Saturday, October 27, 2012

REVIEW: The Forgotten by Claudia Carozza

Title: The Forgotten
Author:  Claudia Carozza
Series:  The Barronlands Trilogy (Book #2)
Reviews in Series:  The Twenty (Book #1)
Pages:  282
Publisher:  Self-Published
Date Published:  September 23, 2012
Source:  Received from Author for Honest Review


Hazel's job at the Antioch didn't work out at all like she had planned. After a daring escape and one very risky delivery of the first baby born in years, she's still holding on to the hope of a better future. Out of the Antioch and on the run, who can Hazel turn to for help and can they really be trusted? In the second book of the Barronlands Trilogy, relationships are tested and even more secrets are revealed. Hazel tries to put the pieces together, hoping everything doesn't fall apart. Will she be able to hold it all together or will there be those who slip through the cracks?


The Forgotten picks up right where The Twenty left off, and we're immediately thrown into the adventure.  Hazel and her friends have escaped the Antioch and are on the run.  Some have gone into hiding; some have chosen to fight.  With everything she's up against, Hazel is having a hard time keeping it together.  Her friends are all leaning on her, and she isn't sure she's up to the job of leading this group of misfits.
There is so much to love about this series!  First of all we have two super hot guys.  They are strong, sexy characters, and you can't help but love them both.  If you've read The Twenty you know just how hard it is to pick a favorite.  I know I can't!  One minute I think I like Luka best.  He's the tough and sexy bad boy.  It's apparent that he's totally into Hazel, and he's extreme.  But, then there's Shane.  We only got a glimpse of who Shane really is in The Twenty.  His real bad-ass personality comes blazing through in The Forgotten.  He wants Hazel, and while he's more laid back and quite, he's also pretty damn passionate about it.  He kinda makes me melt. 
Now, let's talk about Hazel.  In The Twenty she goes to the Antioch prepared to make a better life for herself and her family.  She has no idea what she's getting herself into.  When I reviewed The Twenty I had this to say about Hazel:   "I immediately liked and respected Hazel. She is selfless and will do whatever it takes to protect the people she cares about. She's self assured and amazingly strong willed, and when things get tough she squares her shoulders and marches ahead, even pushing everyone else behind her."  This is exactly how I would describe her in The Forgotten, but she's wiser, tougher and even more selfless.  She's gotten to be quite the bad-ass herself!  The trials she and her friends are going through weigh heavily on her, sometimes breaking her down, but she never fails to stand tall and kick ass. 
The Forgotten is much more action packed and full of adventure.  We meet some new people, some I like and some, not so much.  I'm not sure who I trust, yet.  We lose some of our group, some with no idea as to their whereabouts.  Some questions are answered, usually leaving you with another.  We find out that the Antioch has many more secrets that we first thought.  I'm still not sure what the Antioch is up to, but I'm enjoying finding out one piece of the mystery at a time.  I am completely and thoroughly captivated by this amazing series, and I can't wait until the third and final book comes out!
Claudia is giving away two signed copies of "The Forgotten"!  If you'd like to win one be sure to enter the rafflecopter below.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

Big thanks to I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm for hosting this amazing hop!
I absolutely love Halloween, and I have been so excited waiting for this hop for months!!  I plan to make this the biggest and best giveaway I've done on this blog yet.  There are over 500 blogs participating in this hop, so it's going to be phenomenal!
In keeping with the Spooktacular theme I thought what better book to give away than one with vampyres with mystical witchy powers and an evil bitch that's so good at being bad that everyone thinks she's wonderful!  Marked (House of Night #1) would be such a book...yes?  But, I can't just give away one book!  There's nothing phenomenal about that!  So, what if......what if I gave away the ENTIRE House of Night series?  That would be pretty damn I right?!?!
 Marked (House of Night, #1)Betrayed (House of Night, #2)Chosen (House of Night, #3)Untamed (House of Night, #4)Hunted (House of Night, #5)Tempted (House of Night, #6)Burned (House of Night, #7)Awakened (House of Night, #8)Destined (House of Night, #9)Hidden (House of Night, #10)  

Hello!  Have you been keeping up?  That's TEN books!  Ten HARDBACK books!  Yes, I know...that's freaking phenomenal!!

If you want a chance to win this amazing set of books check out the rafflecopter below.  And don't forget to keep following this hop!  There's sure to be some more amazing giveaways to enter.

1.  You must be at least 16 years old to enter.
2.  The novellas in the House of Night Series are NOT included.
3.  These books are my copies.  While they are not new, they have only been read once and are like new condition.  They have "This Book Belongs To..." address stickers on the inside, which I will leave for the winner to remove or cover if wanted.  
4.  The winner will be contacted via email, and they will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
5.  Due to the size of this package I must limit this giveaway to US ONLY.  (So sorry to my Int. followers, but you know I'll include you in the next giveaway!)

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Be Sure to Check Out the Other Blogs On This Hop By Clicking HERE!  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: Witch Born by Amber Argyle


Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Brusenna thought it was finished.

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.

Including her life.

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?


Amber Argyle
Amber Argyle grew up with three brothers on a cattle ranch in the Rocky Mountains. She spent hours riding horses, roaming the mountains, and playing in her family’s creepy barn. This environment fueled her imagination for writing high fantasy.

She has worked as a short order cook, janitor, and staff member in a mental institution. All of which has given her great insight into the human condition and has made for some unique characters.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Physical Education from Utah State University.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: Sheltered by Debra Chapoton

Title:  Sheltered
Author: Debra Chapoton
Buy It:
Living together unsupervised, five troubled teens confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways. Paranormal meets psycho meets Goth in this story of a supernatural haunting and budding love.
High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father's real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts: the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him. When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.
One by one strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens’ beliefs in the supernatural. How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.

Debra's Bio:
Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.
Her first YA novel, Edge of Escape, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.
Her second YA novel, Sheltered, detours into a different genre as she writes about five teens who confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but are they ready for the consequences?
Chapoton has also written eleven chapter books for middle grade kids and a non-fiction work for adults, Crossing the Scriptures.
When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan.
Excerpt from Sheltered:
Next Wednesday
Emily knew the precise moment that Ben returned, she felt him in her scars. She watched him carry some things to the house, heard the door close; she smiled when she heard him call out that Santa was here. He did that once before, in early December, insisting that she accept the gift he held out, not wanting her to wait until Christmas to use the mittens he knew she needed.
She went toward her door now, wondered what he had brought, and then heard Megan’s voice below. Oh no, he probably brought something for her. She scuttled back to her nest by the window and stared outside, was still staring fifteen minutes later when she saw them walk down the street, Ben shouldering a shovel, his other hand knotted with Megan’s.
She touched the skin on her arms, lightly at first, making it tingle. The image of Ben with Megan multiplied across her mind in broken mirrors, a repugnant picture that reflected her own self-loathing. She scratched at her scabs, felt the pricks of pain force away the ticklish sensations. She closed her eyes.
When she opened them she saw a figure standing at her door.
“Who–?” she started, but the figment waned to less than a shadow. Still, though, there was something at her door.
She rose slowly and held her hand out.
Its face was more womanly now, friendly, motherly. Yes, she knew this face. Its pearly white skin so shocking against the ruby lips, the stringy hair a match to her own. Her mother.
She stretched her fingers toward the face. The hallucination faded then sharpened. The eyes began to blaze. She drew her hands back to her own face. What’s wrong with me?  The delusion grieved Emily; all around her fluttered a longing.
And a deadly fear.

Monday, October 1, 2012

REVIEW & GUEST POST: Sprite by Leigh Michael

Title: Sprite
Author:  Leigh Michael
Series:  Annabelle's Story (Part One)
Pages:  161
Series summary:

Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.

She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she's not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.

With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take?

Sprite was such a unique story!  As a mythology lover I really enjoyed Leigh Michael's take on Hades, Zeus and Poseidon.  When Annabelle is kidnapped by a strange man and dragged into the sea she has no idea that she's about to be introduced to a whole new world.  Not only does she realize she can breathe under water, but she's also a descendant of Triton.  How cool is that?!  I really liked Annabelle's character.  While she was a bit irritating in the beginning, when she realizes she has a job to do she puts on her big girl panties and gets to work.  I also like the twists and turns of the story.  No one really is as they seem.  While at times a bit predictable, the action and adventure kept the pages turning.  Sprite was an enjoyable read, and I hope Kin (Part Two) keeps me just as intrigued. 

Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One) can be purchased at:

Kin (Annabelle’s Story Part Two)can be purchased at:
Leigh’s Indie ABCs
(Part one of a guest post by Leigh Michael)
When I released Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One) in April, I knew very little about the writing industry. Over the past 6 months, I’ve acted as a sponge for information. It’s been an amazing, gut-checking, rewarding, and humbling experience. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade that I’d love to share with you all. Below is part one in what I’ve learned thus far in self-publishing my first series, Annabelle’s Story. Part two will be posted on Little Library Muse on October 17. Part three will be posted on Girls on YA Books on October 26.

Author website — Having one of these is important. It allows readers an easy way to learn about an author, their books, and where to buy ‘em. Check out my site at

Beta readers — When I released the first part of Annabelle’s Story, I was too afraid to let others read my work. I just wanted to bite the bullet and publish. Not the best idea. Since then I’ve come to rely on beta readers to help me polish my work.

Carissa Katz — This young lady is an amazing designer. Actually, I already knew that. I just wanted to emphasize it. Carissa put together my covers for Annabelle’s Story and I couldn’t be happier. Check out her other work here.

Digital, not print — In “Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know” it says that print should be a secondary focus to ebooks. I’d have to agree. My digital versions sell a lot more than print editions. Still, I think having a paperback version for giveaways is important.

Editing — I’d like to go on the record to say that it’s so frustrating and difficult to remove every single typo/error from a manuscript. For both Sprite & Kin, I hired a professional proofreader to complete two rounds of reviews. Afterwards, I found additional errors. However, I think it’s crucial to take this step and hire another set of eyes.

Facebook fan pages — Seems like a no-brainer to create an author page on Facebook. In my initial research on how to market myself, this was one of the first things I’ve learned. Alas, I’ve created Like me!

Goodreads — I must admit that I’d never heard of Goodreads before writing Annabelle’s Story but it’s great. It’s where I find my next book to read. Check out my page on Goodreads to see what I’ve been reading.

Hashtags — There are so many of these on Twitter (and more are introduced every day). To start, I found 44 essential twitter hashtags that every author should know. I also love reading Sara Megibow’s #10queriesIn10tweets every Thursday.

Thank you for reading part one of my A through Z of industry learnings. Be sure to check out part two on Little Library Muse on October 17 and part three on Girls on YA Books on October 26.

So what’s next for me? I’ve thrown myself into a new series. This one is a historical fiction that I’m pretty thrilled about. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll pursue the traditional route or follow the same indie path. Who knows, there could be a “Leigh’s Bestseller ABCs” post one day. One can only hope!
Also, don’t forget to stop by Leigh Michael Books on October 31st for a special Trick or Treat surprise!
Author Bio:
Leigh Michael is an author of YA fiction. She's worked within the advertising world for nearly a decade before writing her debut series, Annabelle's Story. Leigh lives in Washington, DC with her husband and goldendoodle. Please learn more about Leigh and her works

Contact info:
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