Thursday, December 31, 2009


Hurry and don't miss your chance to grab Soulless by Gail Carriger- our next book selection at the Book Depository for $3.98
Grab it HERE

Also the BD is giving away over 11,000 classic ebooks for free downloads......

Happy New Year and Happy Reading

Love your friendly Seeker...............

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vote for Book 1 for January!

It's that time! Time to pick the review books for January, that is. As usual we'll be reviewing one adult and one young adult book, so here are the choices for the adult book. Vote in the polls in the side bar and may the best book win!

All book descriptions are from Goodreads.

The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw- Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean's depths… and Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass.

A mysterious and frightening metamorphosis has befallen Ida – she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure.

Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defences. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love…

What they need most is time – and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass? The Girl with Glass Feet is a dazzlingly imaginative and gripping first novel, a love story to treasure."

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells- "In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.

This time, it's personal."

Angel Time by Anne Rice- "Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”

Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love."

Soulless by Gail Carriger- "Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking."

Tainted by Julie Kenner- "Lily Carlyle has lied, cheated, and stolen her way through life.

But in death, she'll really get to be bad...

When her little sister is brutalized, a vengeful Lily determines to exact her own justice. She succeeds at the cost of her own life, but as she lies dying, she is given a second chance. Lily can earn her way into Paradise by becoming an assassin for the forces of good.

It's the job Lily believes she can really get into-but she doesn't realize that she may not be able to get out."

Vote for Book 2 for January!

It's that time again- January will be here before we know it so it's time to pick the books for the month. As usual, we'll be reading one adult book and one young adult book, so here are the choices for the young adult book. All descriptions are from Goodreads.
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith- "CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy."

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink- "Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books. Learn more at"

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston- "17 year-old Kelly Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what shethinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelly's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye."

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda- "As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.

Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.

But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined."

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund- " Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything."

Friday, December 18, 2009

HBIC Review of Some Girls Bite- Emily

Title: Some Girls Bite
Author: Chloe Neill
Page Count: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: urban fantasy
Copy for review compliments of the public library

50 words or less: Getting changed into a vampire wasn't Merit's idea, but it's become her life, in a world where vampires are out in the world. Is Merit up to the task?

More honesty, straight out of the gate: this book was rad. It was the perfect blend of sassy, smart and fun, and my first thought at the end was, I have to get the next one!

Merit has certainly had a rough go of it by anyone's standards. She's the victim of a brutal attack, changed into a vampire against her will, is plunged into a new world with rules and responsibilities of varying levels of discomfort for her, and to top it all off, everyone else around her seems to think that her being a vampire is the start of a grand new adventure, while she's feeling more like she's on a trip she didn't sign up for.

Vampire society is intricate and shot through with tradition, ritual and hierarchy; the story begins shortly after vampires have come out to the world to admit their existence. They're marketing themselves as an eccentric but harmless fringe group of society that just wants everyone to get along; Merit's getting brutalized and then changed against her will definitely does not help with that image.

To top that all off, Merit finds herself plunged into awkwardness with two powerful (and very different) gentleman vampires- Ethan, the Master of her House, and Morgan, the Second of another House. Sparks fly with Ethan; things are at more of a simmer with Morgan, and through it all, Merit has to wonder about what each guy's true motivations are and where she fits into the grand scheme of things.

Through it all, though, Merit has a strong sense of self and a really interesting level of self-reflection, both of which added to the narrative and made her a very believable character. Merit is not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what's right, and that in and of itself makes her a very unusual vampire. She has a high level of physical strength, which is explored throughout the novel, but I think her real asset as a vampire is that she's not all that into being a vampire. The scene where all the other new vampires are talking about why they wanted to be turned and she has to gussy up her story so it's less...ugly...than it really was stood out to me as an example of how Merit stands apart from the rest of the House.

The supporting cast of characters was well drawn and really supplemented the story; Merit's friends are supportive and I'm as intrigued to watch the relationships develop between them as I am to know what happens at Cadogen House. The politics of the vampire world are detailed enough to be interesting but not so detailed that they bog the story down or detract from the character development. This is a very character-driven book, which is nice.

It's really difficult to explain a lot of facets of this novel without giving stuff away, and I'll warn you right now, my answers for the BWB discussion questions are a minefield of spoilers, so consider yourselves duly warned. With that said, if you like good worldbuilding, intrigue, mysteries, and just a little bit of spice, you're in for a treat here. I'm definitely a fan of this series and I really hope the gods of interlibrary loan can pull through for me and get me a copy of Friday Night Bites before the holidays.

Overall Grade: A
Blog with Bite Score: 4

Discussion Questions
  1. Obviously the issues of social status and class are used in this story, do you feel Merit is above the simplistic ideology in this book, or is she the typical character: shuns away from the idea of being better than others but loves her status, in both the vampire and human worlds?I think that Merit is very reflective; she doesn't have any illusions about the privileges she enjoyed as being a member of the Merit family but she does understand that having those privileges came with a steep price. If anything, her experiences of people just wanting to get close to her to get a piece of her family's action was a good dress rehearsal for becoming a vampire. Although her human family is kind of bitchy to her, they're nothing compared to the other members of the House- there are a lot of people who want to see her fall flat on her face. Knowing how to deal with negative people is a skill I think Merit's going to find quite useful, and hey, if she can benefit personally from her situation, why shouldn't she? It's kind of crazy to expect her to be a hermit because her family (human or otherwise) has resources.
  2. What motivations do you believe pushed Amber to behave the way she did? Her cattiness seemed rather shallow, but could it only be cattiness that had her acting the way she did in the end? I think, above all else, Amber looks out for Amber. She does what she will find most amusing at the time and takes her cues from whoever she thinks is most powerful at the moment. She was Ethan's Consort when it seemed like that was the way to go; Celina has what Amber perceives to be a good plan with plenty of goodies and power to go around, so Ethan's not the best deal anymore. Amber is drawn to power and will do anything to get it without considering who she might hurt in the process.
  3. Do you see a House of her own in Merit's future? I do, but I see her coming into power as a result of someone else's power play. I think a lot of people still think Merit can be controlled, and they would be in for a rude awakening if they put her in charge of a House and then thought to manipulate her.
  4. Which vamp are you hoping Merit ends up with? Someone who's not a douchebag would be my vote. Right now it looks like Morgan's the way to go, but I can see Merit already having a hard time letting go of Ethan, although I admit, if I walk in on the apple of my eye having sex with someone else that would probably kaibash my feelings right then and there. I think whoever she does end up with has to be ready to commit, though; reading Merit's reactions to her BFF Mallory finding true love convinced me that Merit won't stand for anything less.

HBIC Review on Girls that Bite by Chloe Neill

Some Girls Bite, by Chloe Neill
posted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews

Merit at first seemed to be the stereotypical girl next door and I have to admit during the first few chapters I really wasn’t looking for the “written about a thousand times” butt kicking heroine. I must say once I got sucked into the storyline I was surprisingly impressed. This was my first Chloe Neill book, and I loved it! Think Underworld with lots of humor and spicier romance. The writing was suburb and the plot was fast paced and full of everything that makes a story great!

The story opens with Merit awaking to her new life as a vampire; she was changed against her will and has a hard time through the duration of the book coming to terms with the loss of her human life. Slowly and well done, Neill begins to peel back layer after layer of Merit, who by far is one of my favorite characters in a vampire series. Merit comes from a prestigious family, known for its money and stature. She isn’t close with any of them expect for her grandfather who winds up being a fun sidekick to the story. Mallory, Merits best friend- is perfect; she’s funny and supportive and brings so much humor to the story. I loved the banter that flowed between the characters and the various laugh out loud moments. The humor gives the book a break from the serious undertone of Vampire wars and steamy romance. The lightly sprinkled makings of a hot tensioned filled romance begin with Ethan Sullivan, the vampire who turned her. He also happens to be the head of the Cadogan House in Chicago. Ethan is arrogant and wears his confidence and power like a chest of armor. At first with Ethan I was leaning towards the sleaze ball but I kind of like him…………Im unsure of Morgan, the second piece of a potential love twist but it will be interesting to see how Neill plays this love triangle out.

By the end of the book we know Merit is stronger and smarter than the average vampire, one of my favorite parts in the book was reading through her training sessions with Catcher, who discovers Merit’s weapon of choice: A Katana Sword. There’s a lot of background information I think this author has coming, I’m still wondering what happened in Catcher’s past, why was Merit targeted for death in the first place? Why is she so powerful, why is her father such a butt, and why is it that Merit gets to eat like a pig and not gain a pound!!!

Favorite book lines: Merit: I'm just warning you, Im probably going to be a total hard-a** vamp. Mallory snorted and walked out of the kitchen, calling out, "Yeah, well, you've got a purple marshmallow on your chin, hard-a** vamp!!

I can't wait to get started on Friday Night Bites and see how everything evolves. Vampire and paranormal lovers will love this book and if that doesn't grab you...all the characters have really cool names!!
BWB Rating 4/4

BWB Discussion Questions
1.Obviously the issues of social status and class are used in this story, do you feel Merit is above the simplistic ideology in this book, or is she the typical character: shuns away from the idea of being better than others but loves her status, in both the vampire and human worlds?  I think Merit does truly shun away from the whole Im better than you thing....she doesn't like the way her father flaunts his status and she wants to be known for her smarts not her money! Merit has confidence in herself yet she doesnt look down on others. I think she was really happy with her life and thats why she stuggles with the vamp girl who at some point is going to come out more and more. Thats why I loved Merit, she seems real and like a best friend Id want, so I guess that tells me I think Id really love hangin out with Chloe Neill....(lol)

2.What motivations do you believe pushed Amber to behave the way she did? Her cattiness seemed rather shallow, but could it only be cattiness that had her acting the way she did in the end? I think she was just playing a game.....she was so background that I really didnt think about her behavior, I can tell you I hated the scene with Ethan, Amber and um Merit watching in his apartment.....(ewww)

3.Do you see a House of her own in Merit's future? YES.....I think Merit is going to be a kick-butt master.....maybe with some shifters and other sups thrown in!!!

4.Which vamp are you hoping Merit ends up with? Im probably going against the popular vote....but as of now I want Ethan to break out of his Master shell and be a giddy man in love!! I might change my mind later after I get to know Morgan better.

HBIC Some Girls Bite Review - Parajunkee

H B I C R E V I E W  - by Parajunkee

Preconceived notions were ablaze when I downloaded this much anticipated novel to my handy-dandy kindle.  For one I had been already following Chloe Neill's blog and twitter posts, so I had an idea of her writing skills, I had read a few reviews and all had me excited to read this novel.  I was pretty sure all that it would entail - I guess, how can I put this -  I was pretty sure what the flavor of the book was going to be.  Whoa, boy was I wrong.  First off it wasn't a bad surprise, not at all, much like if I bought Winn-Dixie brand chocolate ice cream, cause I couldn't afford the good sheet, and instead got me some Half-Baked Ben & Jerry's happiness inside the box instead. (I'm on an ice cream analogy kick) Definitely a happy moment. 

I had judged the cover.  Typical vampy girl cover.  I had judged the title. Witty, with a little sex for spice.  I had judged the synopsis - and expected just your typical, girl becomes paranormal unexpectedly, girl is like the super-paranormal variety, girl has hots for maker...hijinks ensue.  I'm glad I was proven wrong.  This novel was so much more than the other typical vamp novels out there.  There was a depth to this novel that explored aspects that other urban fantasy novels don't even come close to tackling. The relationships were deeper, emotions ran deeper and even the thought processes of the characters were more in-depth.  Chloe Niell knows how to spin an in-depth tale, from her background, to her sub-plots everything was tight and entertaining.   It had me thinking and guessing and never once coming to the right conclusions.

Merit, the main character has what she believes is a good solid life. Graduate student, working on her dissertation, living with her best friend in a great house.  Her parents aren't that supportive but her gramps is there for her. Everything changes for her when she is attacked on campus and luckily, or unluckily she is found by one of Chicago's master vampires and he changes her into one of them.

Vamps are out of the closet in this novel, so her change is made public.  Merit isn't too happy about this either, since vamps aren't exactly accepted and the college where she attends doesn't allow vampires to enroll, bye bye dissertation.  On top of it, the master vamp, Mr. Hottie Ethan Sullivan, who is very attractive - and also attracted right back is trying to put the moves on her.  His mistress is giving her the evil eye - the rival house is baiting her - and she is finding out some weird stuff about her family and friends. Merit's world is really going off kilter.  Yet, Merit just might manage to make it, with the help of some old friends, family and few new friends she makes along the way.

A must read book for my fellow fang fans. Recommended for readers of LKH, Briggs and Mead.  Also a great place to start an urban fantasy addiction. I can't wait to move on to the next installment, Friday Night Bites.  Blog with Bite Rating: 4/4

Chloe Niell's Website
Follow Chloe Niell on twitter

Discussion Questions for Blog with Bite:

  1. Obviously the issues of social status and class are used in this story, do you feel Merit is above the simplistic ideology in this book, or is she the typical character: shuns away from the idea of being better than others but loves her status, in both the vampire and human worlds?
    1. While yes, the book gives a very simplistic view on class status - it is rather true to life. Families do tend to put appearances before well being in a lot of things, and while Merit shuns away from this, status like a lot of vices is a love/hate relationship I believe.  You love it when it works in your favor, hate it when it defines you and puts you in a box.  I really believe Merit is trying her hardest to step out of that box.  She doesn't seem to be using her parents money for anything, or using their name to get her any places. Yet, the one big BUT is that she retains the family name as her sole name - why?
  2. What motivations do you believe pushed Amber to behave the way she did? Her cattiness seemed rather shallow, but could it only be cattiness that had her acting the way she did in the end?
    1. Amber was kind of an enigma for me, her shallow responses to Merit were just typical stupid girl tricks. Yet, the ending through me off. This was the one part of the book that I was unsure about.  SPOILER.  Why did Amber assist Celina? It seemed to be Celina's intention to kill Ethan. Yet, in the end Merit believes Celina's knew Merit was there the entire time.  I was very confused.  Why if Amber was the jealous mistress would she want Ethan dead, you would think she would be plotting to destroy Merit not Ethan.  Or was she so distraught over Ethan's wandering eye that she decided to be rid of him?
  3. Do you see a House of her own in Merit's future?
    1. Yes, in face I thought maybe Navarre House might be in her future, since it seems to be lacking real leadership.  
  4. Which vamp are you hoping Merit ends up with?
    1. I banking on option #3.  While Ethan has the hots down pat, he is rather stoic and simplistic.  Mason, well I think he might have something up his sleeve. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Girls Bite Discussion Questions

  1. Obviously the issues of social status and class are used in this story, do you feel Merit is above the simplistic ideology in this book, or is she the typical character: shuns away from the idea of being better than others but loves her status, in both the vampire and human worlds?
  2. What motivations do you believe pushed Amber to behave the way she did? Her cattiness seemed rather shallow, but could it only be cattiness that had her acting the way she did in the end?
  3. Do you see a House of her own in Merit's future?
  4. Which vamp are you hoping Merit ends up with?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winner of Blue Aspen!

Blog with Bite Winner of Bound to Shadows!

Not the greatest of contest turnouts, but with all the extra points you could rack up for this one, we actually had 101 entries. Our first entry was actually the winner with picking the #7 and our first entry had 19 entries - so those extra points do work!

Through the use of we have our Blue Aspen Winner. Congrats!

Julie @ My 5 Monkeys

Please expect an email shortly.  Reply within 48 hours to claim your book.

On a contest note, Blog with Bite has been hosting contests in between all of the group reviews.  Since the next in-between lines up the week of Christmas, we are going to skip that week, holding off the next BWB contest until the beginning of the year.  We will keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie BWB Top Reviewer - by Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write

Support her blog by becoming a follower!
Here is her review:

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul.

To kick off my reading of
Ballad, I first read Lament which focuses more on Deidre -- her problems, her relationships. One problem I had with Lament was that there was not enough of James and his amazing-ness.

Luckily, Ballad highlights my favorite James traits: loyalty and cheeky/cocky attitude. Nuala is just as spunky and forward which makes for a perfect match for my fave musical smart aleck.

The chapters switch from first person James to first person Nuala. My brothers always knew when James came back into the story because they could hear me chuckling or see me smiling.

I read Ballad in one day, just a few hours, because, unfortunately, I started skimming...a lot. In general, I prefer plot/action driven novels rather than predominately character driven ones so the fact that I finished
Ballad is a testament to how wonderfully fun and snappy James is written.

I would have loved this book a lot more if I hadn't read the book jacket which had me waiting for things to progress to the
James battling the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nala's life and his soul part. That doesn't happen until about the last 100 pages.

I thought the faerie plot was lacking. I understood that James couldn't do too much detective work because, you know, he's human. He can't see faeries unless they want him to (and they typically never do), and you can't find clues or skillfully interrogate things you can't see or hear. But since we flip to Nuala's perspective about every other chapter, I assumed we'd make discoveries along with her. But, you know what happens when you assume...

The faeries work hard to keep Nuala out of their business and what little we learn of the faerie plot doesn't allow you to make a guess at what will happen. That's part of the fun - trying to solve the mystery, but you really can't until the very end when everything is laid out for you.

Ah, the love triangle. Deidre...Dee is annoyingly Bella-like in her helplessness and treatment of Jacob, uh, I mean James. It was irritating to have to read her whiny unsent text messages. It does tie in towards the end, but that doesn't take the edge off the vexation. Deidre actually makes you love Nuala more, especially when the soul-snatching faerie echos your own thoughts of Deidre.

James. Let me just say...Yum. James is fantastic. Nuala is on the same playing field. The romance is simultaneously hot and sweet. It's a solid read for those desiring paranormal character driven romance but the romance is the plot and I prefer more action. But even accepting that it is a straight romance, I didn't feel any major conflict with the lovers until over halfway through the book and I felt the conflict should happen earlier to give the plot more meat.

Perhaps reading Lament and Ballad back-to-back wasn't the smartest move because I kept comparing the two... and Ballad came up short. On it's own, Ballad is a solid paranormal romance that has interesting characters who will stick with you and leave you wondering about the rest of their story.

1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain.

I found his mental peculiarities oh so charming. I loved James. He perceives the world in a unique way. He's smart, uber smart, so the world and those in it bore him. It makes him arrogant and he has to work hard to cope with his boredom. It's his individuality that makes him so likable and his flaws that make him relatable.

2. What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James?
I thought it was hot. I so got my hopes up and Dee's words crushed me like I really was James before I flipped into a protective Nuala-like mode and instantly deemed Dee as unworthy. I think the kiss allowed James to let Dee go in the end.

3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala?
Nuala! Nuala! Nuala! She's saucy. She's confident. She keeps you on your toes. Dee is a wimp. Yes she has a hard life, but so does Nuala and the faerie rises to the challenge with sass.

4. What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad? Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first? If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad? If you haven't read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad?
Do NOT read Lament first. Ugh. I so wished I hadn't. Yes, Lament sets up James' and Dee's relationship, how close they were and how it fell apart. But in Lament, Dee is strong and smart. Her character pulls a one-eighty in Ballad, morphing into a wishy-washy whiner with no backbone.
You don't have to have read Lament to be able to understand everything that goes on in Ballad. Ballad focuses on James and Nuala's budding love. Lament focuses on Dee and the different kinds of faeries bothering her. By reading Lament I understood a bit more about the faerie politics going on, but I don't think I would have had trouble following Ballad if I hadn't read Lament.

I suggest reading Ballad first and Lament second. Both love stories, both wonderful.

5. We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures. What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk". Do you believe in faires?
I don't so much believe in faeries, but I do like them as villains. In fact, they're my favorite paranormal villains. They're coy, clever, cruel and have no shame.

HBIC Review on Blue Aspen by Tina

Blue Aspen by Tenaya Jayne: Posted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews

If you want to read the synopsis of this can scroll down and watch the book trailer, enter the contest and browse the back cover synop....

ALERT...ALERT, fantastic book coming at you!!!!...............
I’m wondering what words can describe all the different emotions I went through reading this very intense page turner: let me see how about…, intrigued, freaked out, sad, angry, giddy, oh whatever and last but not least.......GASP, oh no he isn’t!!!!!!

When Dulcee arrives at Uncle Jacks it’s unreal. The prologue alludes to a dark, gothic feel but the magical atmosphere slowly pulls the reader into a world of madness. The house itself is like an entire character complete with indoor pool, library, greenhouse, bowling alley and her own giant master bedroom featuring a huge a** fireplace. What’s a girl not to love! Even with its castle like charms, and backdrop of winter; roaming the house with Dulcee made me feel its intense isolation and the vast loneliness seeped off the pages, no wonder a person could go mad. Just when the reader thinks Dulcee is being stalked by demon shadows in walks Vincent. .........A dark and mysterious Vincent romances Dulcee, he heals her heart, helps her sleep and has sexy blue eyes. I found it difficult to experience the romance between these two because frankly Vincent thoroughly freaked me out!! Vincent is seen largely in the dream world but he’s able to manifest into Dulcee’s reality. He comes off the page as a gentleman but underneath he is a dark predator. I was thinking the whole time “Oh Dulcee ……RUN”!!!!

Once we dive into the second part of the book we are introduced to Dr. Verell where the story gets even more mysterious. I was on the edge of my seat shifting between Dr. Verell and Dulcees perspectives. Once I thought I had it figured out... something would throw me off. Leaving me with that hmmmm feeling, I was seriously guessing until the last page. I think my favorite aspect of the book was the fact that Vincent is as much a mystery to us as he was to Dulcee, and Jayne keeps the reader wound tight with his identity.......until the very last words written on the page Vincent remains a conundrum . When I finally after all the emotion of Blue Aspen read who he was I shouted.....NO WAY.........I had no clue, even with the hints the author gives!!

The only negative that I’m sure will be said for some is the issue of unresolved issues, we don’t get a lot of info on Dulcee’s background. We see only glimpses of some side plots with her uncle, the murdered father and aunt………not to mention what the heck is up with Dr. Verell????? I normally don’t like unresolved issues but I think it really worked for this book, the story with Dulcee and Vincent is so sharp we really don’t need the answers to make connections. Im hoping Ms. Jayne uses these side characters for future stories.

I loved crawling and spiraling into Dulcee’s madness. It was beautifully written and well throughout. A savvy new author whose haunting words are not to be missed!!

Thanks to Tenaya Jayne for the review copy and for the opportunity to meet Dulcee and Vincent!
BWB Score 4/4 Dark Romance, Mental Illness,

Monday, December 7, 2009

BWB Contest! HBIC's Presents: Blue Aspen by Tenaya Jayne

The Blog with Bite HBIC feature for this week is Blue Aspen by Tenaya Jayne.

HBIC Parajunkee will be giving away her copy of Blue Aspen at the end of the week.  Scroll down for contest rules.

Synopsis: from
When seventeen-year-old Dulcee Elders' mother embarks on a road trip from their home in California, Dulcee knows something odd is about to happen. Her suspicions are confirmed when they arrive at Uncle Jack's house outside of Durango, Colorado. Without another word, Dulcee's mother is gone, and Dulcee faces life with her reclusive and wealthy uncle in a looming rural mansion.

Dulcee has suffered from insomnia ever since her father died more than ten years ago. But once at home at Uncle Jack's, inexplicably Dulcee now can sleep; sleep brings not only strange and intricate dreams, but a dream lover. For now, Vincent Sands is only the silhouette of a man, but when Uncle Jack leaves town for business, Dulcee's dream world and reality collide. Once she is alone, the silhouette is no longer content to remain only in her dreams.

When Dulcee is asleep, Vincent can give her anything she wants, even the ability to talk to her dead father. Inevitably, Vincent must leave when Uncle Jack returns. Dulcee experiences the high price of loving Vincent-an addiction rivaling that of any hard-core drug. Desperate to bridge the gap between them, Dulcee faces a crucial decision that carries irreversible consequences. Purchase From

Contest Time!

The book being given away is Parajunkee's copy of Blue Aspen - what is the terminology used, slightly read??? 

Rules & Regulations:

  • Must be 18 or older
  • Must be US or Canadian resident (Mailing address)
  • Please no PO Boxes
  • You must be a follower of Blog with Bite
  • Contest Ends December 12th 
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater Review Deadline today!

Hey everyone if you have read / reviewed Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater get your reviews in today! Deadline to count your post as a Blog with Bite is today at midnight (CST)!

Click on the Submit Review link in the navigation above!

Friday, December 4, 2009

HBIC Review of Ballad- Emily

Title: Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 353 pages
Publisher: Flux
Genre: young adult, fantasy, paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by this writer

I'm not even going to attempt a 50 word summary, for this book, you get the whole enchilada, compliments of Goodreads: In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians. James' musical talent attracts Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together unexpectedly leads to mutual admiration and love. Haunted by fiery visions of death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soul-scorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.

Daaaaaaaang. After enjoying the bejesus out of Lament and Shiver, I started Ballad feeling pretty confident that I'd enjoy it. And enjoy it I did; so much so that frankly I'm at a loss for how to adequately describe the experience.

James is a heartbreaker of a character. He's like the onion from Shrek (or the parfait, if you prefer,) with layers and layers and layers. I really enjoyed watching him grow as a person and evolve into someone entirely unique. His counterpoint, Nuala, certainly is prickly, but only out of self-preservation, which is certainly something James can understand. I really enjoyed the fake drunk scene with Peter because Peter was able to articulate respect for James in a way that James had never really experienced before- certainly not in his relationship with Dee.

Oh, Dee. Everyone hates you, and from your performance in Ballad it's not hard to see why. Dee comes across here as neurotic, emotional, and nuttier than the proverbial fruitcake, but the unsent text messages give a little bit of insight into why she does some of the painful things that she does (and Lament provides a much deeper explanation.)

My favorite character in the book though, besides James, is definitely Nuala. She's creative, sassy, bold, and doesn't take what most would consider to be an extremely shitty and dysfunctional life script sitting down. No, she decides to do something about the chaos in her own life, even if it's crazy, and that's something I can admire in anyone.

James and Dee go through their share of ups and downs, and even without the supernatural elements of the story, theirs is a story that resonates with pain and loss, with love and meaning, and is generally about moving on and growing up when it becomes apparent that things are not turning out the way you expected or wanted. Everyone learns some tough lessons and ends the story in a different place emotionally than where they were at the beginning; it will definitely be interesting to see where the characters go in future books.

Maggie Stiefvater's prose here is lyrical and poetic, with just enough angst and emotion to make the writing flavorful and rich without being cumbersome and/or boring. My only criticism of the book, and it certainly is a minor one, is that the faerie politics percolated for a really long time and then BAM jumped up and bit me on the nose. It's like the story unfolded at one pace and the conclusion unfolded at another, with a mashup in the middle where the two elements collided. The story ended the way I wanted it to, however, so cheers to getting my own way.

If you're looking for a young adult book with nuance and atmosphere enough to appeal to readers of all ages, then Ballad is a good bet.

Overall Grade: A
Blog with Bite Grade: 4
  1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain. I found his quirks and coping strategies to be endearing for the most part. I think that he perceives the world in a different way and consequently has to find a different way of expressing himself. I liked that the author found a way to make James unique without making him.....weird. Does that make sense?
  2. What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James? For me, this was the moment when James realized that he was only ever going to be Dee's friend, and that it was up to him to decide if he was okay with that or not. Prior to this, I don't think it occurred to James that Dee could not be interested in him romantically, but when she basically admitted to kissing him as a test to see if she'd think about another dude while she did it, the romance basically died. Unrequited love is pretty uncool, all things considered.
  3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala? As a fit for James? Nuala, because she's actually emotionally available, which is always a good thing. I also enjoyed her tenacity and sense of humor, her resiliency and her refusal to accept defeat or less than everything she wants (once she realizes what that is, of course.)
  4. What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad? Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first? If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad? If you haven't read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad? I think that Ballad can be a standalone book but that reading it like that gives a different perspective than the one you get from reading Lament first. The biggest example of that is definitely in how you see Dee: if you read Lament first than some of her neuroses stand explained; if you just read Ballad then you kind of want to smack the crap out of her. I read Lament first and I'm glad I did; I want to know what happened between her and Luke, among other things.
  5. We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures. What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk". Do you believe in faeries? I think that stories that center around fae worlds and fae characters have to be really well-crafted or they don't hold my interest. I love political powerplays as long as they're well done, I don't mind if characters are, shall we say, unorthodox-looking, and I always enjoy when a book combines myths and new ideas in unconventional ways. I do think that fae worlds are tricky though, as they require a lot of setup, so when I read a book with fae in the story it's important for there to be a good balance between worldbuilding and character development.

Ballad - HBIC Editor Review - Parajunkee

H B I C R E V I E W  - by Parajunkee

I have fallen in love tonight.  I have fallen in love with a voice, the voice of an author named Maggie Stiefvater.  Before now I hadn't had the pleasure of reading any of Ms. Stiefvater's works and now I feel like I have missed out. Such a shame that I have been wasting so much time...when I could have been partaking in the perfection that is the prose of Maggie Stiefvater. (That was me being poetic)

Ms. Steifvater weaves a tale of fairies, unrequited love and the chilling end-all of death. Ballad focuses on the story of James, whom was introduced in Lament. James has followed Dee to boarding school, his love for her almost unbearable as she avoids him in their first weeks in school.  They were best friends and now Dee is acting strangely and he barely sees her anymore.

James is a sociable lad though, and he makes friends and carries on without her.  But, Dee is always on his mind and when they happen to run into one another the meetings are almost painful. During this time Dee is becoming more and more unstable and James is being pestered by a strikingly beautiful yet, very dangerous girl that calls herself Nuala. James is pulled in two directions - and the two paths that stretch before him both seem to end in pain and death.

I must state that before reading Ballad I did not read Lament. I think I wasn't paying attention. My fellow BWB companions said here read this Rach - and so I read.  I'm actually kind of glad that I read Ballad first. I'm never one to read in order.  Odd but that is me.  I feel I might have found a new perspective because of my reverse reading.  My reverse perspective found me hating Dee.  I was introduced to the broken character that she was.  A girl whom James was madly in love with but whom couldn't even open the lines of communication with him.  Each time he would reach for her, she would do something stupid or selfish which would have me hating on her even more and falling harder for James.

Ms. Stiefvater's characters had so much depth I felt as if they are real and could walk in upon me at any moment. The intricacies that are James and Nuala made them so believable and relatable that I mourned their passing as the last page came to a close.  Even the side characters of Paul and Sullivan were striking in their depth - considering Paul was used as a comic sort of character - but was so much more.

The only flaw I found with this book was near the ending I found she circled around the inevitable a little too long when she could have just plowed through to the end.

Parents have no fear when passing this on to your child. There is a bit of violence, and a smidge of cursing.  But nothing that they wouldn't see on prime time.

My Blog with Bite Rating is 4 of 4

Thursday, December 3, 2009

HBIC Seeker Review on Ballad

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater: posted by Tina @ Tinasbookreviews

Im going to skip the Synop...because you all know what the basis is....

This series, beginning with Lament which introduces us to James through his best friend Dee's story was a wonderful book, but I just fell in love with James so much that Ballad is now my favorite of the two. The story is told through James and Nuala’s perspectives, and it flowed beautifully. If you didn’t read Lament first Dee might have seemed like a cold and distant character but her torture over losing Luke was so apparent I couldn’t help but feel depressed with her, but also was whooping with James who tremendously grows up in this book and then some. The always poor, poor James forever pinning over the heartbroken and intense Dee, is finally……FINALLY able to see past his unreturned love for her and opens his heart to true love and endless possibilities.

I can't say enough how much I loved this book. I can’t begin to say how much I love Maggie Stiefvater.....(please Maggie have coffee with me because I want to pick the brain of your awesomeness) The beautiful writing is so creative, she makes James so witty that you love him even if he is supposed to be arrogant...It just works for him. He is the type of character that you just can't get enough dialogue from! I was laughing through most of this because James is so hysterical and Nuala (funny and witty herself) was a perfect match for James and the two complemented each other well!

Like with all of Ms. Maggie’s writing thus far, each chapter wove poetic and haunting words. Her characters have so much depth they are hard to forget. I mean taste this little nugget from the King of the Dead:
I keep the dead and the dead keep me. We are cold and dark, we are one and we are many, we wait and we wait so sing the dead; So sing I, grow, rise follow……………….
Cernunnos’ music was beautiful but creepy dark and goose bump worthy, thinking about his big antler head and the dramatic and eerie words that he sang made me shudder just a bit.

Also, I loved that Maggie (because a lot of YA author’s adult characters are all bone-heads or so background you never get to know them) wrote in a fantastic adult character named Sullivan. I loved that he was able to connect with James and had maturity and wisdom that comes with living longer than a teen, but is also able to use his maturity and wisdom to help kids and be “guidance” to them. I loved who Sullivan was and absolutely love what this author did to his character. I want a book all about Sullivan Ms. Maggie!!!!!!
I dont want to put to much info in my review because I truly feel you need to experience all the oh's and ah's and gasps for yourself.Don’t miss out on this wonderful and mesmerizing new author. Due to language and content I’d recommend this to the mature teen and adult.
5/5 YA Faeries, love, poetry, beauty, creepy………almost as brilliant as Shiver……..I could on and on…….BWB Rating: 4/4

Discussion Questions:
1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain. I loved James, I thought his wit and sarcaism worked well with the story, it gave the book its much needed humor, I thought James knew when to be serious and when to keep his mouth shut.

2. What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James? Im so glad James got to kiss Dee.....dont get me wrong I think he still loves her, BUT I think James finally broke through some major chains that was his bondage to everything Dee.......After the kiss I think for the first time James feels free of her and is able to move on.

3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala? So I loved James but I also loved Dee in Lament.....I liked Nuala, she was hard to get to know but I think shes perfect for James...however I like Dee better. The story between her and Luke was so awesome, Dee may have seemed very background to Ballad but she's a major character.

4. What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad? Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first? If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad? If you haven't read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad? You can read it alone because the story is about James and Nuala....but reading Lament adds so many layers to the background of Ballad. Knowing Dee's story helps you understand why shes a cloverhand and also why James was almost killed.

5. We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures. What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk". Do you believe in faires? I love Fairies....its my favorite in the urban and Paranormal, I like the nicer fey though...I loved Melissa Marrs world and Wings was a nice one.....the evil fairies are creepy.....and NO I dont believe in them, only on the page in my imagination, if I saw one for real I might S*** my pants.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie Discussion Questions

  1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain.
  2. What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James?
  3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala?
  4. What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad?  Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first?  If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad?  If you haven't read Lament, do you think it would have added to your reading of Ballad?
  5. We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures.  What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk".  Do you believe in faires?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill - Dec. Feature #1

Some Girls Bite by Chloe NeillSOME GIRLS BITE
by Chloe Neill

Blog with Bite December Feature #1

Some Girls Bite received 19 out of 47 votes. It was a close race, but the vamps beat out the wolves!

Author Web Site

If you loved Nancy Drew but always wished she was an undead sword-wielding badass, Merit is your kind of girl.  - Geek Monthly Magazine

Sign up deadline:
December 13th

Review deadline:
December 18th

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - Dec Feature #2

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Blog with Bite December Feature #2

Beautiful Creatures received 40 our of 69 votes! Wow you guys really want to read this one.

From the books web site

Some loves are meant to be…
others are cursed.

There were no surprises
in Gatlin County.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have
been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end,
there was a grave.

Beautiful Creatures Sign Up Deadline:
Decemeber 27th

Review Deadline: Jan 3 (because of holiday)

It's Time for Ballad!

Good morning everyone.  Just a heads up post.  Ballad week starts this week - so if you've read it we want to read it!

Deadline to get your reviews submitted is December 5th (This Saturday).  Reviews should be submitted through the Google Docs from HERE.

Don't forget to put a BWB banner on it - letting the world know that your review has bite!

Discussion questions will be posted tomorrow.  I have taken the discussion question input off the submit form - this go round - because it was making the spread sheet soooo big and they were very hard to read in that format.  Much easier to read on everyone's posts.

Any questions, just ask! It also looks like we have our Poll winners for December's books! Thanks for voting guys.

Oh and if anyone has read the book already and would like to make a suggestion for discussion questions... please post them in this comments sections!