Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: Your Girl by Vicky Courtney

Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World

NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I must say that I found this book very helpful. It was full of God guided advice, Scripture verses and enlightening conclusions. I expected an instruction book, but found something much more valuable. It was not only a guide to mothers, it could very well serve as a guide to their daughters.

I think that in the times we live, we need to open our eyes and actually look around to see how much the world affects us as people. We are born unique people, then we conform to society, to our peers, to others' expectations of us. And our uniqueness is quickly forgotten.

(Click here for full review and rating)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New cover tendencies

Have you noticed that lately the girls with the pretty dresses are being taken out of the book covers, only to be replaced by a singular eye? No? Well, I have, and I've been wondering about it. I don't know what invoked the change in tendencies - perhaps over-saturation on the market. So I was wondering whether you think this change is for the better.

I honestly don't know, though there are pros and cons, I guess. For one, it's different, more mysterious way to picture a story by only the shape/color/lashes of an eye. 

So, take a look at all the covers-with-eye that I've found. I bet there are more, but those are the once I dug up:

So, what's up with the eye?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Books to Movies: Total Recall

Heya guys! I haven't done a movie re-cap in a while, so I thought it was about time. Today I'm featuring the movie Total Recall. Info obtained from http://www.starpulse.com.

Based on:  Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”
Novella summary: He awoke-and wanted Mars. The valleys, he thought. What would it be like to trudge among them? Great and greater yet: the dream grew as he became fully conscious, the dream and the yearning. He could almost feel the enveloping presence of the other world, which only Government agents and high officials had seen. A clerk like himself? Not likely.
Novellete-length, this story is the inspiration behind the popular Total Recall movies from 1990 and 2012.

Movie plot:  After a construction worker opts to have a “virtual vacation” implanted in his memory, he begins to doubt his sanity and the world around him.  (Yes, it’s a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.)
Starring:  Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel
Director:  Len Wiseman
Why it’ll be yummy eye candy:  Check out that cast! Colin Farrell is one of my favorite actors, and I can't wait to see him in this adaptation :) I just bet he's gonna be better than Arny :DD Better looking he is already ;)
Release date:  August 3

Friday, July 27, 2012

Follow Friday #25


Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog :)

The question this week is:

Summer Reading!  What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?
My answer:

Finally, an easy question! There were two books that I clearly remember. One was Emma, by Jane Austen and the other was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I love those books, especially CMC - I've read it several times and watched different movie adaptations :))

Please leave links to your FF's, so I can stop by!! Oh, and if you're a new follower, let me know so I could return the favor!

Also, I want to remind you about the giveaway of "Pledged" that's going on at the moment. Please visit The Giveaways Page for more information and the Rafflecopter. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book review: "JOE" by H.D. Gordon

I received this book for review from H.D.Gordon's agent, Nicole, who is a friend of mine on Goodreads.

First thing I want to say is, that JOE isn't a YA book. Not due to any sex scenes, but because of the language. There are too many expletives, that could really bother a person. They sort of bothered me too, but then again, I think they were written all in the right places. Without those offensive cuss words, I don't think that the same effect could be accomplished.

And second, I just want to say a HUGE thank you for letting me review JOE. This novel was beyond my expectations. I truly didn't expect it to be so amazingly well written, judging by the style I was used with from the Alexa Montgomery Saga.


(click here to read the whole review)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #31


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week is:

Title: Inbetween
Series:  Kissed by Death, book 1
Author: Tara Fuller
Release date: August 28th, 2012

Since the car crash that took her father’s life two years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left...his soul.

Why I want to read it:

The cover, oh my! The cover is gorgeous! And those crossed scythes in the lower middle...? Nicey!! And there's the story.. I'm in love with reaper stories! Tod, anyone?? :)) So, yeah, I hear great things about this book, and I got it from Netgalley, so all I need to do is just sit down and read it :)

So how about you? What amazing book are you waiting on this week? 


One giveaway is currently running at my blog. You can check it out and participate here 

Oh, and please leave links to your WOW posts, so I can stop by! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In her shoes ~20~

Every Tuesday I will pick a character I've read about recently, perhaps even the week before, and try putting myself in her shoes. What things would I do differently? What have I learned from her behavior? That kind of thing. You are welcome to participate if you want, just please link back, so we could build a nice community of followers. Thanks!!! :)

Today I want to tell you about one amazing woman. She's no hero, as she points out herself on several occasions. Yet, she saves a whole bunch people from being brutally murdered at a college campus. She is Joe, from H.D. Gordon's new release, JOE.

Joe isn't shy, but she has a speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to communicate with people. She isn't bothered by that fact, because this way she can actually keep her privacy. And with that privacy, she can keep her secret - that she is special, that she has visions of the future, and that those visions are never, ever good.

Most people, if they know of a planned massacre, would rather save their life than risk it to save the future victims. But Joe isn't like most people. She can't abandon the mission her life had put her on this earth to accomplish. She can't abandon innocent people in the hands of a psychopath. She can't just stay away and watch, when she could actually prevent those deaths.

Joe is no hero, but she's brave and selfless, and she gets no peace of mind until she's done what she had to do. And that's never an easy task, not for a lone girl anyway. But she knows that there is no choice for her, unless she wants to live on with a guilty conscience for the rest of her life.

I loved Joe and I appreciated her character very much. I think it would be awesome if people like her actually existed in real life. Perhaps then, some things could really be made better.

So, whose shoes would you step into this week?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Author Interview: H.D.Gordon on "JOE"

Happy Monday, everybody! I thought I'd start this week with a fabulous interview of author H.D.Gordon, who has written a new novel outside of the Alexa Montgomery Saga. This one is called JOE, and it's exceptional in both writing style and story. And, since I'm reading it at the moment, I can say that it's very very good. Read on to see what Heather thinks of her newest book.

Hello Heather, it's so nice to have you featured here at YA Story Teller again! Your popularity is growing by the minute :)

1. What is so special about Joe's story that you knew you had to put it on paper? 

Special? Hmm, not sure how to answer that. Stories come and go all the time. Mostly, they go. I had been reading a lot of King and Koontz, and I thought to myself, I want to try this. I read their books and felt the challenge rising in me. I can do that, I thought. I must do that. I had never written a thriller/mystery, or anything of the sort. I had never written anything but YA. I was ready to dig deeper. I said, come Hell or high water, I'm going to make this thing as good as it is in my head. It ended up being quite the trip. 

2. How did it feel to get in the head of a psychopath? 

I did a lot of research for Joe. A lot of research. I suppose I have always had an interest in the macabre, and that no doubt comes through in my writing. Many of the things I learned show up in the story. Many things do not. I researched and researched until I finally felt ready to write from the psychopath's perspective. I tried a few times, failed, and researched more. Then, after what seemed like countless hours of study, I felt ready. This was when the opening scene of the book was born. I sprawled the words onto a notebook, read them aloud, and knew I was ready. My mind set had gone as far to the dark side as a sane person's can come. Which the reader will see, is pretty dang far. 

3. Did your writing process differ in JOE from what it was in the Blood Warriors?

Not really. I avoid plotting whenever necessary. I write stories the way I write poetry. I catch hold of an opening line that I like and run as fast as my writing-legs can carry me. The opening line, a vague idea of a character with a problem- that's all I really have when I first begin. Along the way I'll catch glimpses of the rest of the story, and then I work to get to those points. My characters take my hand, as though I am a child, and I let them walk me through the tale. All I do is take notice of all the things I see along the way. I have no idea how to "plot" a book. My process is a jumble of frustration, doubt, worry, enlightenment, and tiny little sparks of inspiration that send me into fits of euphoria. At some point, after a seemingly endless walk through a dark tunnel, a dot of light appears up ahead. That's when I lace up my shoes, and high-tail it the hell out of there. Writing is a lonely business. It suits me just fine.

4. Was it difficult to determine exactly what Joe was supposed to see about the future, and when she was supposed to see it?

I have thus far written three novels. Of the three, Joe was by far the most challenging. I knew only that Joe would have a premonition about a massacre at the college she attends. I had that, an opening line, and my "running shoes" on.

5. How would you like your readers to handle the story you present in JOE

The readers can handle it any way they see fit. My part is done. I don't have much choice in the stories I write. I write what I feel I have to write, otherwise it would be no fun. I am proud of my work, and I stand behind it. If I have done my job, people are going to take the story and make it their own. I'm okay with that. It is what art is all about. 

Well, thank you Heather for your time! It was nice to have you visit again :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Follow Friday #24


Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog :)

The question this week is:

Christmas in July!
if some one to give you a book gift card to buy 2 books of any price which ones would you buy???
My answer:

 Oh, that's a slightly tough one. There are just so many! But I think I'd definitely pre-order "Clockwork Princess" by Cassandra Clare and then perhaps "The Last Echo" by Kimberly Derting.

Well, that's my answer, what's yours?

Please leave links to your FF's, so I can stop by!! Oh, and if you're a new follower, let me know so I could return the favor!

Also, I want to remind you about the giveaway of "Pledged" that's going on at the moment. Please visit The Giveaways Page for more information and the Rafflecopter. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guest post: Jessie Lane, author of The Burning Star

Hello my avid followers! I have this surprise guest post for you today! Author Jessie Lane (The Burning Star) has decided to share the truth behind her name! Read on to learn the story!

Dearest readers, I'm so glad I let Vanya talk me into doing this guest post! It's so exciting, retelling my story.
Jessie Lane is the pseudo name for the writing team that constitues me (Crystal Leo) and Melissa Pahl. This is a very quick story on how ‘Jessie Lane’ came to be. The two of us met when I met Melissa’s older brother Michael and fell madly in love with him. Over time Melissa and I realized that we had a scary amount of things in common such as hobbies involving creativity and books. However, personality wise we are quite different. Melissa is the kind of person who walks into a room, owns it and instantly becomes everyone’s friend. I would much rather find the quiet corner of the room and start people-watching everyone I don't know. Based on that, I think that if the government ever let us, we could be a kick ass spy team. Who’s ready to recruit us?
Needless to say we became thick as thieves.
So one night I went to sleep and had one of my infamous crazy dreams. It was such a vibrant and weird dream that I woke up, found paper and pen and started to write it all down. My husband Michael then woke up, looked at me like I was nuts and went back to sleep. Thus began my long frustrating journey of struggling to write a book on my own.
           After I told my beloved in-laws that I was writing a book, my much adored sister-in-law Melissa and brother-in-law Matthew realized that they too should follow their dreams and started working away at their own books. The three of us often chit chatted about how our books were going.
Finally, after two years of writing a book, declaring it was finished, to decide ten minutes later I really didn’t like a certain paragraph anymore, I broke down in desperation and called Melissa. I’d had this little voice in the back of my head telling me that my sister-in-law was the missing piece. Melissa picked up her phone on the opposite side of the country, listened to my rant and rave for half an hour, before I finally blurted out “I can’t do this anymore. Would you please write with me?”
Melissa’s response was “I was just waiting for you to ask”.
My next thought was relief, closely followed by a desperate need to strangle Melissa for making me figure all of this out on my own neurotic timetable instead of suggesting we write together in the first place. (Just a side note, Melissa gets her sage I-am-going-to-nod-my-head-and-listen-to-you-rant-till-you-figure-it-out-on-your-own wisdom from her mother Patty who likes to torture me with the same sage tactics as well).
So anyways, the next day Melissa started to go over my book fixing all of the things that I said drove me nuts but couldn’t find the right way to fix them. Along the way she smoothed over the story in a way that made me think that Melissa was totally psychic because she seemed to pick up on all the things that I couldn’t possibly find a way to explain in my chaotic thoughts. After two or three weeks Melissa sent the book back to me and said, “Let me know what you think.”
A few days later, when I was finally done re-reading The Burning Star I sat in my chair and cried happy tears of relief. After over two years in progress the book was finally done and I knew that I never wanted to write another book unless Melissa wrote it with me. In a funny way I decided that Melissa was like the other half of my writing soul. Someone who completely understood what I was trying to say or do without the need to explain in my awkwardness what I was trying to write.
This is how ‘Jessie Lane’ came to be.
Since Melissa is hard at work and I'm at home writing this by myself rest assured that as the politicians would say at election time: “This is a Melissa approved message”.
And here's a little something about our book, "The Burning Star":

 Can she reach her destiny before tragedy strikes?

The doctors have told Kay that she will die before she reaches her eighteenth birthday. Her mother’s determination to save her life leads them to a move outside of Asheville, NC to a new set of cancer specialists in the hopes to help her. But it’s not what Kay and her Mom find in the doctor’s offices in Asheville that lead them on the journey to save her before time runs out. It’s what Kay finds in the woods outside of Asheville, and an inhumanly gorgeous guy named Ryan, instead.

Myths and fairy tales come to life before Kay’s eyes, bringing her closer to the ultimate cure if she can stay alive long enough to get there. And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds the cure the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.

"Sovereign Hope" by Frankie Rose

Sovereign Hope (The Hope Series #1)
The author, Frankie Rose, was very nice, letting me review her book. I must say that I didn't quite know what to expect of it, but it turned to be an interesting read. My rating is 3.5 stars, but due to known reasons I'm giving it 4.

What I liked:

There were several scenes that were pretty intense and action packed, and I felt drawn to them. They felt realistic, with all the gore and bloodshed. I also enjoyed the hot romantic scene, though I felt like there should've been more than one of those ;) Daniel's chapters felt different, as they should've, since a different character was narrating, and I found them very well structured and appealing.

What I didn't like:

(click here to read full review)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #30


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week is:

Title: Confessions of an Angry Girl
Series:  Confessions, book 1
Author: Louise Rozett
Release date: August 28th, 2012

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some CONFESSIONS to make... #1: I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

#2: I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who "might" be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

#3: High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry-get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.) (Sorry. That was rude.)

Why I want to read it:

First, just look at the cover, doesn't it whisper to you? And second, I love a girl with issues. I'd really love to see how the author described the sparky, angry attitude. I think it'd be a fun read. And, Harlequin were so good to let me read the eARC :) I"m so happy! I hope to get to it soon! :)

So how about you? What amazing book are you waiting on this week? 


Two giveaways are currently running at my blog. You can check them out and participate here 

Oh, and please leave links to your WOW posts, so I can stop by! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In her shoes ~ 19 ~

Every Tuesday I will pick a character I've read about recently, perhaps even the week before, and try putting myself in her shoes. What things would I do differently? What have I learned from her behavior? That kind of thing. You are welcome to participate if you want, just please link back, so we could build a nice community of followers. Thanks!!! :)

Today I'm going to tell you about Maggie, the narrator/leading female in One Moment by Kristina McBride.

She started out as an ordinary girl, surrounded by friends, school and family. Loved and cherished. And she was blindly in love herself. So blindly that she never noticed what was happening right under her nose. But then again, if I were in her shoes, I probably wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary either.

It is the moment when she realized what had been going on behind her back that changed her completely. From the broken hearted, sunken girl, a phoenix came to life. The depression that had threatened to pull her under melted away, leaving her invigorated and ready to go on with her life.

And what I loved about her was that she wasn't afraid to do so. The anger, the guilt, the pieces inside her made her see clearly and I was very proud of her. After all she went through, she deserved to find her happiness.

Maggie is a character I wouldn't change anything about. She was special in all sorts of ways, and I was impressed by the realistic way Kristina McBride captured her personality. She really was something else.

So, who's shoes are you stepping in this week?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Character interview: Seth and Erin from Gwynneth White's Soul Wars series

Good morning my dearest stalkers! Monday is a wonderful day, is it not? The beginning of a new week and so on... 

Anyway,  I've prepared a little surprise for you today. It comes in the form of an author introduction, a character interview, and then.... A GIVEAWAY!! Yes! Of 2 copies of Pledged, book 1 of the Soul Wars Saga by Gwynneth White. 

Who's Gwynneth White you may ask... well, she's a pretty nice woman with a love for books. Here's what she has to say about herself:

I have spent my entire life living in a parallel universe of make-believe characters, only coming back to reality for long enough to check that no one burnt the house down in my absence. A few years ago I decided to commit some of those ‘friends’ and their stories to paper. The Soul Wars Saga is the result of those efforts. Before that I co-authored two non-fiction travel books – The Complete Guide to 4x4 Trails and The Ultimate 4x4 Guide. Both books became instant best-sellers in South Africa where I live. And before that even, I studied a degree in African History and Politics at the University of Stellenbosch. When I’m not writing, I am a wife to Andrew and a mom to Stephanie, Erin, and Kate, our teenage daughters. My family and I live in a small town outside Cape Town with two dogs, a cat, a horse, and some neglected fish. Now that you know a little about me, I would love to get to know you. Please befriend me at:
Twitter: @GwynnethWhite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwynneth-White/172095512890074
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7360328-gwynneth-white

Gwynneth's current book, Pledged, has been around the blogging world in the past couple of weeks, and will continue to circulate our internet worlds until it's official release date in September. Here's the summary, if you haven't been able to read it yet:

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?

Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.

How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?

The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.
And, since I'm a sucker for good romance and the soul mate concept as a whole, I thought I'd ask the characters, Seth and Erin, some very very personal questions. Stick with me to learn the answers :)
Vanya: Hello Seth and Erin. I'm so glad to have you at my blog for a quick interview.  I'd really like to know what it means to have a soul mate. What does it feel like? Because honestly, the idea of a soul mate is somewhat scary in my opinion. I mean, having one person to compliment you to the littlest detail... it must be sort of creepy.

*Seth and Erin exchange looks*
Erin: “Seth, you can go first.”
Seth: “Gee, thanks. And Erin, you’re not allowed to hit me if you don’t like what I say.”
Erin: *grins*: “As if I would . . . in public!”
Seth: “Trust me, you would.” *takes deep breath* “Vanya, having a soul mate is scary. Very. Sure, the idea sounds cool that you’re bonded to the one person designed to make you happy forever. But what about freedom to choose? Where does that come in? That’s what I struggled with at first. I don’t like being told what to do – or who to love.”
Erin: “Seth, I hate to point this out, but you’ve just answered question two. I think what Vanya wants to know is how we even know we're soul mates, and . . . and how we felt about each other. Like when we first met.”
Seth: “Then you tell her.”
Erin: “It was the Guardians – they’re angels by the way – who first showed us that we were soul mates. Let me tell you, that was pretty amazing, discovering we’d known and loved each other for . . . well, like forever before we were born. And that we even chose to be together again once we were born.”
Seth: Yeah . . . it sounds great in theory. The trouble is, unless you can travel back in time to before you were even born, you have no memory of it. So that makes life pretty interesting when some angel pops up and tells you the girl you’ve just met is your one and only.”
Erin: But, Seth, we did travel back in time. And the angels did explain to us that we might feel an echo of our past relationship when we met up again in mortality. And, on some level, when I first met you, I did instinctively know you’d be very special to me.”
Seth: “No, you didn’t! You were too busy checking me out in the present to be thinking of crazy echoes from the past.”
Erin: *giggles* “Well, I admit, I thought you were gorgeous. The classic tall, dark, sexy stranger. And those eyes! Vanya, you should see Seth’s eyes. Brown with gold flecks – I’m not kidding. And he has this crooked smile-thing going-”
Seth interrupts: *looking embarrassed* “Okay, so you had a hormone rush. Big deal. I thought you were pretty cute too. But it wasn’t love at first sight. Not for either of us. Although, if it hadn’t . . .”
Erin: *leans forward* “What? You can’t just break off in mid-sentence like that.”
Seth: “Let’s just say, if I hadn’t discovered you were my soul mate, and that I’d made promises to you before we were even born, I think I would have liked you a lot more. So to answer your second question, Vanya. Yes, I did find it creepy to be told that I have a soul mate and that I had to choose her, or else I would be miserable for eternity. That was very tough for me because I already had a loyalty to someone else.”
Erin: “In case you are worrying, this isn’t a love triangle. It was Seth’s brother who I was fighting against. Imagine how that made me feel? A brother! Now I could understand if it had been some really intelligent, beautiful girl, but a brother! And not a very trustworthy one either. After all, he kind of set the demons on us.”
Seth: “And Erin will never let me forget it.” *nudges Erin* “And if you say anything else about him, you’ll give the story away.”
Erin: “True. So to finally answer your question, Vanya. . . even though we’re soul mates, It’s not like we are two jigsaw puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together. We are actually very different. I’m out-spoken – often too blunt – and a bit of a fighter, while Seth is more guarded. He’s actually very gentle. And he hates conflict. Not always such a useful trait when you’re fighting a war.”
Seth: *shakes head* “But we do like the same music. So that works. And movies. We have a connection there. Erin wants to act when she leaves school, and I want to do CGI for movies. So we do have some stuff going for us. Even if I am not some kinda maniac who just want to kill everyone.”
Erin: “Not that I am either. A killer maniac, I mean.”
Seth: *musses Erin’s hair* “Just move onto the next question.”
Vanya: You guys are so cute together! *smiles knowingly* So I'm curious - if there was a possibility to choose your soul mate, would you actually choose each other?

Erin: "I'd choose Seth every time. No doubt about it. And you, Seth?"
Seth: *cracks a wry smile* "Given a choice? In a heart beat. But I wasn't given a choice, was I? And that really complicated things."

Vanya: You would think so, wouldn't you? Would you mind sharing what it feels like to lose the person who's soul holds your other half?

Erin: I think I’ll handle this one. Terrifying. Honestly, it felt like a part of me had been sawn off when Seth rejected me. I wanted to believe that he would come back, but I was so filled with doubt, and anger, and fear . . . Oh! A thousand emotions. I could hardly think straight. Loosing a soul mate? I wouldn’t inflict it on my worst enemy. Except maybe Reuel, the demon who stole him from me. Focusing on destroying Reuel gave me the strength to fight to get Seth back.”

Vanya: Good thing Erin is the bad-ass fighter chick then! :) Seth, if things were reversed, would you really go to the ends of the world just so you could save Erin from the demons?

Seth: *long pause* “With what I know now, yes. Definitely. But then, when we were starting out our story in Pledged? No. Since then, I’ve learnt that there’s love and then there’s LOVE. Or maybe a crush versus love. A crush would not make me go to the ends of the earth for her. When you read the next book in our Soul Wars Saga trilogy, you’ll discover that it took a huge amount of sacrifice and heaps of pain to get me to the point where I would do anything for her. I guess even soul mates have to be earned.
Erin: “And that’s why I love him. Vanya, thank you for having us on your blog today!”
Seth: “And if you guys would like to get to know us better, you can visit us at our blog: http://todayinshenaya.blogspot.com
Erin: “Or you can read our book. Pledged has its official release on the 1st of September 2012 on Amazon, Smashwords etc. We’d love you to read it.”

Vanya: Oh, it was my pleasure! I'll be spreading the word, you two! Like, with this giveaway right here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

NOTE: I received this book to review from Netgalley.

As usual, I'll start off with my thoughts on the writing and the story as a whole, then proceed to talk about the characters themselves.

The writing style was nice, though there were places where it felt kind of stiff and chopped. The story flowed fluidly, and was deeply moving and captivating. I could easily step into the story along the characters and walk in their world, i.e. it was realistic and could hardly be put down.

I also loved the deep level of research that the author has made in order to give us readers a sense of reality in this unknown to us world - the world of the Amish communities. Not even for a minute did I forget that we were in an Amish community. The strict rules and laws, the buggies and old fashioned clothes, the outdated mannerisms... they all spoke of an era long forgotten.

to read the whole review and see my rating click here

Friday, July 13, 2012

Follow Friday #23


Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog :)

The question this week is:

What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?
My answer:

 Honestly? Well, there were a couple of reasons, the first one being my love for books and my desire to share my opinions of what I've read with the internet community. The second one was the interaction that a blog provides with other similarly interested bloggers. And the third reason was my desire to share my own work with all of you guys who stop by and read my posts :) If you're interested in reading anything my fingers have produced, you can just click here

Well, that's my answer, what's yours?

Please leave links to your FF's, so I can stop by!! Oh, and if you're a new follower, let me know so I could return the favor!

Also, I want to remind you about the giveaway of "Fractured Light"that's going on at the moment. Please visit this post for more information and the Rafflecopter. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride

One Moment

NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley to review.

Oh.My.Gosh! This book was AMAZING! It was so completely different, so mind-blowing and so all-consuming that I feel like I'm floating in the air, now that I've finished it. It was pretty short, so it didn't take me too long to get to the end. Besides, the story was so enthralling that it had me pulled in from the very first page. And it never let me go.

At first, I thought that perhaps all the flashbacks that were used to put the pieces together, might ruin the story somehow, but they didn't. If anything, they made it sound so much more realistic, so much more true. And I can say that this is one of those books that have a ring of their own. A sound that makes you think of all the good things and all the bad things in life, and how just one moment could ruin or lift up your entire world and it would never be the same again. (read full review here)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: "Before I Wake" by Rachel Vincent

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)

Okay, so I was extremely excited about Before I Wake (BIW), before I adore Rachel Vincent as a writer, and I'm a huge fan of the Soul Screamers series. And when I got my ARC from Mira Ink, I was super happy, almost jumping around with joy!


This book was nothing like the rest of the series. The plot was confusing from the very beginning; no resolution (even a momentary one) was provided; there was too much murder and blood spilling; and because of all that I felt very very disappointed.

To be fair, I might have had very high expectations about BIW, because the previous installment, If I Die, was simply smashing! But I believe that Rachel should've known that she raised the bar, and that she had to exceed that bar in BIW. Unfortunately, in my opinion, she didn't manage it. (read the whole review here)

Waiting on Wednesday #29


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

My pick this week is:

Title: Pushing The Limits
Series:  none
Author: Katie McGarry
Release date: July 31st, 2012

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter,  New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Why I want to read it:

First, the cover is cute. Then, the summary has sparked up my curiosity to a whole new level. And last, I'm a sucker for bad boys with secrets. Good thing I got the ARC to review it :) I"m so happy! I hope to get to it soon! :)

So how about you? What amazing book are you waiting on this week? 


Guys, I have this giveaway of 1 e-copy and 1 signed copy of "Fractured Light" by Rachel McClellan going on till next week. It's a pretty good book. I also have published an excerpt and a short interview with Rachel. Check it out and sign up for the giveaway here

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In her shoes ~ 18 ~

Every Tuesday I will pick a character I've read about recently, perhaps even the week before, and try putting myself in her shoes. What things would I do differently? What have I learned from her behavior? That kind of thing. You are welcome to participate if you want, just please link back, so we could build a nice community of followers. Thanks!!! :)

You guys all know how obsessed I am with the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. You know how excited I was when I got an ARC of Before I Wake. And even with my impatience to read it and all, I waited for a friend to get her copy so we could discuss it together.

And to be honest, after reading it, I don't think I'd like to step in the shoes of any of the girls. Mostly because I wouldn't want certain things to happen to me, as they did to them.

Perhaps the safest choice would be Sabine, the living breathing nightmare. She's kick ass again in this book, and I think I'm beginning to like her straight-forwardness. She knows what she feels, what she wants... sometimes she doesn't know how to get it, but I have the feeling she's smart and creative enough to figure it out.

Sabine's sort of on the sidelines, but I think her strong character brings her up front every time she speaks, or even rolls her eyes. I'd love to see more of her. Perhaps a short story or novella dedicated all to her. That would be nice :)

So, whose shoes would you like to step into this week?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review: "Savage" by Willow Rose

Savage (Daughters of the Jaguar #1)
First of all, I want to say that this is NOT an YA book. Not even a late YA book. It's totally an adult book, even if a mild one, so please keep that in mind. I had no idea, so I was surprised when certain things happened the way they did.


I must say that I liked the setting. St. Augustine, Florida is my favorite quaint town in Florida, and I really wish I could live there. I'm in love with the Old Spanish quarter :))

So, my review..

The story was (in my opinion) original. I haven't read many shape-shifter books, especially when the transformation is into cats, so that was a nice idea. But, I kept thinking that the Christian, the male through whose eyes we see and hear everything, would transform. And he never did, so that was sort of disappointing.(read more)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I picked up Timepiece, I wasn't expecting any POV change. But instead of Emerson narrating the story, I was now looking at the world through Kaleb's eyes. I must say it was an interesting experience. He is such a complicated character, it's difficult to describe him in any way. I can say he was loving and kind, but he was also a bit selfish and there was a string of jealousy in there also. Of course, the hurt and pain were his constant companions as well. So yeah, there were layers upon layers of him introduced here.

I was glad that the Emerson-Michael romance was developed even further. Even though we only saw it through Kaleb's eyes, let's not forget that his specialty was empathy. So, it was like we felt through him what Em and Michael had going on between each other. It was nice to know that their electric love was all true and real. It sure did feel real to me. (more)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Follow Friday #22


Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. In order to join in the fun, all you need is well . . . A book blog :)

The question this week is:

Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don’t like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.
My answer:

 To be honest, no such book comes to mind at the moment. Truth is, I don't pick up books from genres I don't like. Besides, my preferred reading spectrum is quite wide, so I can't say there's a particular genre that I don't like. I'm probably in the minority though.

Well, that's my answer, what's yours?

Please leave links to your FF's, so I can stop by!! Oh, and if you're a new follower, let me know so I could return the favor!

Also, I want to remind you about the giveaway of "Fractured Light"that's going on at the moment. Please visit this post for more information and the Rafflecopter. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Introducing author Rachel McClellan & Giveaway!

Hello guys,
I wanted to introduce author Rachel McClellan and her book "Fractured Light", which is one of the books I really enjoyed reading. Rachel has also been great in agreeing to provide me some copies of her book for a giveaway. Yes, you got that right! So, stay with us, in this short interview to learn more about her and her novel. Oh, and my review is available here.
Hello Rachel! It's so nice to have you here at YA Story Teller. How did you decide to become a writer?

When I was a girl I wanted to be a number of things. The first was a veterinarian. I loved animals. Then I wanted to be a lawyer. I loved to prove my point (though I often failed). Then I wanted to be a psychologist. I loved to get inside peoples heads. Then I wanted to be an actress. I loved pretending to be someone else. But then I realized that through writing I could be it all and more.
Did any experiences of yours influence the story in Fractured Light?
Oh, good question. I didn't share any of Llona's exact experiences, but we do share the same desire to be strong and not weak willed, especially when it comes to a dude. As girls, we should want a guy in our life, not need one.

Which scene/chapter was the most difficult to write?

The beginning for sure. I rewrote it several times. It's hard to know where someone's story begins, but it's easy to know where it ends. 
If you could step into the shoes of any fictional character, which one would it be?

I would love to be Anne from Anne of Green Gables. She lived a beautiful, simple life, but it was still filled with adventures. 
As readers, we enjoy knowing random facts about our favorite authors. What would be your answers to those?
Favorite book- Right now? Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. 
Fictional boyfriend - Odd Thomas 
Favorite place to relax - The dark forests of Maine
Favorite place to write - Graveyards, forests, parks, my bed 
Do you have a pet - Before my family and I moved, we owned a German Shepherd, a tarantula and a red tailed boa.

I'm also thrilled to share with you an excerpt of "Fractured Light", one that was actually among my favorite. Here it is, so enjoy! :)

Christian held my hand as he led me into the magically transformed high school gym. At least I think it was the gym. The walls had been covered in black material; bright lights peeked from holes like stars in the night sky. More lights covered the ceiling and in the corner of the room, a single bright light had been made to look like a full moon. Navy blue and white sheer material draped gracefully across parts of the gym and clusters of real pine trees were spread sporadically throughout. It was like walking through a setting of Shakespeare’s AMidsummer Night’s Dream.

“And the award for the best prom decorations goes to Highland,” I breathed.

“Someone sure went all out,” Christian agreed. “This is a hundred times better than my last prom.”

I stopped. “You went to prom?”


I waited a few seconds before I said, as casually as possible, “Who’d you go with?”

Christian grinned. “Jealousy doesn’t become you.”

“I’m not jealous, just curious.”

“Right.” We stood in silence for a minute, looking around the gym, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. “What did she look like?” I said. “Again, just curious.”

He laughed hard. When he finally stopped, he held his hand to my face. “You are the Taj Mahal and she was my grandfather’s shed. There is no comparison.”

This satisfied me, for the time being anyway. It wasn’t until just now that I realized how much I didn’t know about his past. He could’ve had lots of girls before me. I closed my eyes tight to get the image out of my mind.

“Let’s dance,” he said suddenly and pulled me onto the dance floor.

“Shouldn’t we wait for the others?” I asked.

“They’ll find us.”

The song playing was a fast pop song by a female singer I didn’t recognize, but that didn’t surprise me. This wasn’t my type of music, but it was much easier to dance to then my twisted, dark favorites. When the song ended and another began, a much slower one, Christian didn’t ask, he just pulled me close to his chest and wrapped his arms around me. Together our bodies swayed as one to the beat of the music. I raised my head until our cheeks touched. His five o’clock shadow scraped against my skin, sending a pleasurable chill up my spine. A sigh slipped from my throat just as he tilted his head. His lips grazed my neck and his hands tightened on my back, pressing my body against his.

At this moment I knew exactly what he wanted, for it mirrored my own desires. We wanted to be together, without feeling guilty, without having to worry about the rules, without having to worry about the consequences. Whether we’d admit it or not, we were two teenagers in love. My head lifted until our eyes met. He leaned his head toward mine and his lips parted just barely. I lifted on my toes to meet him halfway and closed my eyes.

“Hey guys!”

The words were like the sound of two trains crashing together, forcing Christian and I apart. We both opened our eyes and stared at each other. He gave me a weak smile. I didn’t return it.

Christian turned away from me, but kept his hand on my back. To Matt and Adam he said, “Where’s the girls?”

“Late, I guess,” Adam shrugged.

“You look great, Llona,” Matt said.

“Thanks. You look good too.” Matt was the type of man who was born to wear a tux. It looked natural on him, like a second skin. “So do the decorations exceed your expectations?” I asked.

Matt glanced around. “I must admit, it’s not what I’d expected.” He looked back at me and then to Christian. “Could I have one dance? Would you mind?”

Christian visibly tensed but, ever the gentleman, he said, “If it’s all right with her.”

“Of course.” I reached for Matt’s hand.

“Come on, Christian. Let’s get a drink,” Adam said, playfully shoving Christian forward.

“I can never tell what’s going on between you two,” Matt said, once we began to dance.

“That makes two of us.”

“So what are you going to do after high school?” he asked.

“Not a hundred percent sure, but I think I’ll go to the same school my mother went to.”

“Where’s that?” he asked.

“New York.”

He seemed taken back. “New York, huh? “

“Far, right? What about you? Are you still going into politics?”

“That’s the plan. And I won’t be too far. D.C. is only five or six hours away.”

“So you got the internship?”

He nodded.

“Congratulations! That’s so cool. Are you going to attend college there too? Or just do the summer intern thing and then come back?”

“I’m still trying to decide. I did get accepted to NYU.

Maybe I’ll come keep you company.” He smiled.

“That would be awesome.” The music, another slow song, was suddenly having a hypnotic effect on me. I closed my eyes and relaxed more fully into Matt.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

His voice sounded miles away. Before I had a chance to answer, he stopped moving, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a vibrating cell phone.

“It’s from Tracey.” He flipped open his phone and read the text message. “Odd.”


“She says she’s at your house. And who’s Angel?”

“Huh?” I took the phone from him. The message read, “At Llona’s house. With Angel.” I read it over and over until I thought my legs might give out. My Angel. The letter. My mother’s letter. No—not my mother’s letter. Her killer’s letter. And now he was back for me.

And now, for the giveaway! Please just follow the rafflecopter below, and enter as many times as you like. Two lucky winners will be chosen in two weeks. So, good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway