Monday, February 27, 2012

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [26]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for.  

 Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
[AUGUST 28, 2012]

What's worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you're treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there's the evil king who's determined to rule the world unless you can stop him...

Meet Kaya, a young woman with the power to heal and the determination to fight. But struggle as she will, she remains tied to three very different men: a hero who has forsaken glory, a tyrannical ruler who wants to use Kaya, and a warrior who's stolen her heart. Kaya learns the hard way that some ties can't be broken...and blood is the strongest bond of all.
[JULY 5, 2012]
I stumbled upon some amazing reads that are coming out this year!  I am dying to read these two novels, they both have awesome synopsis and the model on the cover both look fierce! 

What books are you waiting for? Leave links in the comments! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway with J.J. Bidell

Please welcome J. J. Bidell to Short & Sweet reviews. J.J. Bidell’s In the Shadow of the Moonlight- The Awakening (e-book) was released August 21, 2011.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love traveling to America (North and South) and enjoy meeting people. I was very upset not being able to speak to Spanish speaking people during my tours so I went to Venezuela to study Spanish ten years ago. Without knowing a word of this language I felt lonely and without friends. Nobody spoke English or German. There I start writing. I wrote to my family and friends the adventures I lived there and got hooked on writing. After beginning I never stopped, took classes in creative writing as well as screenplay writing. 
Describe “In the Shadow of the Moonlight- The Awakening” in 140 words or less.
Naomi has grown up overprotected due to a big family secret and her only wish to break out and start living her own live without the observant eyes of her grandma. After receiving a scholarship abroad in Maine her granny tell her the secret. Naomi will soon be transformed into a panther. But who could believe a story like that? 

Once she arrives to the University she makes new friends.  But strange things start to happen to Naomi, she learns that her grandmother wasn't making up stories. Things start getting worse and Naomi doesn't know who to trust. Were-panther can't have human lovers, but if they do they must never find out their partner's secret. Those are the rules, but Naomi refuses to abide by it which leads to more conflicts, not only for her but for her love Roman.

What inspired you to write In the Shadow of the Moonlight?

Well, my nieces are not interested in crime stories not even in my ones. Kids are cruel and honest and I love this. But they asked me why I am not writing something for them like an urban fantasy story without werewolves and vampires and I promised them to consider it. 
I wrote this story under the name J. J. Bidell. (The name comes from my nieces Jessica and Janine and the maiden name of my beloved mother Bidell)
My nieces love the story and other readers in Germany like the story too. So I asked a professional translator in Washington to translate the first part for English readers. Some people asked me, why English spoken people should read a novel of an unknown German author and I was not able to answer. But I nor know the answer why German readers are reading the stories of authors from other countries … maybe it is only while the story sounds interesting? I will see if they like the story. The time will show.

What sort of research did you do for In the Shadow of the Moonlight?

As I traveled to Mexico before I remembered a legend of jaguar people in the Maya era and I started thinking: What will happen, when a young woman in present time will be transformed into a panther in a foreign country living there by her own? What if she fell in love and this love will be in danger? Slowly the plot grew up. I traveled to Maine for finding the right place for the US setting and after a year the first part of novel has been done. I love the nature and the people there.

I think it is important to now the place of the setting. The second part is taking place in London and Barcelona. Two cities I love very much. For the movement of the panthers I looked a lot of documentaries as my black long-haired cat at home is nice and funny but not a real panther.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am a plotter but often my figures are going their own way. I keep the main plot but the ways to go to the end of the story is very open.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I am working in the marketing department in a real estate company on Mallorca. I work only three days a week and use the other days for working in my novels. My boss is a really nice lady and her support is great. For Christmas she made me a very nice gift. The perfume “One Million” with the message “I wish you will sell the same amount in books”.  Isn`t she great?

 What project are you working on now?
At the moment I am working in the third and last part of the series. 

Will you have a new book coming out soon?

The second part “The Trail” of the series came out in January this year in Germany and a book with short stories with the setting of Mallorca came out in November as an e-book. The translation for both is planned. The short stories will be out as a print edition at the end of February and the publisher told me it will be out in English within this year.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism has been a reader of the first part of this series. For her it was not sufficient to tell me on amazon that she hate the story (that could happen and I can handle all kinds of opinion, I am aware that not everyone will like it) but she googled me and wrote me via homepage-email a three-page-letter how she hate my story and my style of writing and my way of living!, like an author and person. It was a very bad and hateful read but I know some people make things like that to feel better themselves. I deleted the message without answering. The best compliment has been that a book-blogger told me after reading the first and the second part of the series that I am her favorite fantasy author and she chose it series of the year. That was a very great feeling.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Believe in your dreams and work every day on your novel. Read and write a lot and never give up.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you very much for reading an unknown author from abroad. I hope you have enjoyed reading the story and I feel really sorry for not offering a perfect translation till now. Another translator is overworking it for offering a better read. 
My only intention is to entertain the reader for some hours. Nothing more, nothing less. If I achieve this I am very happy and if not I try to achieve this next time as far as I gain it.

Thank you for joining us at Short & Sweet Reviews! 

Thank you for the possibility to present myself to your readers :) 

My review of In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening can be found here.

In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening


 Naomi Roberts finally receives a scholarship for a semester abroad in Maine. When Naomi’s grandmother suddenly claims that Naomi will soon be transformed into a panther, like her great grandmother Romina, Naomi believes it is a final and desperate attempt to keep her from departing to the USA.

Having arrived in Maine, Naomi enjoys her student life with new friends and her first love, Roman. Even though she feels magically drawn to a mysterious clearing in the woods, believes she is being watched and begins to sleepwalk, she does not remember the prophecy of her grandmother. Until her very first transformation. And - Naomi is not alone, which not only exposes her to mortal danger, but also Roman.


J. J. Bidell grew up in the country-bred of Southern Germany with an older sister and a younger brother. Since she was 18 years old she travelled every year like a backpacker thru the North and South America as she never felt comfortable in her native country. She considers herself like a cosmopolitan with German roots.  After living in Venezuela and in the Dominican Republic she moved to Spain. Since 2005 she lives on Mallorca with her older sister and her fifteen year old black cat, which is more than happy that she never has to set paw in another airplane again. 

Under the name Elke Becker she published several short stories with Amnesty International, in anthologies, a short story book the pmachinery Publishing House and a novel with Schenk Publishing House. Her script of a short movie “Marie´s voice” has been running in several international film festivals like in the UK and Colombia.

 Want to learn more about J.J. Bidell?
Twitter: @JJBidell

 J.J. Bidell has generously offered to give away (1) one copy of In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening to one lucky winner! To enter please leave a comment along with your e-mail address. Open Internationally! Winner will be chosen on March 2, 2012. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Short & Sweet Reviews: In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening by J.J. Bidell

Title: In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening
Author: J.J. Bidell
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction
Series: In the Shadow of the Moonlight #1

Where did I get this book?: Review e-book provided by the author.

Book can be purchased here at

Summary (via Amazon): 
Naomi Roberts finally receives a scholarship for a semester abroad in Maine. When Naomi’s grandmother suddenly claims that Naomi will soon be transformed into a panther, like her great grandmother Romina, Naomi believes it is a final and desperate attempt to keep her from departing to the USA.

Having arrived in Maine, Naomi enjoys her student life with new friends and her first love, Roman. Even though she feels magically drawn to a mysterious clearing in the woods, believes she is being watched and begins to sleepwalk, she does not remember the prophecy of her grandmother. Until her very first transformation. And - Naomi is not alone, which not only exposes her to mortal danger, but also Roman.

My thoughts:
In the Shadow of the Moonlight is the first book in a series by German author J.J.Bidell.  I am a big fan of shifter-related books and was very excited when I found out that the main heroine of the novel is a ‘’supposed’ were-panther. I say “supposed” because Naomi is about to go to the US on a school scholarship but her grandmother is trying to stop her. Her grandma warns Naomi that she too is descended from a line of were-panthers like her great-great grandmother and that it’s not safe for her to leave. Naomi dismisses her grandmother’s warning as crazy talk believing she’s only saying that to keep her home in Germany. It turns out that her grandmother’s warning wasn’t just talk, and it’s more dangerous in Maine than she thought.

The prologue of the novel caught my attention immediately, and that doesn’t happen often. This was a very quick read, I think the PDF pages clocked out at a little fewer than 200 pages.  The pacing of the novel was well done, and it didn’t feel too rushed. I think this will appeal to many readers who enjoy young adult fiction or paranormal fantasy. As other reviewers noted this is a translated edition with some grammatical errors, but it does not affect the story. My only wish was that there were more paranormal elements to the novel. The first half of the book felt like a contemporary book and we didn’t get to learn/see about Naomi transformation until a couple chapters before the end. 

The book ended with a shocking cliff hanger, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Overall a good read! Don’t let the cover stop you from reading this book, it’s definitely a book worth checking out! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop Winner


Congratulations! Please reply back to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will need to be drawn. Thank you to everyone that entered, there will be another giveaway this week!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox [20]

 In My Mailbox is a feature that was started over at The Story Siren. Where we share what books we receive in the mail each week.
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista
Shadow City by Diana P. Francis 
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams  
What did you get this week? Leave a link in the comments so I can visit your blog! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [25]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for.  

Summary: Wildefire #2
The summary is currently not available so I give you the summary of the first book in the series, Wildefire. 
Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She's struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve's violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California's redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn't go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school--being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger--Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood...and she's one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she's got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time... And when warm and cold fronts collide, there's guaranteed to be a storm.

[August 28, 2012] 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Short & Sweet Reviews: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Title: Switched
Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction
Series: Trylle #1

Where Did I get this book?: Bought it for my own pleasure reading.

Trade Paperback, 293 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

Summary (via Goodreads):
When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

My Thoughts: 
Switched is the first book in the Trylle trilogy, which was previously self-published but then acquired and reprinted by St. Martin’s Griffin. The main heroine of the novel is Wendy Everly, a changeling  (troll) that was switch at birth to live with a human family. Wendy been moving from town to town, getting kicked out of school because of her temper and her I don’t give a ---- attitude. Finn (Tyrlle Tracker) has been watching Wendy for awhile now waiting for the precise moment to bring her home. Then one day he catches her using her persuasion abilities (The ability to get people to do whatever you want by using your mind). Finn tells Wendy that he can take her to a place that will make her happy and make her feel like she belongs. It turns out that Wendy is no ordinary troll, but is actually a princess! This is not the happily ever after that she imaged as she learns the traditions and rules of Trylle. Meanwhile another rival group will stop at nothing to take Wendy for their own.  

I’ve heard of this series before but never got around to reading it. To be honest I don’t usually read self publish book, but when I saw the re-issue cover of the book I knew that I had to give it a try. I was definitely surprised that the book involved trolls and not the typical vampires, werewolves or fairies in many of today young adult novels. However, the trolls in this book apparently look like humans but with special abilities (kinda sound like x-men huh?). The world of Trylle is a fun addition to the young adult genre; especially enjoyed reading about the political/hierarchy aspect of the trylle community. Although the world-building isn’t as strong as some series I’ve read, I did like reading about it and all of its wonderful primary and secondary characters. The beginning of the book started out kind of slow, but things definitely picked up when she arrived in Forening. Overall a good read and I look forward to reading Torn, book 2 in the Trylle trilogy.