Thursday, May 31, 2012

{Guest Post} Holly Schindler Talks About New Book

Welcoming Holly Schindler and her new YA Novel, Feral to Better Read Than Dead. I hope you enjoy this VLOG! I know I'm looking forward to Feral and I hope you will be also.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

{Review} City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Lost Souls
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Author: Cassandra Clare


The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Yes, I finally finished City of Lost Souls! And, lives up to every other novel I've read by Cassandra Clare. She is such an amazing author with an awe-inspiring ability to pull readers into the story where they fight, love, and suffer along with the characters. Her talent to write complex and lovable (even when they shouldn't be) characters continues to astound me. And world building...well, no one does it better in YA literature.

I'm also relieved to say, I didn't feel the need to throw the book across the room when I finished reading it like I did Clockwork Prince. Thank goodness. I might have actually stopped reading Cassie's books if she'd tortured me again. Okay, that's a lie. I would have to finish reading her books because, ultimately, I'm nosy and also, I hold out hope that things will end my way. LOL.

So, without giving too much away, let's do a short summary of City of Lost Souls.

Of course, if you read City of Fallen Angels, you know that Sebastian is holding Jace captive and he's plotting something huge. I mean, when isn't Sebastian plotting to take over the world or something just as equally appalling? I have to say, there were points during this story when I wanted to root for Sebastian. I wanted him to do the right thing. I'm a dreamer at heart and I do love to root for the underdog. Sebastian is an excellent chameleon, camouflaging his true intentions until precisely the right moment. I believe he loves his sister, in the only way he knows how. AND...yes, I still believe this after finishing the novel.

Jace is, well...Jace. His connection with Sebastian transforms him into a different person during his journey between worlds. He appears carefree and happy while under Sebastian's influence and occasionally I enjoyed seeing him in this light. I think there were times Clary enjoyed this side also, even though she knew he wasn't the real Jace. Now, while the possessed Jace was fun, nothing compares to the brooding, snarky, and sexy Jace. Nothing.

You get to see everyone work together in the fifth installment of The Mortal Instruments. Magnus, Alec, Izzie, Simon, Jordan, and Mia. They all come together in an effort to save Jace and, ultimately, Clary. Magnus still remains as one of my all time favorite literary heroes and not just because he's quirky and magical. He literally does everything for the person he loves, including summoning demons and angels to save someone he doesn't even necessarily like or dislike. Magnus helps Simon, Izzie, Clary, and Jace because they are important to Alec...not for any other reason. That's true love, people.

While chatting with one of my besties over at Starbooks, we discussed Alec's actions in City of Lost Souls. He does some things that are questionable at best, if not downright childish. He's so young in comparison to Magnus and you begin to see where this will be the downfall of their relationship if Alec does not mature greatly. I'm still holding out hope here too.

And, Izzie and Simon? Well, let's just it already! Seriously!

City of Lost Souls is another of Cassie's famously captivating and emotional roller-coaster ride of a book. Readers should be warned, Cassie pulls no punches with her writing and once your hooked, there's no returning. Ever! I love that I don't always see through her storylines like I do with so many other authors. I might think something's not quite right, but I can never pin-point exactly what's off and then when everything blows up, I find myself saying WTF? Great stories should leave you wondering WTF on more than one occasion. At least in my opinion.

So go read and conquer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Guest Post & Giveaway} Spellbound Trilogy by Nikki Jefford

Title: Entangled
Author: Nikki Jefford
Series: Spellbound #1
Publisher: Self
February 20, 2012

(Entangled will be available on July 15, 2012 at Barnes & Noble)


Two months after dying Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body. As a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her back to life? Now Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body every 24 hours.

The race is on for Gray to find a way back inside her own body before Charlene purges her from existence.

Guest Post: Meet the Cast and Giveaway

Thanks to Kristin for the chance to introduce the characters of the Spellbound Trilogy here at Better Read Than Dead. Unfortunately, Graylee Perez is dead. But luckily her mother’s a witch with connections… which leads to a resurrection spell gone wrong.

Imagine if you were stuck inside your sister’s body and only a few people knew it was you. This is particularly problematic when your sis’s slimy boyfriend tries to grope you or you’re stuck hanging out with her snobbish friends.

Maybe Gray was better off dead...

Meet the Cast of Spellbound

Graylee Perez: Confident, quirky, and funny. Special ability: Invisibility.
Charlene Perez: The twin villain readers “love to hate.”  Special abilities: Floating, snapping in and out of clothes.
Raj McKenna: Bad boy with a good heart. This year’s YA heartthrob. Special abilities: Reading auras, healing, and freezing people in place.
Mrs. Perez: No sacrifice is too great when it comes to her daughters. Special ability: Turning sharp objects into spatulas.
Nolan Knapp: Mr. Nice Guy or wolf in sheep’s clothing? Special ability: Making things shrink.
Ryan Phillips: Charlene’s minion. Special ability: Blocking magic.
Adrian Hedrick Montez: Sexy, crafty, dangerous. Special ability: Body transfers.
Blake Foster: Run of the mill jock who wouldn’t know a witch if she hit him upside the head with a broomstick.

Nab your free copy of Entangled this week during amazon promo days (May 23, 24, & 27) and get to know the characters better. Book two, Duplicity, releases this week. And don’t miss the Cover Reveal of book three, Enchantment, at designer Najla Qamber’s review site: Unputdownable Books on June 7th.

Enter to win the SPELLBOUND SWAG PACK (International)

  • Evil Eye Amulet and Bracelet: In Duplicity, Gray wears an evil eye pendant, also known as a nazar, to protect herself from a spell that’s causing havoc over the witches and warlocks in her coven. The evil eye (a Turkish amulet) is used for both luck and protection against envy.
  • Two Headed Quarter: Two Grays are better than none and two heads are better than one, especially when flipping over who gets to choose which movie to watch with a trick coin. Adrian returns in Duplicity and opens a magic shop.
  • Entangled bookmark

Links to Nikki's blog and twitter are at the top of this post, easy for you to find!

Check out these amazing videos: 


And Duplicity...

Thank you to Nikki Jefford, author extraordinaire, for allowing me to take part in this Blog Tour! It's been a blast!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

{Cover Reveal} Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies by Cynthia Cooke

Another amazing cover reveal from the people at Entangled Publishing. This ones from their new imprint, Dead Sexy. And I'm telling you, this girl looks both deadly and sexy. As an exciting Mother's Day present, Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies by Cynthia Cooke is now on sale at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies  by  Cynthia Cooke
Add it to your Goodreads TBR List


Family secrets must be kept, and painful wounds must be ignored.
After an all-out assault by a vicious terrorist bent on destroying her entire family, a former government agent must break the strict rules she has always lived by when she emerges from hiding to reluctantly accept the help of her all-too-sexy ex-lover. Running a deadly race against time, they rush to rescue her kidnapped sister, find her missing father, and bring the notorious villain to justice. But nothing ever goes as planned. Bullets fly, danger abounds, and their passion reignites even faster than the lies are flowing. But their stubbornly held secrets just might spell the end of their rekindled love and hopes for the well as their very lives.

Be sure to connect with Cynthia at:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Well, Now I've Really Gone and Done It

I know, I know...this is a book blog, but bear with me for a moment here...And yes, it's a long post, but awe-inspiring, I assure you!

Today, I hopped on Facebook for a couple of minutes between writing a highly dreaded review, beta-reading, editing, and yes...writing. Where's the reading you ask...a few more hours into the night. I hope. Anyway, I digress. While checking status updates and the like, I came across a post shared from my hometown newspaper and it got me to thinking about the state of humanity, if you will.

I should preface this by saying, the town I hale from had a population of 2,004 people in 2009, so...

What will we do about Billy? - The Eagle Press, Fritch, Texas

Editor’s Note: Many know of a local man who walks the streets in and around Fritch. Most are scared of him. Sometimes he just stands or sits by the road or in a field. Sometimes he is yelling at the unseen people around him. Most do not know that there is not much to be done legally for or about this man. Many in our community never expected homelessness to find its way to Fritch. The following is a post concerning Billy by a Fritch PD officer and his opinion about this issue reprinted here with permission.

By Officer Jeffrey Schiller
Local law enforcement departments have received hundreds of calls on Billy in the past few years. Billy, like 50% of this country’s 750,000 homeless people living on the streets every night, suffers from a serious mental illness.

I received a call on Billy this morning, like I have dozens of times in the past, and ended up meeting him in the city park, where he slept last night without a blanket. During our conversation I learned the only thing Billy had to eat for the past couple of days was a small bag of Cheetos, which I believe he found in the trash.

He didn’t complain though, and refused medical attention for the severe sunburn on his face. He didn’t ask for a hand out and didn’t complain about being bothered by the police again. However, when I offered to get him some food and a ride he humbly accepted.

I want to believe the shameful happenings in our country are due to a lack of awareness in most communities. I truly don’t believe anyone really knows that State and Federally funded mental institutions were shut down in the 70’s. I can only presume most people believe the homeless have options available to them for welfare, housing, food and medical treatment.

Well, it’s time to open some eyes… Ladies and gentlemen, there is NOTHING. No funding, no homeless shelters willing to house the mentally ill for an extended period of time, no mental institutions to care for them, NOTHING!

Where does that leave us? Currently, society has resulted to “shooing” the problem away by criminalizing homelessness; the ol’ “out of sight, out of mind” theory.

This has to stop and I’m calling on my brothers in blue to lead their communities by being examples of compassion. I am asking each and every one of you to spread Acts of Random Kindness and to help these individuals when you can. Whether its food, drinks, a blanket, a lift to an abandoned building on a cold night or even a pack of smokes, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing something.

As individuals our impacts on the “Billys” of our community will be small, but as a community our overall impact will be tremendous. With a little luck, the examples we set will eventually be reflected by someone who may be able to get Billy off the street.

Sadly, not many Americans know the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. But engraved on one of the most powerful symbols of our nation you will find the following words:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
- Emma Lazarus

Apparently our government has forgotten the promises She made to Her people. Therefore, it is up to Her people to stand up and respond to the atrocities we face right here in Fritch, Stinnett and Borger America. It is up to the communities to comfort their weak when they can by being compassionate, kind and humble. It is the responsibility of every Christian to ask his or her self “What would Jesus do?”

Whatever your beliefs, something must be done on an individual level. Each of us is responsible for the depravity Billy is living in, but fortunately we are also Billy’s chance for hope.

Mahatma Ghandi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I speak from experience, and promise that if you can find it in your heart to swallow your pride and spare a moment of that “oh so busy” schedule to give just ONE SIMPLE Act of Random Kindness, you will make a difference.

Good luck my friends. I hope Billy’s story has at least touched one of you.

I am also proud to say that a dear and awesome friend offered these words on the post...only an excerpt of his awesomeness, I assure you. Oh, and did I mention a brilliant musician as well?
"The rules of basic humanity don't end when someone suffers from a mental illness. The rules of basic humanity don't end when someone suffers from an addiction. Did you ever stop and think why someone may have chosen to escape harsh realities through the use of mind altering chemicals? Or would you rather choose to think that only weak minded people choose this road? Now picture yourself suddenly without a job. You have lost your home and have no means to shower. You have no food and your clothes are falling apart. You are either too cold, too hot, wet, or sunburned. Now add on the increased pressure of knowing that people are avoiding you and just "wishing that you would go away".
No, I'm not trying to wage a war, only hoping people will take the time to think about those less fortunate than themselves and attempt to put themselves in another person's shoes for only a minute. It shouldn't matter whether you are democrat or republican, liberal or conservative...we're all humans and while some things may be a personal choice, many others aren't.

It is proven that many, if not most, drug addicts are self-treating a psychological disorder of some type, whether it be as common as depression or as rare as schizophrenia. No, most of these people don't even realize this is what they are doing. They've never been diagnosed, much less been treated. It has also been proven that addiction, in itself, is a mental illness set in motion by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. (HERE'S a great article, Addiction: 60 Minutes that ran a couple of weeks back. Excellent information.) Oh, and if you're wanting some really great lyrics about this type of subject, check out Eminem's Not Afraid Video, you can find the Lyrics HERE. Whether you love him or hate him, this is a great tune.

Also, here's something else for you to think about...because the government has shut it's doors to the mentally ill, a much greater portion of healthcare, your taxes...are being spent treating Diabetes and Lung Cancer. Both, in most cases, preventable. Mental illnesses...not so much.

So...what am I asking of you? Two things really. 

You see, I believe the book world is filled with amazingly kind and educated people who want the best out of the world. We're artists at heart and we'll root for the underdog until he's been laid to rest and, quite possibly, even then. Who hasn't read the Shade Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready? Logan Keeley anyone?

First and foremost, I want to call your attention to the people like Billy in your area. I'm backing Officer Schiller's words and calling not only you, but myself also, to action.

I'm not asking you to endanger yourself or anything crazy like that, but, my sister simply carries extra protein bars and water in her car and when she rolls across a homeless person on the streets, she hands them food and water. She nor I any longer live in Fritch. We've both graduated to bigger cities. Me, only slightly, her...greatly. And if you can't do that...can you take a  minute to hold the door open for an elderly or disabled person? How 'bout a mom pushing a stroller? Can you offer a simple smile to someone who looks like they could use one? See...I knew you could do something. And guess what, it didn't cost you a dime.


Last but not least, THINK before you judge OR speak. I'm betting that somewhere in your life, long or short, you've made a mistake, something you'd like to change. I'm betting that someone said or did something harsh, causing you to feel hurt. Do you remember what your first heartbreak felt like...I do, it was horrible. Don't ever forget these things. Become self-aware and keep your humanity. Isn't there enough wrong in the world without us adding to it?

And people...perfection existed only once in humanity, depending on your beliefs. I'm not perfect, that you can bet your life savings on...not that anyone would bet against you...I couldn't list all my flaws if I had to, and, in all honesty, I don't want to be a perfect person, just a better person, on a consistent basis. Too much stress in being perfect.

{Book Review} Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Series: Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
Genre: Adult (18+) Romance, Erotica
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
May 26, 2011


When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

I cannot stress this enough...these books are not written for teens or young adults who might be easily influenced.

Well, after skimming through other reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey on Goodreads, I admit to being a little nervous in writing this review. Quite honestly, outside of a full-on book report, book reviewing is a subjective matter, meaning that what appeals to me, might not appeal to you and vice versa...that being said, I, personally, enjoyed EL James' writing, often finding myself laughing out loud because of humor or the sheer absurdity of any given situation.

When you take time to stop and think, how many of the books you read are, or are destined to be, classic literary works of art? I understand that most of what I read is a type of pop-culture and serves, at best, as a lovely escape and form of immense entertainment. The same thing can be said about movies and television but rarely do these two cause as much heated debate and mud-slinging as books do. I wonder why that is?

So, what can I tell you about Fifty Shades of Grey that you don't already know. Very little, I'd guess. Yes, it was originally written as fan-fic based around the Twilight Series. A very adult piece of fan-fic, I'll give you, but fan-fic all the same. Christian, a control-freak, ego-maniac, falls for Anastasia, a plain looking, clumsy college student. Remind you of another love/hate couple?

Anastasia, quite literally, stumbles into Christian Grey's office on a mission for her school newspaper. Her roommate, the editor, is ill and Ana is forced to interview the illusive and powerful businessman in Kate's place. The first words out of Ana's mouth lead Mr. Grey to believe that Ana is a natural submissive. He stalks her, traces her cell phone, and becomes easily angered when other men come near Ana and this is all before his proposed relationship...if that's even what you could call such an arrangement. He couldn't be more wrong, and much to his surprise, he likes Ana's feistiness and smart mouth. He likes that she challenges him.

Unlike Bella, Anastasia doesn't go leaping into anything head first. She listens to Christian's proposal and does her research before deciding to give his "lifestyle" a chance. It doesn't take either of them long to figure out she's not cut out to be a submissive and could it be that Christian actually wants something other than what he's always had? Ana's realization and walk-of-shame out of his life may be the thing Christian needs to control his inner control-freak. What a conundrum!

Yes, this book is taking over the media. Yes, I gave into the hype and read it. Yes, I saw the similarities between this novel and Twilight. Yes, I am a Twilight fanatic and I'm not ashamed. Yes, I also enjoyed reading E.L. James' writing and Christian's and Ana's relationship. The book picked up pace significantly when the highly acclaimed e-mails began flying back and forth between the couple. I kind of loved that Ana could be so honest with Christian from behind a computer screen. Reminded me a little of myself and, before we judge, aren't we all a little braver when cloaked?

Would I recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to my friends? Only with a strong cautionary warning about the amount of, not only sexual content, but also of the BDSM content. Also, Christian is fervently screwed in the head...I haven't figured it all out yet, but I suspect his childhood sucked the normalness out of him, because while he's drop dead, smoldering sexy, he is also demented.

While I always love comments, and I do, please follow the Golden Rule and do as you would have done to you. I always encourage thoughtful and polite debate...our differences ARE what makes the world a more interesting place, so embrace them and respect them...ALWAYS. (This includes any comments posted to this review on Goodreads. I DON'T DO DRAMA! She says in *Yelly Caps*)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

{Cover Reveal} A Fall of Water by Elizabeth Hunter

Guys, I've go to tell you, Elizabeth Hunter's Elemental Mysteries series is one of my favorite series ever. She is a self-published with some serious talent. A Fall of Water is the fourth and final book of the series and I cannot wait to see what Gio and Bea have in store for us this one last time.

“No secret stays hidden forever.”

Still grieving from their loss in the far East, Giovanni Vecchio and Beatrice De Novo discover that for them, all roads really do lead to Rome. But nothing is quite as it seems in the Eternal City. Joined by Carwyn and Tenzin, unexpected clashes greet them almost immediately, and rivalries churn beneath the glittering facade of the old Roman court. They quickly realize that allies might be enemies, and ancient rivals could hold the key to a deadly secret.

Giovanni and Beatrice will be forced to call on old alliances, ancient power, and fierce cunning to survive for the eternity they both desire. Sometimes, finding the end means going back to the beginning. Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water finally meet with devastating results in the conclusion of the Elemental Mysteries.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where I've Been and #DaemonInvasion

Sorry if it seems like I've been hiding or lost lately. This is mostly because...well, I was hiding. Quite honestly, I'm freaking exhausted from the #DivergentNation promotion and needed a little time off from my blogging duties, but never fear, I'm back with a vengeance. We've got another, although less stressful, promotion heading our way.

Yes, Better Read Than Dead is heading up a #DaemonInvasion Street Team. We are calling ourselves #DaemonsDreamers and we couldn't be happier to be helping Jennifer L. Armentrout re-enter the smoking hot Daemon Black to the world! Obsidian will re-release on May 15, 2012 and Obsidian will release in August. If you've not started reading this funny and spine-tingling series, you should do so as soon as possible. 'Cause once you see Daemon Black, you can never go back.

My team is made up of myself and 8 other lovely ladies and we are #DaemonsDreamers.

Elizabeth - Australia
Tiffany - Tumblr

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

{#TeamAmity} The Faction that Won

Wow guys! It's been an amazing month. 50 bloggers joined together to support the release of Insurgent by Veronica Roth! We were divided into 5 factions: Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Candor, and finally Amity! As a part of #TeamAmity, I got to work with a group of amazing bloggers and met some truly amazing people along the way. 

HarperTeen, just minutes ago, made the official release announcing the winner.

Yes, that is in fact Veronica Roth, and you heard her right... We did it. #TeamAmity WON but that's not really the important part. The five factions worked together to make Insurgent a success. The book is simply amazing and I hope each of you will take the time to read the Divergent Series.

I want to give a huge thanks to HarperTeen and Veronica Roth for including Better Read Than Dead in this promotion. I also want to acknowledge my wonderful faction member and encourage each of you to follow and participate with each of these blogs. All are phenomenal!

Team Amity:

Meg @ DivergentLexicon
Abigail @ All Things Urban Fantasy
Amanda @ Hippies, Beauty, and Books OH MY!
Emily @ Emily's Reading Room
Lisa @ A Life Bound by Books
Melissa @ I Swim For Oceans
Sara @ Forever Young Adult


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