Posted in Giveaway, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Happy Release Day Winner! Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent

Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Mira (July 1, 2009)
400 pages (per Amazon.com)
$7.99 (Amazon.com; 06/25/09)

And the winner is:

Nicole H.


Congrats Nicole!

Thanks to everyone for entering.

Nicole H. please send me your shipping info so that I can place your order on Amazon.com for Prey: bookreviewsbyjess AT gmail DOT com You have until July 7th to email me or I’ll have to pick a new winner.




The series is as follows:

Stray (Shifters, Book 1): My Review
Rogue (Shifters, Book 2): My Review
Pride (Shifters, Book 3): My Review
Prey (Shifters, Book 4): My Review
Shift (Shifters, Book 5) coming March 2010
Alpha (Shifters, Book 6) coming October 2010

Still don’t have a copy? Order Prey from Amazon.com!



P.S. – Bitten By Books is hosting a contest! Click the below image for more info!




Posted in Giveaway, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Happy Release Day! CONTEST! Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent

Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Mira (July 1, 2009)
400 pages (per Amazon.com)
$7.99 (Amazon.com; 06/25/09)

CONTEST!
To celebrate the release day of Prey I’m going to personally purchase a copy from Amazon.com and have it shipped to ONE lucky commenter!

I’ll be counting entries by spreadsheet for this contest, so all answers in one comment is fine and preferred. 🙂

ENTRIES:

  1. Answer this: If you could shape shift, what would you shift into and why? + 3
  2. Follow my blog! + 1
  3. Already follow my blog? Awesome! Let me know! + 2
  4. Post this contest on your blog and post the link back here! + 5
  5. Post on your sidebar. + 2
  6. Follow me on Twitter. + 1
  7. Already follow me on Twitter? Awesome! What’s your twitter name? + 2
  8. Follow Rachel on Twitter + 1
  9. Already follow Rachel on Twitter? What’s your Twitter name? + 2
  10. Refer someone to this contest, they MUST say you sent them! + 5
  11. Follow Rachel’s Blogger or LiveJournal Blog and comment on her most recent post: Double Prizes + 1
  12. Already follow Rachel? Let me know and comment on her most recent post: Double Prizes + 2

So, that’s a ton of entries available for you to win a fresh copy of Prey delivered directly to your door via Amazon.com

RULES:

  • Entries will be accepted until midnight, July 2, Eastern Standard Time.
  • Entries are open to US only, sorry. No P.O. Boxes.
  • The winner will be announced July 3
  • You MUST include your email in your comment so that I can let you know if you’re the winner. I will need a response from the winning within 3 days of notification.

Happy Release Day Rachel!

The series is as follows:

Stray (Shifters, Book 1): My Review
Rogue (Shifters, Book 2): My Review
Pride (Shifters, Book 3): My Review
Prey (Shifters, Book 4): My Review
Shift (Shifters, Book 5) coming March 2010
Alpha (Shifters, Book 6) coming October 2010

Connect with Rachel!
Twitter
Blogger
LiveJournal
Website
MySpace
Facebook
The Pride – Proboard Discussion Group

Don’t want to enter? Order Prey from Amazon.com now!

P.S. – Bitten By Books is hosting a contest! Click the below image for more info!

Posted in Giveaway, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Winner! Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent

Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Mira (July 1, 2009)
400 pages (per Amazon.com)
$7.99 (Amazon.com; 06/25/09)

And the winner is:


Alicia

Thanks to everyone who entered. Thank you Rachel for an amazing book and providing the signed loot!

Alicia please email me your shipping info so that I can forward it to Rachel. bookreviewsbyjess AT gmail DOT com

The series is as follows:

Stray (Shifters, Book 1): My Review
Rogue (Shifters, Book 2): My Review
Pride (Shifters, Book 3): My Review
Prey (Shifters, Book 4): My Review
Shift (Shifters, Book 5) coming March 2010
Alpha (Shifters, Book 6) coming October 2010

Still don’t have a copy? Order Prey from Amazon.com!


P.S. – Bitten By Books is hosting a contest! Click the below image for more info!



Don’t forget that I’m also giving away a copy of Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri. Enter until July 3rd!

Posted in Giveaway, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Giveaway! Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent

Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Mira (July 1, 2009)
400 pages (per Amazon.com)
$7.99 (Amazon.com; 06/25/09)

Giveaway!
Rachel has graciously offered a signed copy of Prey!

How to Enter:

IMPORTANT! Each entry MUST be a separate comment! Otherwise you forfeit your additional entries! I will be using a random number generator to pick the winner!

  1. Post a comment! Any comment will do!
  2. Follow my blog! Already follow? Awesome! Let me know!
  3. Post this contest on your blog and post the link back here! Sidebars are fine.

So, that’s 3 (three) entries available for you to win a signed copy of Prey by Rachel Vincent.

  • Entries will be accepted until midnight, June 30, Eastern Standard Time.
  • Entries are open to Everyone!
  • The winner will be randomly selected via random.org based on the comment number automatically generated when you comment. Random comments WILL be deleted. Sorry.
  • The winner will be announced July 1, which is Prey‘s release date.
  • The winner will have 3 days to email me their shipping info or they will forfeit their winnings and a new winner will be selected. Include your email in your comment and I’ll email you if you win.

Enter away! Good luck!

The series is as follows:

Stray (Shifters, Book 1): My Review
Rogue (Shifters, Book 2): My Review
Pride (Shifters, Book 3): My Review
Prey (Shifters, Book 4): My Review
Shift (Shifters, Book 5) coming March 2010
Alpha (Shifters, Book 6) coming October 2010

Don’t want to wait? Pre-order Prey from Amazon.com!


P.S. – Bitten By Books is hosting a contest! Click the below image for more info!



Don’t forget that I’m also giving away a copy of Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri. Enter until July 3rd!

Posted in Book Reviews, Must Read, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent

Prey (Werecats, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Mira (July 1, 2009)
400 pages (per Amazon.com)
$7.99 (Amazon.com; 06/25/09)

Plot: 5
Setting: 5
Writing: 5
Originality: 5
Characters: 5
Passion: 5

Overall: 30/30 = 100% = A+

Cover/Title Bonus: 3

Procurement

Nancy over at A Lush Budget Production Tales of a Ravenous Reader lent me an ARC of Preya few months ago. I devoured it in a matter of hours. Thank you Nancy for sharing this amazing book with me!

Plot

Wow. The plot to this installment of Faythe’s life was more of emotional roller coaster than Pride and Pride was a pretty bumpy ride if you remember. It’s all wrapped around the fact hat Marc has been exiled to the “land of the strays” and he’s stolen (!) and the political bullshit that is the Pride council *cough* Malone *cough*. The fact that Greg’s Pride is currently housing 2 tabby cats has them all testosterone ODing. They are willing to do whatever it takes to reduce the number of tabbies in that pride. Even kill. Rachel released the follow excerpt of an attack on the pride ranch.

WARNING! Contains spoilers! Read at your own risk!

We burst through the backdoor almost as one. At my first glimpse of Jace—a deep shadow in the pre-dawn darkness—my feet froze on the porch, and my breathing quickened with shock. Owen ran right into me. He would have knocked me down all four steps if my dad hadn’t caught me.

My father paused only long enough to right me, then raced across the backyard with the speed of a much younger man.

Jace was halfway between the tree line and the back door, jogging unsteadily, his arms held awkwardly in front of his chest. When he stepped into the light from the guesthouse porch, I saw that he carried Kaci in both arms. Her head bobbed limply near his right shoulder, her hair brushing his hip with each step. Her legs dangled from his other arm, one foot bare. Blood dripped steadily from either his right arm or her head, staining the dead grass with a trail of fat, red drops.

Setting

Most of the setting is on the ranch with a good size portion being in the “land of the strays” where Marc has been living, including his little house. There’s some major ass kicking done by both parties. Rachel released a few “mini-excerpts”. Here’s a glimpse of a fight scene in Prey.

WARNING! May contain spoilers! Read at your own risk!

On my left, Ethan dropped to one knee, swinging his hatchet up. The blade caught a stray beneath his jaw, and almost cleaved the cat’s head from his neck. The body hit the ground with a nauseating two-part thud—first the torso, then the nearly-detached skull—and Ethan was in motion again. I would have been impressed, if I’d had time to think about it.

But I didn’t, because Vic screamed on my brother’s other side, near the end of the car. Then he stumbled into view and fell to the gravel on his rump. The cat he’d been fighting pounced, driving his shoulders to the ground.

“Ethan!” I shouted in mid-swing, because my brother was closest. He glanced at me, then followed my gaze to Vic.

“I’m on it.” He lunged to the left, swinging the ax up even as he dove for Vic’s shovel. His blow glanced off the nearest cat, but he came up with a weapon in each hand. Swinging wildly now, Ethan knocked the cat off Vic with the shovel, then threw the ax end over end so fast I could hardly trace it. The blade thunked into the side of another cat, who dropped to the ground, chest heaving and pouring blood.

Great huh? If you were brave enough to read it Ethan kicks some werecat ass.

Writing

Rachel has done it in this book. She has written Prey so well that to not be effected by reading it would make you heartless. I like Faythe. I like Marc. But I LOVE them together and when they are not together it’s naked emotions running for them both. I say this even though it’s not necessarily written in the books but I just know that they are both traumatized when they are not together. Faythe puts on a very good facade but she just about loses it in this book with Marc missing.

My heart broke a few times reading Prey. With Marc missing, Kaci practically killing herself, Faythe being Faythe, and another event of which I can’t even speak of because it just rips open the wound in my heart, Prey left me weeping, sobbing, bawling. I can’t pick the right word for it. Just know that I burst out in tears, put the book down, wept my heart out, caused my hubby to pause his game to comfort me, snotted up a few tissues and then emailed Rachel to yell at her for being such an awesome author but I hated her at the moment for being so good. To have a book effect me in such a way proves that Rachel’s writing abilities are phenomenal. Thank you Rachel for being amazing. But please do NOT do that again. Seriously.

Originality

Wow. The plot of this book was AWESOME! It was probably the best one so far. The thought put into it had to be huge. It had me wondering throughout the entire book what was really going on. Especially since Marc was missing and people were dying and switching sides it was anyone’s guess of what was going to happen next.

Characters

Faythe shows just how strong she really is in this book. If she lives through this book relatively sane she can handle anything. She is the mortar to her pride now. I can’t even comprehend how the next book will unfold but I know this: Faythe will hold NOTHING back.

Greg, Faythe’s father, holds a special place in my heart. He’s such an Alpha male and a great father that I can’t help loving him. The BS that is the council pisses me off and I am so hoping he comes out on top in the end. I would be crushed if he dies. Seriously Rachel. Do not do that to me.

Marc is amazing. He’s a stray but really, what does that mean? If you can prove that you kick ass you should be allowed to enter a Pride and rule. He has the character and the ability to succeed with Faythe. He’s super smart and strong and he shows that in this book. Rachel visited yesterday and explained why she made Marc a stray.

Kaci is such a teenager! Sci Fi Guy had a great excerpt of a conversation between Faythe and Kaci on his review:

“Whoa, Kaci, back up a bit.” I shook my head and made myself meet her frank gaze. “You’re waaaay too young to be thinking, about sex.
She rolled her eyes, and the gesture was eerily familiar from my own adolescence. Okay, also from what little of my adulthood I’d survived so far.
“I was talking about kissing,” Kaci said, in that exasperated tone she usually saved for my mother, during home-schooling. “I just meant, how old were you when you first kissed Marc? But since you brought up sex…” Her eyes glinted with a spark of mischief. “Same question.”
Damn it! “Way older than you are.” My head was throbbing and pain was shooting through my chest. I was having a panic attack. The little whelp was giving me an aneurism!

She does a real number on Faythe. It proves that one day Faythe will be an excellent mother. She may not realize it now but she will rock.

Ethan and Jace are ever present in this edition of Faythe’s life and they both have some amazing scenes, as noted by the above excerpt.

Passion

Yup, Rachel knows how to throw this in there. It’s there and it’s craziness but necessary I’m afraid. I’m sure you’re wondering WTF I’m talking about but I can’t say much more. With everything that happens it’s understandable and I’m aching to know what happens in the next book. Clear as mud? Good. 🙂

Cover/Title

Eh, the title is okay and the cover is nice. I haven’t noticed if her injuires are accurate on previous covers but this one is.

Overall

This book rocked. It had the mystery element, the passion, the kick assness and it had the emotional pull that sucks me in to Faythe’s world. It left me wanting. I want to know what happens next like I wanted to know what happened next at the end of Pride. Exiling Marc? No big deal now. War amongst the Prides? Tell me more!

To Rachel

Thank you for being such an amazing author. Your writing has grown so much throughout this series. I think you proved to us that you’re not here to just write, you’re here to take our breath away. You’ve done that for me and I thank you.

Giveaway!
Rachel has graciously offered a signed copy of Prey to a follower! A separate post has been created with the information!

The series is as follows:

Stray (Shifters, Book 1): My Review
Rogue (Shifters, Book 2): My Review
Pride (Shifters, Book 3): My Review
Prey (Shifters, Book 4): My Review
Shift (Shifters, Book 5) coming March 2010
Alpha (Shifters, Book 6) coming October 2010

Connect with Rachel!
Twitter
Blogger
LiveJournal
Website
MySpace
Facebook
The Pride – Proboard Discussion Group

Pre-order Prey from Amazon.com!

P.S. – Bitten By Books is hosting a contest! Click the below image for more info!
So, what do you think? Have you read Prey already? Did you love it? Did it effect you the same as me? Are you pre-ordering Prey now? Let me know!

Posted in Author Guest Post, Rachel Vincent, Shifters

Author Guest Post: Rachel Vincent


In coordination of Rachel Vincent’s upcoming release of her next Shifter book, Prey, I asked her if she’d be willing to do an Author Guest post. She agreed. I let her know that the floor was open and to discuss what ever she felt compelled to share. She decided on a great topic.

Why make Marc a stray?

I’ve wondered that myself. And now we’ll know:

Yesterday, during a Q&A on another site, someone asked why I’d made Marc a stray. I thought that was one of the best, most insightful questions I’ve ever been asked about my Shifters books, and I enjoyed answering it there. But since I have more space here, I’m going to elaborate.

In case you haven’t read any of the Shifters books, Marc Ramos is the main love interest in Stray, and throughout the series, he and Faythe (the viewpoint character) have a very tumultuous relationship. Their relationship, in fact, is the reason I made Marc a stray. Because sometimes opposites really do attract.

Faythe was born into the largest Pride in the U.S., daughter to the head of the territorial council. She’s a bit spoiled and headstrong when the series opens, because she’s been indulged most of her life—her family’s effort to make up for the sacrifice they will one day ask of her. As one of very few female werecats—tabbycats—Faythe is expected to marry and produce the next generation of her Pride. That’s the only way their species will continue.

Faythe has other ideas for herself. She wants college instead of marriage, and a career instead of kids. She wants a life outside of her Pride.

Marc Ramos is her long-term ex, and in many ways, Faythe’s exact opposite. She was born into the most powerful Pride in the country; Marc was born human, then orphaned and infected by the werecat who killed his mother when he was fourteen. As kids, she was an indulged purebred princess, and he was a traumatized stray taken in by her family. But neither Faythe nor Marc can be accurately described in such simple terms.

Faythe was spoiled, but neither lazy nor precious. She learned to fight alongside her four brothers, and would rather have sparred with any one of them than paint her nails or play with dolls.
Marc had a violent, scarring introduction into the werecat world, but he embraced it fully. He is fanatically loyal to Faythe’s family, the only family he has now, and would gladly die defending his adopted Pride. He has nowhere else to go and no one else to be, and he wouldn’t change either of those facts even if he could.

So when the story begins in Stray, Faythe and Marc are very much at odds with one another. He was thrown into the life she clawed her way out of. He wants to defend the Pride, marry Faythe, and start a family. She wants to leave home, finish college, and start the life she’s chosen for herself. On the surface, their goals could not be more in conflict. But when tragedy forces them both to face what’s really important, they find out they have more in common than either of them thought.

Do they suddenly want all the same things from life and from each other? No.

Is the conflict magically resolved, and tied up with a shiny happy-ever-after bow? Not even close. This may be urban fantasy, but Faythe and crew have real life problems, and nice, neat answers are no easier to come by in fiction than they are in reality. Throughout the series, they face prejudice, sexism, political pressure, and a whole slew of bad guys, some known and some unknown. They fight for their lives, fight to the death, and fight for those under their protection. They make love, make tough choices, and make sacrifices. And in the end, they’ll discover that the things that make life worth living are the things worth dying for.

So though Faythe grows and matures very quickly, her life (both the private and the professional aspects) remains chaotic, passionate, and sometimes heart-breaking. But I think her journey is worth traveling. And I hope you will agree.

If you haven’t read any of Rachel’s Shifter series, what are you waiting for?!?! No, seriously, this is one of my most favorite series. Why? Because I love kick ass books. Books I like to call “Books with Balls”. Rachel’s Shifter series has Balls. I’m a huge lover of strong female lead characters. I see a lot of my personality in Faythe. I don’t kick anyone’s ass on a regular basis but should the situation arise I would not be adverse to attempting to kick some ass. 🙂 Everything is just awesomely written by Rachel. She’s created a world that if it were real I would love to live in it.

The series is as follows:

Stray (Shifters, Book 1): My Review
Rogue (Shifters, Book 2): My Review
Pride (Shifters, Book 3): My Review
Prey (Shifters, Book 4): My Review
Shift (Shifters, Book 5) coming March 2010
Alpha (Shifters, Book 6) coming October 2010

Connect with Rachel!
Twitter
Blogger
LiveJournal
Website
MySpace
Facebook
The Pride – Proboard Discussion Group

Pre-order Prey from Amazon.com!

P.S. – Bitten By Books is hosting a contest! Click the below image for more info!

Posted in Book Reviews, Shifters

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press (August 1, 2009)
390 pages
$12.23 (Amazon.com, 06/04/09)

https://i1.wp.com/www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n61/n306148.jpg

Originality: 5
Characters: 5
Writing: 4
Setting: 4.5
Plot: 5
Passion: 5
Overall: 28.5/30 = 95% = A
Cover Bonus: 3

I picked this beauty up at BEA! It is signed by Maggie too.

Here’s a quick blurb about the book from Maggie’s web site. I don’t like giving away too much so the blurb will have to do!

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

On with my review……

Originality:
I give it a 5! I’ve read a lot of werewolf books but not too many teen related stories. I can only think of the Twilight Saga right now.

Characters:
The main character is Grace. She’s a 17 year old, independent high schooler who is obsessed with the wolf pack that lives in the woods behind her home during the winter. Specifically the yellow eyed one. She’s a pretty sassy girl, kind of direct but polite.

Sam is the boy who turns wolf. He’s “damaged goods” but so polite and so chaste and so sweet, it’s endearing. He is not happy about being a wolf in the winter but he accepts it. He too is obsessed with Grace.

Grace’s friends are Rachel, Olivia and Isabel. They are good side characters and I really liked Isabel.

I didn’t have any issues with any of the characters. I thought they all helped the story.

Writing:
The first noticeable thing about this book is it’s chapter titles. Each chapter is written with the chapter number, then the character’s point of view that it will be written from and the current temperature. It’s either in Grace’s POV or Sam’s. I thought this was kinda cool. Until the end of the book. It definately took away the surprise and awww factor for me towards the end. Another thing to note about switching POVs like this was that I had to stop several times to re-read to figure out which POV I was in, even though I’d just read the chapter title and it told me it was in Grace’s POV but I just came off of a chapter written from Sam’s. Not too much of a big deal but it did detach me from the flow of the book.

Another thing to note is that Maggie doesn’t dwell on the unimportant things. She describes what needs to be described and doesn’t fill in descriptions at every chance. It makes the good parts so much better.

Setting:
I only took off a half point for setting because I don’t necessarily have a negative thing to say about the setting but only that I wished for something more. It was all so very common. There was Grace’s house, her bedroom, her backyard, the car, the bookstore, the woods, the school, and the hospital. The best scenes were in the woods and the candy store. Nothing really took my breath away or made me say “ohh”.

Plot:
The plot was great. It had me wondering what was going to happen next. The writing style also helped with the plot. It kinda jumped around at times. One minute it was cold and Sam wasn’t there and the next it was warm and Sam was there kinda thing. And since the POV changed you never really knew what you were going to get next. The ending to this book had me on the edge of my seat. I knew how I wanted it to end but I was trying not to think about it in case that’s not what happened. I didn’t want to be disappointed and I hate to be disappointed or surprised by something outrageous. The ending wasn’t entirely what I wanted but I’m okay with it.

Passion:
It was kinda weird at first to learn that Grace was really in love with a wolf. She didn’t know that he could be a “boy”. After reading it and absorbing it for a few hours now, I’ve come to realize that I think she subconsciously did know. You’ll understand if you read it.

Anyhow, the passion in this book is amazing. It’s so puppy love and reminds me of how my husband and I were at that age. There’s very little adult supervision in this book and I find it odd that “more” didn’t happen. Considering what the time frame of Sam being a wolf and the lack of supervision I think, personally, a lot “more” would have been happening.

Overall:
I really enjoyed this book. It took me about 3 days to complete it. I didn’t want to put it down when I had to. I think most teenage girls and women would enjoy this. I would rate it PG. There’s not too much happening that would warrant a PG-13. I was pleasantly surprised to find out just now that there’s a sequel coming Fall 2010 and it’s called Linger. I really like that title. 🙂

Cover:
This is the main thing I want to hit on. I passed over this cover so many times within the last few months on other blog sites. I didn’t get it. The picture of the cover on most sites does NOT do it justice. I think the title has a lot to do with it. Shiver and the cover just does not go together very well. The first few times I looked at the cover art on sites all I saw were the blue vines and the red dot. I didn’t realize the red dot was actually a splatter of blood nor did I even notice the silhouette of the wolf on the right hand side. I also do not love the font that Shiver is in. I think it should have expressed shivering, like it’s too cold and the letters are all jagged. I can see on my ARC that it looks like they were trying to do that but from a distance it’s just lost.

Trailer:
There’s a very brief trailer available too!

You can pre-order this from Amazon.com!

Connect with Maggie Stiefvater:

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Blog

What do you think? Will you read it? Have you read it? Tell me what you think!

https://i1.wp.com/www.mylivesignature.com/signatures/85723/patricksjessica/e8bed16f18830deb74d189a04f0c3048.png