Sunday, October 19, 2014

COVER REVEAL: "City Lights" by Julie Morgan!

City Lights by Julie Morgan Cover Reveal

Music brought them together. A gamble with love could break them apart.

Blaine has reached rock and roll stardom. After surviving an overdose, Blaine was forced into a decision; change and be a better person, or continue down the dangerous path and lose everything he has worked for. Making the decision to change, he turns his focus and attention to writing and producing music in an effort to keep the bright lights of live performances and potential drugs at an arms distance. 
Bassist to the band Blaine is producing, Penelope knows all too well who he is. He’s the sexy as hell, but also drug addicted singer of the mega band, Deep Ember. As excited as she is to get her band signed, she’s none too thrilled to find out her producer is Blaine. Leaving her boyfriend back home to follow her dreams, Penelope will find herself in uncomfortable situations with Blaine. He’s expressed a genuine interest in her and she feels drawn toward him in return. Unfortunately, knowing who he is and what he’s done puts up an invisible wall between them.
Emotions will be on the line and chords will be played… but can Blaine win over the heart of a woman who’s made it clear she wants nothing to do with him? Will Penelope be able to trust her emotions and will Blaine be able to prove he is not what his reputation says he is?

So what do you think of City Lights? This is Blaine's story, who you met in Southern Roots, book one in the series. I had a great time writing the story and even more fun creating the image. 
Thanks go out to Jordan Hill, the model featured on the cover, photography by Michael McCann and illustrations by Stella Price.
Look for City Lights when it publishes October 28th!

About the Author
Originally from Burleson, Texas Julie always had a love of books, especially paranormal stories. Julie finally took the leap and began writing with encouragement from her family. 
Having worked in IT her entire career, Julie now spends her free time writing. Living in Central Florida with her husband and daughter, her favorite pastime is reading children's stories to her daughter, especially those around animals.

Connect with Julie Morgan:
Good Reads:

Southern Roots buy links:

Friday, October 17, 2014

REVIEW: "Dracula" by Bram Stoker & John Green (Dover Graphic Novel Classics)

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: November 19, 2014

Type: Dover Graphic Novel Classics, Graphic Novel, Classic, Historical, Science Fiction, Vampires, Fast Reads, Black and White, Rawr

About the Book: Readers will be spellbound by this graphic novel version of Bram Stoker's "Dracula."""The granddaddy of all the modern vampire stories, the immortal tale unfolds in a gripping journey into the past that recounts a Victorian-era struggle against ancient evil. Original illustrations add an extra allure to this easy-to-read edition.
This Dover Graphic Novel Classic offers readers ages 8 and up an exciting introduction to a time-honored tale. Expertly abridged and packed with dramatic illustrations, this version offers a streamlined narrative that retains all of the storytelling essentials.

My Review: This graphic novel started off well. I curled up in a dimly lit room on a dark and stormy night, huddled under a massive pile of blankets to keep out the October chill... and then I was left feeling very "meh" after reading a Vampire classic! Like the previously reviewed "Sherlock Holmes: Hound of the Baskervilles" graphic novel, "Dracula" is short, around 50 pages. I figured it would be a quick, fun read - but this left me feeling more agitated than anything. 

The graphic novel has very clunky and confusing scene changes. The rush from Dracula's castle to England is a blur, and often locations would change while on the same page. My biggest suggestion is that this graphic novel could really benefit from 1. being longer, and 2. some scene change or even "intermission" style artwork. 

I would gladly read a longer version of a "Dracula" graphic novel if it was more true to the original. The story here was not changed at all, but it was hard to care about the characters or the situation when so much is cut out or rushed along.

Hoping for better in the next Dover Graphic Novel Classics release!

Cover Lovin': Good cover! Dracula looks appropriately horrifying, and this is definitely something that would catch someone's eye. 

Recommendation: This graphic novel adaptation is definitely for serious fans of the book, or for someone that just wants a good brush up. Not suggested for people who are looking for their first taste of the classic. 

Final Rating: TWO POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars (2.5/5). This was a very disappointing adaptation of the amazing original. It was clunky and the scene changes were rough. Only recommended if you're desperate for a Dracula refresher or board during your flight to Transylvania. 

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: "Ares: Bringer of War" by George O'Connor

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: January 27, 2015

Type: Graphic Novel, History, Greek Mythology, Mythology, Ares, The Iliad, War of the Gods, Book 7, Series, So Much Death and Destruction

About the BookThe myth continues in the tenth year of the fabled Trojan War where two infamous gods of war go to battle. The spotlight is thrown on Ares, god of war, and primarily focuses on his battle with the clever and powerful Athena. As the battle culminates and the gods try to one-up each other to win, the human death toll mounts. Who will win this epic clash of power? And how many will have to die first?

My Review: This volume felt like a let down when compared to the previous ones - especially the Poseidon and Aphrodite volumes, since those were particularly awesome. The art is still on par with the rest of the series, but it was the story itself that didn't work for me.

I didn't like this volume as much as the previous ones. The author decided to take on The Iliad for Ares' story and it became a confusion of names more than once. Unless the reader is already familiar with the story, this would have been a bumbling mess. But the quality of the previous volumes is still there. 

That said, I think this would be a great companion story to anyone working their way through the Iliad. The rest of the series I recommend giving to anyone struggling in a mythology class, or maybe just someone who can't stop devouring mythology books - but this volume isn't something I would just hand to someone. It almost feels like it comes with some extra homework.

I am hopeful there will be more books in this series. George O'Connor does a fantastic job capturing the Greek myths in graphic novel form. And hey - he hasn't even finished the 12 Olympians, so he better keep going!

Cover Lovin': Well done on the cover. It matches the rest of the series, and I'd say this battle cry stance fits the god of war perfectly.

Recommendations: For fans of Greek Mythology, and Graphic Novels. This would be a good companion for a high school or college student reading the Iliad, as well.

Final Rating: TWO POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars (2.5/5). As stated above, this seems like a step down in quality compared to the previous books in the series. Unless the reader has a good grasp of Greek history and/or the happenings of the Iliad, this book will seem like an info dump.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: "Neil Gaiman's The Last Temptation 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" by Neil Gaiman, Alice Cooper, Michael Zulli, Dave McKean

Disclaimer: I received a free, advance e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: October 21, 2014

Type: Graphic Novel, Anniversary Edition, Re-release, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Music, Comic Book, The Theatre from Heck

About the Book: Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline, American Gods) brings shock rocker Alice Cooper's concept album to life in a surreal sideshow of the soul! Join a young boy named Steven on a surreal journey of the soul, as an enigmatic and potentially dangerous Showman seduces him into joining his carnival. Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of this seminal Gaiman work, returned to print for the first time in over a decade. Fully remastered in color, this Deluxe Edition incorporates complete scripts to all three chapters, black-and-white thumbnail art of pre-colored pages, an original outline of the project by Neil Gaiman, and a collection of letters between shock rocker Alice Cooper and the author! "I'm really happy that The Last Temptation is coming out for a new generation of readers, who have not seen Michael Zulli's glorious drawings, or know of the Showman and his wicked ways," says Neil Gaiman. "I wrote this a long time ago, driven by love of Ray Bradbury's dark carnivals and of Alice Cooper's own pandemonium shadow show. It's time for it to shuffle out onto a leaf-covered street and meet the people who don't know about Stephen and Mercy and show what's coming to town."

My Review: As a fan of Both Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper, I went into this graphic novel with high expectations... And I was definitely not disappointed! Working together, these two geniuses created a dark, haunting story that left me more than a little creeped out. The art was truly stunning, perfectly matching the storyline.

In full cover on my device, the pages were gorgeous, I can only imagine what this book looks like in all its physical glory. This is a must have for any true fan of these amazing artists. And even better, this story lends itself to re-reading, to catch all the subtle hints and tricks that have been weaved into the tale. I'm grateful I got the chance to go to read this graphic novel before it's re-release. Be sure to check it out when it comes out October 21, 2014!

Cover Lovin': Great cover - appropriately haunting, considering the masterminds behind the title.

Recommendation: For fans of Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper. For graphic novel readers that want something weird and creepy to go along with your Halloween read-a-thong. Or maybe for people who just like weird stuff.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). Creepy, awesome, and made me have a nightmare or two - a perfect read for Halloween, or really, any time.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Friday, October 3, 2014

REVIEW: "Hades Speaks!" by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: September 1, 2014

Type: Nonfiction, Middle Grade, Juvenile, Teen, Mythology, Greek, Humor, Illustrated, Fun, Highway to Hades

About the BookHades, god of the dead, welcomes readers on a dangerous tour of his underworld kingdom, filled with monsters, furies, giants, and vampire demons. Along the way, he reveals ancient death rites and sinister curses, tells hair-raising stories, and cracks jokes to die for. With his witty voice and ghoulish sense of humor, Hades is the perfect guide through this fresh and imaginative work of nonfiction that reads like a novel. Includes a glossary, bibliography, and index.

My Review: This was a great nonfiction title that I would gladly give to both a juvenile and young adult audience. Written from Hades' perspective, the reader gets a tour through the Underworld, with tales of Greek myths and History thrown in. One of my favorite parts of the book was the punctuation guides, located throughout the text whenever an unfamiliar word was introduced, as well as in the glossary in the back.
The whole book contains a wonderful sense of humor, enough to keep anyone entertained while reading. There are mentions of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and I can see this as being a great gift for any Percy Jackson fan. The few illustrations in hand book were well done, and very artistic. There are a few I would gladly frame and add to my Halloween decor. 

Giving this book a four out of five stars for its originality, clarity, and amusing style.

Cover Lovin': This cover is pretty perfect for this book. The illustrations are appropriately haunting, considering the subject matter, but there is a hint at the humor you will find inside, in the smile that Hades is trying to hide.

Recommendation: For young fans of Greek mythology that want to read the stories from a different angle. Adults can enjoy this book as well, but this is definitely kid-centered.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). Good book, fun to read, and I know it would be popular with both juveniles and teens at my library.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, September 25, 2014

INSPIRE by Cora Carmack Cover Reveal!!


Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

About Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

And now for the big reveal......

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

REVIEW: "Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 2: Wish You Were Here"

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this graphic novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release date: September 30, 2014

Type: Graphic Novel, Series, Volume 2, Physics, Vertigo, Science Fiction, Alternate Reality

About the book: The mind-bending science fiction series FBP returns to the strange phenomena all over the world-and beyond.

Federal Bureau of Physics agents Rosa and Adam are invited to take part in an experiment that will test their limits and blur their concept of reality. And after a beautiful moment is shattered, Rosa and Adam get to see firsthand why Nakeet is known as the strangest town north of the 48.

This volume collects issues #8-13.

My Review: Well, this volume was certainly confusing. Definitely more so that the first book. It is incredibly hard to tell what is reality and what isn't, and the art doesn't give it away either. In volume one, I got a sense of the overall story, and I was therefore able to follow along with ease. But that linear storyline is missing here. 

This is not a series you can set down And pick up months later. From my experience, this is one of those books or graphic novel series that you have to continually read and re-read, especially right before the next issue releases. 

Now for the positive. Despite my dislike of the lack of difference between realities, I do love the art style used in this graphic novel. The different characters are distinct and the style is original. And it might be a silly, small thing, but I love the art between the chapters/issues.

Cover Lovin': Bright and eye catching, which is good. But it definitely makes more sense once you read the book.

Recommendation: For fans of the series, and people who just finished the first one.

Final rating: TWO POINT FIVE out of FIVE (2.5/5). Hard to follow, but the series concept is interesting, if you can keep up.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~