admit I haven't yet read this book, but I love the evocative cover and have the novel on my wish list. It meets all my criteria and then some.


Now I realize not everyone has the same taste, so what paranormal romance covers would make your Awesome List?








Love

Ally

~ ~ ~

Ally's post definitely had me thinking about my favourite cover so I though I would add in my two cents!

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. These covers are absolutely stunning, once you have read the story and you take a closer look at the covers, you definitely see the significance. I read the eBooks first but they are so gorgeous I need a set on my bookshelf!






Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper.  
I fell in love with this cover from the moment I saw it, the effects are stunning and it is rare to find a great mermaid book!

Grave Mercy by Robin la Fevers
From this cover you just know it is going to be a kick ass read with a awesome heroine. I have not read this book yet, but it is on my bookshelf! 


~ ~ ~

Want a peak at Ally's covers for her Guardian Witch covers???
Gorgeous right.. My favourite is Blood & Fire!
Check them out on Goodreads



~ ~ ~

So what do you think? What makes a cover memorable for you?










Friday, 21 February 2014

Audio Book Review: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Series: Night Huntress #1
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 30 October 2007 
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Source: Audible Purchase

Goodreads Synopsis:
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat


My Review:

Narrator: Tavia is brilliant. At one stage I forgot that it's one person doing all these characters! Her pace is perfect and she really knows how to bring the story to life. 

Characters: 5/5
Jeaniene Frost creates interesting and lovable characters. The good guys are awesome and easy to connect to, and the bad guys are brilliant too. 

Cat & bones - They are one of my new favorite romance couples. I adore the tender moments between them. As their relationship grows you love them even more. This is a series that I will follow to the end! 

Cat - Cat is a lovable and beautiful character. I connected with her easily. She is funny, smart, street smart, witty and feisty. I love how Bones loves and accepts her, heals her, and helps her to accept who and what she is. 

Bones - Oh Bones! He is completely swoon-worthy. His patience and love for Cat is beautiful. Bones has a wicked sense of humor and has depths we are yet to discover. Cat changes him for the better. 

Timmy - I love this quirky little character. His nervousness and nerdiness made me laugh. Timmy and Cat have such a nice easy normal friendship, which is great for Cat. I do hope to see him again in future books. 


Cat's Mom - Cat's mom frustrated the giddy out of me. She is selfish and self-absorbed. She cannot see what a beautiful and amazing daughter she has, and keeps punishing her indirectly for her own mistakes and sins. I started out with some empathy for her, but lost it during the story. I really just don't like her, but maybe that's the point in a way. I just wish she could find some way to love and fully accept Cat. 


Plot, Pace, Writing style: 5/5 
I am still learning to figure out this aspect when listening to an audio book. The plot is brilliant and gripping. The pacing is perfect and Jeaniene has mastered the writing style. From what I have read around the blogosphere, this series just gets better and better.

Cover talk: 3/5
 
I thought the cover was Ok. Not the prettiest and I wouldn't pick it up at the store, based on it. 

Final Thoughts: 
I love this series and will follow it to the end. Ms Frost definitely has a new fan.


My Rating:



Books in the series:











Favourite Quotes

"I love you. You have no idea what you're worth to me."
~ 
“Do you think I’m pretty?” I heard myself ask. 
Something I couldn’t name flashed across his face. 
“No. I don’t think you’re pretty. I think you’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.” 
~

“I'm saying that I'm a moody, insecure, narrow-minded, jealous, borderline homicidal bitch, and I want you to promise me that you're okay with that, because it's who I am, and you're what I need.”

~

“Lucifer’s bouncing balls, Kitten, not again!
You’re not a woman, you’re the Grim Reaper with red hair!
Come on, Kitten, let’s go. Before you murder someone else.” -Bones&Cat”  

~

“We're, ah, taking a break to evaluate things, and, um, reexamine our relationship, so I stuffed him in a closet!" I burst out in shame. Timmie's eyes goggled.
Is he still there?”

~

“I missed you every minute this week and I don't want to spend another day without you. If my mom disowns me for being with a vampire, then that's her decision, but I've made mine, and I won't apologize of back down from it.” 

~

“...and remember, be
good only if being bad ain’t more fun!” 

~~~
Author Bio:
Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

Author Links:Goodreads l Twitter l Website



Love

Chanzie


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Trailer Reveal & Giveaway: Soul Betrayed by Katlyn Duncan



I am super excited to be able to share the trailer for Katlyn Duncan's SOUL BETRAYED, the third and final book in The Life After trilogy, coming February 27, 2014 from Carina.

The covers for each book in this series are gorgeous and the trailers are just as amazing.

If you haven't yet heard about this awesome series, available in eBook format, just check out the descriptions below.

And if you'd like the chance to win an Amazon eGift Card, the author has offered one up for giveaway. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

Now, without any further ado, let me present to you...

The Soul Betrayed Trailer





***

About Soul Betrayed


COMING FEBRUARY 27, 2014


Series: The Life After #3
Publisher: Carina
Print length: 223 pages
Format: eBook

Description...

The final installment of The Life After trilogy...

A Life for a Life
The battle between Shadowed and Guard has brought destruction and terror to Gate Seven and now Maggie wants revenge. As the only after-life being who can save the souls from ultimate death Maggie comes face to face with her own human body, preserved for a century, waiting for just this moment to arrive.

Yet, how far will Maggie go to exact her revenge on the Shadowed? And when she comes face to face with her past, how will she survive the onslaught of memories she thought long gone?

For when the truth comes out all is not what it seems and Maggie has finally run out of time... She must choose her destiny or watch all she has perish in the fight for her life!






***

About Katlyn Duncan


Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.




***

~The Giveaway ~

This reveal includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon eGift Card to one winner, ending on February 28th.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...



***

About Soul Taken




Series: The Life After #1
Release date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Carina
Print length: 223 pages
Formats: eBook

Description...

Book 1 in The Life After trilogy.

After-life just got a lot more complicated
Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body.

Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies…

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!


***

The Soul Taken Trailer





***

About Soul Possessed


Series: The Life After #2
Release date: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Carina
Print length: 256 pages
Format: eBook

Description...

Book 2 in The Life After trilogy.

Life after Life

Now Maggie has been given the chance of her after-life to become a Guard, nothing will stand in her way. Not even the undeniable attraction she feels for her trainer and past love—Jackson. But when the battle between Shadowed and Guard begins again which side will she choose?

When her boss, Felix, partners Jackson and Maggie up with Ally and Cooper to investigate terrifying Shadowed activity, she doesn’t think it could get any worse. Jackson and Cooper barely tolerate each other and this time, Maggie isn’t just proving her loyalty to the Guard during one mission...she has a side mission too. One so secret and so dangerous she can’t tell a soul...


***

The Soul Possessed Trailer









Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Topic of Light ~ Angel Whisper: Mental Strength (Guest Post bu Russell Forsyth)


Hello lovelies. Welcome back to a special Topic of Light! I will be continuing with the Five Levels of Attachment next week. This week I read an email/post that I felt I really wanted to share with you. I have been on Russell's email list for quite some time now and I go away with a special message every time. 

I hope you enjoy this message as much as I did!!

~ Angel Whispers  ~ 

Mental Strength 

If you polled mentally strong people, you might discover that they are similar in the ways they hold strength. There are many aspects of mental strength, and just by developing a guideline, you can become better equipped to stay strong mentally. One of the biggest factors in become a mental giant is emotional strength. Emotional strength is connected to mental strength, mostly because of the effect that emotions play on the body.

            According to Paul Hudson of Elite Daily, mentally strong people don't beg for attention, they don't let others bring them down, and they don't hold a grudge. Mentally strong people never stop believing in themselves, don't act mean to others, aren't afraid of love, and they know better than to let just anyone into their lives. Mental strength can come from being able to say 'no' while believing in one's self. People who are mentally strong don't feel a need to fit in, and have full understanding that happiness is a decision. 
            It takes a lot to be mentally strong enough to maneuver through today's world, as there is ample opportunity for mental breaks (tee hee). Perhaps mental exercises can help, just like we exercise our bodies. My mother always did crossword puzzles as a way to keep the mind active and strong. Let's do a mental exercise and see if a whisper can add information to the life puzzle.

            The mental body is the one dimension of your being that can greatly affect outcomes. Faith supports the mental body with a knowing that there is always a greater perspective to be discovered in every situation. Mental breakdowns can be as devastating as physical or emotional breaks, as the mind creates the bridge to the multi-dimensional bodies.
            Getting your head around an issue is an important aspect with each person's life, so mental strength comes from discipline, alignment with truth or your current reality, and always aiming to be honest with yourself. The way you live your life and the integrity you hold will determine your mental strength and ability to cope with arduous challenges presented on your journey.
            In the grand scheme of things, the energy of love surrounds each person in every moment. The physical body is the barrier, and the mind is the tool that facilitates the opening of the heart. Self-care is self-love. Survival energy is the shield that protects the heart, so it is essential to develop the faith and understanding necessary to connect to the energy of love.
            With all the external energies that bombard the human body, the need for healthy boundaries is an essential ingredient to wellness with the body, mind, and spirit. In essence, the path to mental strength comes with your careful discernment around those external forces that ultimately shape your life.
            If you want to feel freedom to express yourself and to feel the love that surrounds you, you must be willing to experience all aspects in life. You cannot spiritually bypass the truth, so that leaves you with building faith and understanding that everything which happens is part of a divine plan you cannot know or see. Accepting this premise is the life's work.

About Russel
Russell Forsyth is an ANGEL THERAPIST ®/Medium that has been certified under Dr.Doreen Virtue and also works as an angel reader, crystal bed practitioner, inventor, writer, radio show host, speaker, teacher and musician from Austin, Texas. After an inspirational shift in 2006, Russell has written several books, given workshops, invented a crystal light bed and has appeared on several radio shows, theater productions and was selected to film a pilot TV show on angel readers. Russell currently writes a weekly newsletter called "Angel Whispers", which features a word study and channeled messages from the angels.
Contact links: WebsiteBlog l Twitter l Email