Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Short & Sweet Review is turning 1!

Hi Guys & Gals,

On August 1, 2012 Short & Sweet Reviews Blog will be turning 1 year! I can't believe it's been almost a year already, times flies by so fast.  I've ''met'' (talked) to a lot of great readers, bloggers and authors over the year. I would have never thought this blog would be where it is today, but this blog and I wouldn't be here without the support of all you readers, blogger, authors and publicist.

A special shout out to Anna @ Anna's Book Blog! When I first started this blog, and didn't know the in-and-out of blogging she was so kind; answering all of my questions. She also showed me awesome book related sites to help me start my blog, and without her I wouldn't have create a twitter or Facebook fan page account! Thank you Anna for guiding me in my first couple months of blogging. If you haven't been to her site, you should definitely head over there now! She also reads urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything paranormal related, I adore her blog.

 I know I haven't posted much in the last couple weeks, I just started a summer session for my college capstone class and it's taking up majority of my time reading and writing case analysis. For those who don't know what a capstone class is, it's a senior level class, where we demonstrate all that we learn from our major. In my case I'm a business management major, and this class is no joke. I only have two more weeks to go, so pray for me! LOL.

As a celebration and a thank you to all my readers/friends, I was thinking about doing a five day celebration giveaway!  I don't end the summer class till August 2, but was thinking about having the giveaway run from August 1-5 (one giveaway per day) and all giveaway will end on August 5. I'm planning to do separate giveaway for US and INT, majority will be US because it's too costly to ship to another country.

This is where I want your input. :) What would you like to see for the 1-year blogiversary?
- Books (from Amazon, or Book depository)
- ARCS (I have some hot upcoming titles!!)**update** June M. suggested that I give you a sneak peek/idea at what I have to offer, so that you can tell me if you're interested or not.
Entice by Jessica Shirvington
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
Claws by Mike & Rachel Grinti
Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake
Time between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
Every Day by David Levithan

- Gift Card (Amazon, or Book depository)
- Box of mystery used book (My books are always in great condition, I don't like bending the pages or spine)**update** Mostly YA, some PNR, UF...some might be new, used condition
- What are some of your favorite genre?
- Do you like swags (book marks, postcard)?

Please leave all comments on this post, I would really love to hear what you all think!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Review: God save the Queen by Kate Locke

Title: God Save the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk/Futuristic
Series:  The Immortal Empire #1

Hardcover, 354 pages
Published July 3, 2012 by Orbit


Reading level: 17 & up
Source: Publisher

London, present day - and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist.

She's the undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side effects include undeath) and Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day.

Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it's her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she's the prize in a dangerous power struggle - but she'll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself.

In Ms. Locke’s debut novel when the bacterium of the Black Death killed humans across Europe it also created new races from the aristocrats. The Plague resulted in a regulatory protein called the Prometheus Protein that turned aristocrats into either vampires or werewolves. When one parent is a vampire and the other a werewolf, the offspring is a hybrid, a goblin. Vampires and werewolves become the nobility of London, while the goblins live underground and are the most feared creatures (above vampires/werewolves). This world has humans, halvies, vampires, goblin and werewolves living in an open world, side by side. Our main heroine Alexandra ‘Xandra’ Vardan, a halvie, who is half vampire-half human is in search of her missing sister Dede. It turns out Dede was taken to Bedlam, a mental institution; because people think she gone ‘hatters’ mad for attacking an aristocrat. Days later Xandra receives a call saying that Dede committed suicide by setting herself on fire, but Xandra doesn’t believe it for one second. As Xandra sets out to find the truth about her sister, revelation about herself and the aristocrats government comes to light.

This was a fun book! I enjoyed the pacing of the story; there was enough mystery, action and snarky dialogue to balance everything out. The year is 2012 and Queen Victoria (vampire) is entering her 175th year of reign. The book had a steampunk-futuristic setting, and while the dialogue reflects that, half the time I thought I was reading a book set in our present day which wasn’t so bad. Xandra was a cool, kick-ass heroine, I loved everything about her. She’s confident, a natural born leader (works as a Royal Guard for the queen), she never doubts herself and with everything that happens to Xandra in this book (and boy is there a lot of stuff that gets dumped on her) you just got to admire her perseverance.

The characters that make up Ms. Locke’s world are so colorful and unique; it’s a world you definitely want to come back to over and over again. This is one of my top reads of 2012; I’ve never read a fantasy quite like this. It’s not your run of the mill vampires/werewolves novel, I highly recommend this to all steampunk, and urban fantasy fans. If you haven’t read a book in the steampunk/fantasy genre this book would be a great introduction to either genre. Go out and grab this book…it’s unquestionably a shelf-keeper!!

The book itself is nothing like I’ve ever seen either LOL (as pictured below). It’s a little bit bigger than a mass market paperback and smaller than a regular/typical hardcover. The book is a small hardcover, and what makes it different than other hardcover books? There’s no dust-jacket!! The cover is printed on the hardcover itself. I love it, it’s so small and light and if a mass market paperback and a hardcover had a baby this is what you would get :P. I wished more books were printed like this, and readers wouldn’t have to worry about taking their dust-jacket off to keep it from getting bent/ruined.

An example of the sizes (from left to right, mass market paperback, GSTQ hardcover, and a typical hardcover book) 
The cover is a great depiction of what you can expect from reading the book, and the model is a good representation of Xandra Vardan. Everything from the bright candy-red hair down to the clothing, the only thing that is wrong is Xandra’s eye color. The description in the book described the Vardan children with having green eyes, and the model on the cover has red/marron eyes other than that…everything is perfect. I wonder if the art department read the book lol, because while they did a great job; covers I’ve seen in the past sometimes have nothing to do with the book, or doesn’t give a good representation of the book.

**Thank you Orbit Books for providing me with this book for review**

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ebook deals & giveaway!

[Bonus excerpt]
Home Place and Far Harbor by Joann Ross are both available now for $3.99  until July 10th! Click the image above to purchase your copy today.

on sale for $2.99  until July 15th! Click image to purchase your copy today!

Available July 24th!
[GIVEAWAY, details at the bottom of the post]

On sale for $2.99 until July 15th, click on the image to purchase your copy today!

Available July 30th!
[GIVEAWAY, details at the bottom of the post]


 Gallery Books has generously offered a copy of An Unsuitable Bride (physical copy) by Jane Feather and a copy of Deception (physical copy) by Kris Kennedy to readers of this blog!  

If you would like a chance to win either copy please leave your pick, name/GFC username and email in the comments section.

U.S. only, books will be sent directly from the publisher.

Winners will be picked and notified on July 13, 2012!