• ❤ Mon, Dec. 31, 2012

    Review: The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson

    Seventeen-year-old Cali has grown up far away from civilization, in a remote part of the woods, living in a cabin with her loving parents. She is expert at identifying plants, hunting when she needs to, and protecting herself with her advanced knife skills. She is also very book-smart, having had lots of free time without television while growing up. Her family is not completely cut off though. The people in the nearest small town know of them and once in awhile one of them would venture into town for supplies. But when the unthinkable happens, Cali’s peaceful and simple life is disrupted by an abrupt move to the city. Most of what she sees is new to her and because of her naivety and her heterochromatic eyes, which makes her an outsider, especially in high school. Luckily, she is very good at being invisible.

    But one night when Cali wanders the town, she runs into a handsome bad boy biker from school being harassed by a few menacing thugs and she manages to run them off and save the boy from more pain. Cal thinks he imagined the girl because she runs off so quickly but then he realizes she is the strange new girl at school. Something about her keeps bringing his thoughts around to her but continues to distract himself with his brother’s raucous parties and lots of girls. Soon enough though, Cal pursues Cali, needing to know more about her.

    The Athena Effect mainly followed Cali (Caledonia) and Calvin (Cal), but Derrolyn Anderson provided a well-rounded view of the events unfolding in her book with other minor points-of-view. Before I continue, I should mention that even though the synopsis does not mention anything about this book having anything to do with Greek mythology, I kept thinking there might be some connection because of the title. In case you think like me, know now that The Athena Effect had nothing to do with the goddess other than using her name! But I was by no means disappointed because Anderson really created an interesting world with special characters and easy-to-understand scientific explanations that provided the basis of the plot.

    It took me a few chapters to get used to Anderson’s writing style but once the newness wore off, I knew it fit her story well. The Athena Effect read and felt like a movie with its descriptions and character interactions and I ended up liking that because I saw in my head how the various scenes could look on the screen.

    I enjoyed both of the Cals and how they grew throughout their personal journeys and with each other. Caledonia was strong and very connected to nature because of her upbringing. She was experienced in all things concerning the outdoors which was fun to read about because in my experience it is rare to know girls who are that comfortable and knowledgeable about nature. I mean, I could not identify tons of plants and just plain know how to survive in the wilderness. But in the city, Cali was usually meek unless she faced difficult situations, in which case she stood up for herself. And she definitely did not trust anyone and this was because of her parents’ warnings and from her own new experiences. But she did not stay this way and it was nice to follow her progress in social situations and with the vast world around her.

    Calvin grew the most. He was super wayward in the beginning. His mother was dead, his dad was in jail, and his brother threw parties almost every night. He recklessly toyed with girl after girl from school since he was well-sought after as the resident bad boy biker and just because he could. He was never interested though. Cal had pretty much given up on his life and just went with the flow, all the while knowing and not caring that he had no future. But he slowly changed after he met Cali and started to see things for the first time again through her eyes. He began to want to change and be a better person. He began to care again.

    The Athena Effect sounded like a good love story - and it was - but there was more to it than that and it had to do with why Cali’s parents raised her in the wild and with her rare abilities that set her apart. It turned out to be a great story and Anderson has a sequel coming out soon called The Mackenzie Legacy, which I am definitely adding to my reading list.

    Favorite Quote:

    "Because with a really good book you get something new every time you read it. Because…Well…because you’re a different person each time." (Cali, location 3503 on Kindle)

    Recommended for readers fourteen and up. There was some violence (mostly in self-defense), sex (it was happening but it was glossed over), and some language but nothing different than what one may see on prime time television).


    Derrolyn Anderson not only writes books, but she is also an artist. She has written four books in her Marina’s Tales and the sequel to The Athena Effect, The Mackenzie Legacy, will be available early in 2013.

    Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords


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    Tags: 2012 | review | review copy | YA | fiction | paranormal | science fiction | 2012 150 Reading Challenge | 2012 eBook Challenge | eBook |
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  • ❤ Sat, Dec. 29, 2012

    Sign Up: 2013 Books of Eyre Challenge

    Last year I realized how many different takes there are on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre story, which I love. Then I asked myself, why not start a reading challenge for people to not only read the classic Jane Eyre but also related “Books of Eyre”? Thus, the Books of Eyre Challenge was born and I am happy to continue it in 2013.

    Details/Rules:

    The 2013 Books of Eyre Challenge runs from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013.

    All book formats are allowed for this challenge as long as they have an ISBN number or something similar. Fiction and non-fiction are allowed. Re-reads ARE allowed but your review must be a new one.

    All the books read for the 2013 Books of Eyre Challenge must be related to Jane Eyre. Of course, the original counts as well as any re-tellings or spin-offs. That means for this challenge, you may read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and read books based on Jane Eyre, but not other books by Charlotte Brontë or her sisters. For examples of what participants read and reviewed for the 2012 Books of Eyre Reading Challenge, start with this tag and then check out the entries on the monthly inLinkz.

    Each month, I will create a new post dedicated to the challenge where you can link your reviews for that particular month. You can find the links to the monthly link-ups on the right sidebar under my challenge button. You do not need a blog to participate! Posting on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you post your reviews is fine.

    There is no need to list the books you will read for this challenge in advance. Feel free to list them as you go. Join the challenge at any time before 15 December 2013. The minimum is five books so if you find this challenge later on, don’t be shy! Crossovers from other reading challenges do count.

    When you sign up below, please post the direct link to the post where your books will be listed. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, post a status of what level you plan to complete and link that! If you are on Goodreads, create a shelf of books you hope to read for this challenge and link that. If you do not have any of those, just leave a comment on this post indicating you are signing up and which level you hope to reach. But it IS important that you leave the direct link. Do not just leave the link to your blog’s homepage or your profile, please!!!

    Now, for the levels!

    • Orphan: 5 books
    • Student: 10 books
    • Teacher/Governess: 15 books
    • Mr./Mrs. Rochester: 20 books

    I am going to try for Orphan again (which I added this year - last year Student was five books) even though I do not think I even finished this challenge. This past year has been crazy and if you want some more details, check out my comments on my other reading challenge. Hopefully I will fare better in 2013!

    As always, I appreciate feedback. You may find a list of Eyre-related books from last year here. It is by no means comprehensive!  Also, if you are participating, grab the button:



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    Tags: 2012 | challenge | 2013 Books of Eyre Challenge |
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  • ❤ Sat, Dec. 29, 2012

    Sign Up: 2013 Tudor Reading Challenge

    Hi everyone! I apologize for being last minute with the sign-up, but as some of you may know from my rants on Twitter, I began having issues with this platform at the beginning of December and things have just continued to deteriorate. (Are any of you familiar with self-hosted WP? Want to walk me through it since I’m clueless? Contact me!) But as I review my 2012 sign-up, I see that I actually posted that in January because I spontaneously decided to have this challenge. So I am earlier than before!

    Anyway, the details and rules will mostly be the same and they are below along with the inLinkz sign-up sheet. I am just slightly changing the names of the levels and I am adding Edward VI because…how did I forget about him the first time around?! Please spread the word - and bear with me as I frantically try to save my blog and figure out how to move it! Thank you. :)

    Details/Rules:

    The 2013 Tudor Reading Challenge runs from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. All book formats are allowed for this challenge as long as they have an ISBN number or something similar. Fiction, non-fiction, and re-reads ARE allowed but your review must be a new one.

    All the books read for this challenge must be Tudor-related. Books that feature any Tudor from Henry VII to Elizabeth I and any spouses, lovers, close family members, themes, or set in the Tudor “world” count. I am not super strict as you may see from the books I read and those that the 2012 participants read. For example, I counted Transcendence by C.J. Omololu.

    Each month, I will create a new post dedicated to the challenge where you can link your Tudor reviews for that particular month. You can find the links to the monthly link-ups on the right sidebar under the 2013 Tudor Reading Challenge button (once I rescue my blog!). You do not need a blog to participate! Posting on Goodreads, Amazon, Books-A-Million, The Book Depository, or wherever you post your reviews is fine.

    There is no need to list the books you will read for this challenge in advance. Feel free to list them as you go. The minimum number of books to be read for this challenge is five books, so you can still join us probably any time before 15 December 2013, but that depends on how fast you read. Crossovers from other reading challenges do count.

    When you sign up, please post the direct link to the post where your books will be listed. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, post a status of what level you plan to complete and link that! If you are on Goodreads, create a shelf of books you hope to read for this challenge and link that! If you do not have any of those, just leave a comment on this post indicating you are signing up and which level you hope to reach. It is important that you leave the direct link. Do not just leave the link to your blog’s homepage or your profile, please.

    Now, for the levels!

    • Henry VII (Dynasty Founder): 5 books
    • Henry VIII (Defender of the Faith): 10 books
    • Edward VI (Transient Heir): 15 books
    • Mary I (First Queen Regnant, Bloody Mary): 20 books
    • Elizabeth I (Good Queen Bess): 25 books

    I will be trying for Elizabeth I! Honestly, as of this posting, I am not sure how I did in my own challenge for 2012, but I do not think I reached my goal. I was slowed down after BEA and vacation in June and then again in late October when I began packing for a move and now the other end, unpacking and organizing is still not done…plus the holidays and my problems with this platform’s support all delayed me. Hopefully things will run more smoothly in 2013!

    Please sign up and share the 2013 Tudor Reading Challenge with your friends. Need Tudor reading suggestions? See this post! Also, if you are participating, grab the button:



    Looking for the 2013 Books of Eyre Reading Challenge sign-ups? Check back later today!


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    Tags: 2012 | challenge | 2013 Tudor Reading Challenge |
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  • ❤ Thu, Dec. 20, 2012

    The Magic of Christmas: Santa’s Moose by Syd Hoff (WinterHaven Sleigh Tour)

    Today The Musings of ALMYBNENR is excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books! This week, we are posting our favorite Children’s, Winter or Christmas story. To see who else is on the sleigh, go to WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a list of participating blogs.

    I chose the following children’s Christmas story:

    Santa’s Moose by Syd Hoff

    Santa’s Moose was published in 1979 by Harper & Row (before my time!). It follows Milton the moose who gets into the Christmas spirit. Unlike the other animals in the forest, who are all decorating their homes with holly leaves, Milton decides he wants to actually go help Santa Claus after he meets eight reindeer. The reindeer and Santa heartily welcome Milton and enlist him to help lead the sleigh on delivery night. Milton is ecstatic but there are a few struggles along the way!

    I wouldn’t say this book is my favorite children’s Christmas story. I honesty can not think of one because it has been so long. But I did luck out when going through boxes of books that had been stuck in the attic for ages: I found this book among many others and decided to hold onto it for this tour. That’s basically why I chose it. Santa’s Moose is thirty-two pages long and it is an early reader, not to mention a very cute book!

    P.S. I apologize that my blog design is not showing…it’s because Tumblr support is horrible and they keep defaulting it and I am too busy to fool with it right now. Also, they are trying to scare me about giveaways, saying that mine need to be in accordance with their giveaway policy (always 18+, no international, etc)…if your platform is Blogger or Wordpress, let me know in the comments if they have a policy like this, because I know we all do giveaways, and we’re all just bringing reading joy into the world. Also, how hard would it be for me to switch? I know some people do it for you…any recommendations? Thank you, lovelies.

    Buy on: Amazon

    As part of The Magic of Christmas, WinterHaven Books is hosting a give-away that will include a Children’s or YA book bundle to be shipped to an elementary school or library of the winner’s choosing. The winner will be offered a few options and they can choose what bundle and location to ship to within the United States. Good luck and happy holidays!


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    Tags: 2012 | WinterHaven Sleigh Tour 2012 | holidays | children's |
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  • ❤ Tue, Dec. 18, 2012

    Promo Blitz, Excerpt, Giveaway: Fang Girl by Helen Keeble

    Fang Girl by Helen Keeble - September 11th 2012 / HarperTeen

    Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

    1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
    2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
    3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
    4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets. (Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
    5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

    And finally:

    6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

    Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined….

    Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

    Excerpt:

    In which Our Heroine, Xanthe Jane Greene (unexpectedly undead vampire fangirl) tries to get to grips with her new state…

    I was pretty sure I would have remembered being bitten by a vampire, but the last thing I could recall before waking up in the grave was . . . sitting in the backseat of Alice’s mum’s Volvo. I wasn’t really friends with Alice—I wasn’t really friends with anyone down here yet, as my family had only moved in two weeks ago—but we both played the violin and sat next to each other in the orchestra, and her family lived down the road from mine, so her mum had offered to give me a lift back from practice. We’d been coming up one of the twisty little country lanes, and I was trying to make Alice like me by laughing at all her jokes and agreeing that the boy she liked probably fancied her back, and then—a sudden lurch, my seat belt abruptly strangling me, and—nothing.

    I must have died in a car crash.

    In all my books, movies, and TV shows, I’d never heard of someone becoming undead through being hit by a vampire’s car. Not even in fanfic.

    But however it had happened, I was definitely a vampire. I stood up and dusted myself off, then looked around. On the other side of the fence, a narrow country lane snaked away, leading from the Downs toward the south coast. I could hear the distant roar of cars on the main road. Lacking any better option, I started to walk toward the sound. Vampires were urban creatures, after all, and the nearest thing to urban around here was the grubby seaside town of Worthing. It wasn’t much, but it was better than an open sheep field. I could go and hide in . . . in the sewers, I guessed, since there were only two places feral vampires tended to hang out, and Worthing was really, really short on decadent Goth nightclubs. I’d hole up and wait for my sire, and then . . . then . . .

    Then I guessed I’d have to start my new life. Unlife. On the plus side, there would probably be stylish clothes and amazing psychic abilities and really hot guys in leather trousers. On the negative side, I’d probably never see sunlight again, or eat chocolate, and I might slowly spiral into a sinkhole of angst and despair until someone staked me. And I didn’t have any money. Or a change of underwear. Or a way to have a shower. And—my stomach rumbled—it was looking increasingly likely that I was going to have to eat raw sheep.

    And I wasn’t going to be able to see my family ever again.

    My vision went a bit misty, and my lower lip started to tremble. I blinked the tears back. Vampires didn’t cry. Vampires were cool. Deliberately, I thought of all the things I’d be leaving behind. No more constant moving. No more always being the new girl, trying to break into social cliques. As a vampire, I’d be the queen bee with a constant circle of admirers. No more worrying that my exam results wouldn’t be good enough to get into university, or whether I was getting fat. I was going to be slender and gothically beautiful forever.

    Well, I was going to be fifteen forever. That kind of sucked. Why couldn’t I have been turned next year?

    Never mind, I told myself firmly. I was a vampire. This was going to be great. I’d get to hang out with other vampires, who would be effortlessly elegant and would treat me like an adult. No more fights with my mother over my spending habits. No more annoying little brother stealing my eyeliner. No more embarrassing dad wearing yellow spandex in public and making me go out with him on bike rides. No more, no more.

    I stopped, tears streaking my face.

    “Well, screw that,” I said, and punched my home number into the mobile phone.

    Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

    Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.

    She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.

    Please note that this giveaway is not hosted by me but rather by Xpresso Book Tours and author Helen Keeble. It is open internationally and ends on 25 December 2012. The prize pack includes one signed (personalized if preferred) copy of Fang Girl, a voucher for an ARC of Helen’s next book No Angel when they are available, a vampire goldfish paperclip, and Fang Girl stickers. Good luck!

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    Tags: 2012 | YA | paranormal | promo blitz | Xpresso Book Tours | excerpt | giveaway |
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