Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny

A suspenseful, passionate, paranormal romance that sweeps through the emotions of first love and heartache as it traverses centuries and continents.

Michelle used to feel like she was behind in everything, especially school and relationships. Her great aunt from the old country says she is like a bland meal, "no salt or pepper". But in junior year, everything changes. Her father takes a position on the Town Council, a popular boy in school becomes interested in her, and most importantly, the Hekademos Learning Center, a private school for 'troubled' students, moves into her quiet neighborhood amidst the protests of the entire town.

After an embarrassing fall over the school wall, Michelle meets Elliot and her ordinary ‘bland’ life changes its course forever.

Elliot is no ordinary human. In fact, no one at the Hekademos Learning Center is. Beautiful and fierce, they have survived throughout the millennia by weaving in and out of human events. Through them, Michelle learns that history and myths from around the world are dotted with references to their kind. Michelle falls madly in love with the ever-striking and mysterious Elliot and, as much as he tries to fight it, he develops strong feelings for her as well. Although Elliot carries numerous painful memories from his many pasts, he disregards his own better judgment and the advice of his friends, and finds himself falling for Michelle‘s offbeat personality. Their feelings grow in intensity, but when History catches up with them, the difference between their life paths threatens to destroy any future that they might have had together.

Michelle learns that there are infinite shades of gray between black and white, and has to deal with the bundle of contradictory emotions called love. She has to trust her intuition in order to face the danger and uncertainty of being drawn into Elliot’s wondrous world. Ultimately, it is up to Michelle to make the split-second, life-altering decision that will either tear them apart forever, or give them another chance.

But Michelle's mom knew better. She recognized those cries. Those weer the pangs of the heart, the kind that only a girl could experience. She also knew that somewhere in between the weeping and the gasping a boy's name hung onto every tear. --Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny

That quote is just one of the reasons I love this book! Move over Edward and Bella, a new power couple has hit the scene! Michelle and Elliot from Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny will give Stephine Myer's characters a run for their money! I have read so many books, it takes a lot to knock my socks off but A. Jacob Sweeny did just that! With her original storyline and unforgettable characters she has an award winning series in the making. Who needs vampires and werewolves when we have a whole house full of extremely sexy superheroes! The story is action packed from beginning to end. You will not be bored anytime in this story and that says a lot for a book that is over 500 pages long. It takes one amazing author to connect the reader to the characters in a way that you feel like you are part of the story. But that's just what Sweeny accomplished.
I was shocked and awed by this book and I know anyone that reads it will feel the same way! I can't remember the last time I read a book that held the power to make me cry. It will be a very long time before this story will leave my mind and heart. What I love most about this book is the fact that like in a real relationship Michelle and Elliot's romance is not without it's ups and downs. I was so emotionally connected to the story I felt everything Michelle felt. When she was happy I was happy for her. When she was embarrassed I was red-faced right along with her. And when she was heartbroken, I was also heartbroken and teary eyed. It takes an amazing author to accomplish such a feat but that's just what Sweeny did!
In conclusion I am so happy I had the chance to read this wonderful book and feel so honored to be know such an amazing author. So keep your eyes peeled because A. Jacob Sweeny is on her way to the very top of the young adult best seller list. But don't take my word for it, read it for your self! I have made it extra easy for you by adding a link to Amazon on my blog for you to purchase her book. So what are you waiting for? Order your copy tonight!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Sunrise at Sunset by Jaz Primo

I would just like to start by saying, I feel so lucky to be picked by these great authors to write reviews on their books. My reviews are based on my opinion and my opinion only. Do not let my opinion keep you from reading any book. The best way to know if you like a book is to read it for yourself. With that said let's get on with the review.

About the book: We vampires are focused and tend to shape our own realities. My name is Katrina Rawlings, and I am a vampire. I declare that with neither pride nor ego. I am simply nature's most dangerous predator. On occasion, it's a very valuable quality. It helped me protect Caleb Taylor one day when he was very young. But that single, traumatic day is behind him now; wiped from his memory, or so I hope. Caleb has finally matured into a rather striking young man, and believe me, I like what I see. I'll readily admit that there are issues for us to confront and overcome, though a sense of mutual commitment isn't one of them. I'm feeling hopeful for our future together, in fact. But an adversary from my past has returned to haunt me, and she's trying to get back at me through Caleb. That was her first...and last...mistake. I'll protect my Caleb at all costs, and I'll make her regret the day she was born. So, I suppose that I'm not just a vampire. I'm about to become someone's worst nightmare!

If you are a big Twilight fan, you will love this book! This book is not a rip-off of Twilight by no means, but if you have read it as many times as I have you will see the similarities.

The two main characters Katrina and Caleb are very well described. You get drawled right into their lives. One of the interesting things about this book is the power switch of the characters. Unlike Twilight where Edward is the strong protective one and Bella is the weak human in need of protection. In Sunrise at Sunset the woman, Katrina is the strong Alpha in the relationship. At first this was hard for me to get use to but after a while it didn't bother me that much. It was just hard to imagine a woman carrying a full size man around lol.
And just like Twilight the story line gets off to a slow start, with the characters getting to know one another. Then Caleb finds out, this beautiful woman he is starting to fall for is a vampire. It takes Caleb a little while to get use to this idea. Just like it would any of us if we realize, we were dating a vampire.
It is over half way through the book before it starts to pick up speed. But when it finally does pick up the pace it is a wild ride! So like every story there has to be a conflict. This is the point in the storyline when other vampires are brought into the mix. Two of Katrina's closes vampire friends Alton and spunky Paige are introduced to the story. I am more drawn to Paige than Katrina in part of the story. I just love her spunky party girl spirit! The story draws to an end with a surprising twist I didn't see coming.
All in all this is a good read. I will be reading the rest of the series to see what Jaz has in store for our characters Katrina and Caleb. So keep your eyes peeled for the review of the next book in the series A Bloody London Sunset. Thanks for taking the time to read my review :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest Post By Jaz Primo

Guest Blog Posting by Jaz Primo
For "I Love Books"
For Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm proud to be here with you today on I Love Books! I was honored to have the opportunity to appear on I Love Books last month to take part in an interview with Dawn and a giveaway of my debut novel, Sunrise at Sunset. So, you can only imagine my pleasure at taking part in a guest posting this month.
*rubbing my hands together and then loudly cracking my knuckles*
Um, sorry. *blush*
One of the most intimidating experiences for an author is the occasional pang of worry from wondering if what we're writing will be of interest to someone to read. For authors, our imaginations are geared towards notions, ideas, and fantasies that either flash into existence when we least expect them or that we mull around and ruminate over for days or weeks upon end. For those reasons, authors are impassioned by storyline concepts or character developments to the point that they string them together into a gradually more cohesive series of paragraphs. Eventually, they end up with (hopefully!) some cogent prose that is meaningful, linear, and well-crafted. But ultimately one important question remains: Is the novel of interest to anyone else?
Well, there's the rub, isn't it?

A number of experienced and successful authors have passed along an important nugget of wisdom to the rest of us in interviews over the years: Don't write about what you believe will be the most popular topic or genre, write about what you're impassioned about the most. By doing so, readers will key into that energy and be drawn into your story.
To me, that's excellent advice. My Sunset Vampire Series was written during the early tidal wave of vampire popularity ushered in by the likes of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood. Vampires were all the vogue, and seemingly nobody could do wrong to write a novel about them. During that time, and even since then, marketing specialists would advise an author to avoid territory that was so well-trodden . . . no, rather, ablaze! . . . in the marketplace. In fact, a number of prospective literary agents told me that very thing: "You're a sound, competent writer but I just don't think that I could sell your manuscript at this time and in this market."
I assure you, I felt like the depressed clowns depicted in the dramatic opera, "Pagliacci." (I say "felt" because there's no way that I could "sing" the lamentation as well as anyone who's performed the classic masterpiece. For those who don't know me, I simply can't carry a tune in a bucket with two big handles! But I digress . . .) The negative feedback from literary agents was depressing to say the least. Given that, why did I persist in bringing my series to the light of day as an independent author? Passion . . . pure and simple.

So, if passion is the magical key ingredient, then how does passion convert to a finished novel? Here's how it happened for me. I fervently believed in my story and characters. Each character's dialogue was an individual instrument in a symphony of unique voices that resonated in my mind. Each character was as tangibly real to me as the history students who fill my college classroom each semester. The events that transpired in my novels were as multi-dimensional and substantive as the memories of real events that I had experienced throughout my life. If "reality" is nothing less than the perception of sensory input by the human brain that is given tangibility by the mere engram in which it resides, then the events in my novels seemed no less plausible to me. In short, the story and characters compelled themselves into existence by the power of my mind and imagination alone. And that, I believe, is what is required for anyone who seeks to make their dreams and fantasies into the reality of a published novel.

Many of you who are reading this blog post have wondered what it might take to become an author. You may have toyed with fanciful ideas of being the next great author, but hesitated, pondering if you had what it takes to be successful. Well, there are a number of important supporting skill sets that you'll need to complete the journey, such as: basic writing skills, a flair for description and dialogue, patience, self-discipline, and a sense of dedication. However, a command of each of those skills and qualities is insufficient if you don't have the glue that holds them together and focuses them: passion.

I hope that you've found today's blog posting to be beneficial. Being an author isn't easy, but it can be equally rewarding and gratifying. Are you the next great author to grace bookstore shelves and eBook retail databases? Here's an idea . . . harness your passion and find out. My sincere thanks to Dawn for the opportunity to appear on I Love Books once again. It's been such a pleasure! Peace. -- Jaz