Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Not your Ordinary Wolf Girl by Emily Pohl Weary

Title: Not your Ordinary Wolf Girl
Author: Emily-Pohl Weary
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Series: N/A

Paperback, 223 pages
Publication: September 24, 2013 by Amazon Children's Publishing

Source: Arc from publicist 

BuyAmazonBook Depo

Sometimes Living in the Big Apple Really Bites!

Eighteen-year-old rock star Sam Lee isn't like other girls. She's the super-talented bass player and songwriter for an all-girl indie band and an incurable loner. Then one night after a concert in Central Park, she's attacked by a wild dog.

Suddenly, this long-time vegetarian is craving meat--the bloodier, the better. Sam finds herself with an unbelievable secret and no one she trusts to share it. And so begin the endless lies to cover up the hairy truth...

When a new girl gang appears in the city--with claws and paws--Sam suspects there's a connection to her own inner beast. Trapped in a tug-of-war between her animal and human selves, forced to choose between the guy who sparked her carnal appetite and the one who makes her feel like a normal teenage girl, Sam has to unravel the mysteries of the werewolf world before her bandmates, her mother, and the media catch up to her.

I LOVE werewolves/shifter types of books, and when I first heard about NOT YOUR ORDINARY WOLF GIRL…I knew this book would be right up my alley! The story is narrated by Sam Lee, a lead guitarist and lyricist for an all girl band, The Cream Puffs (cute band name right?!). On the way home after one of her shows, she is attacked by two vicious ‘dogs’ in the park but thankfully it was a minor flesh wound. The next day she starts to notice changes, especially her appetite like cravings for meat when she’s a vegetarian! Sam always been a lone wolf figuratively speaking but now she’s literally turning into a wolf, and part of a pack whether she wants to be or not.  

I really liked Sam; she isn’t your typical eighteen-year-old or rock star. Sam doesn’t care about the fame or being in the limelight. She’s happy to let her other two band mates take center stage, while she rocks out in the background. Sam is pretty shy, quiet, and cares about keeping her life as private as she can. It’s refreshing to see she isn’t like the norm cookie cutter rock star type. I also enjoyed seeing Sam’s reaction leading up to finding out she’s a werewolf…which surprisingly took a bit longer than I expected. It didn’t click for Sam that something was terribly wrong when she was eating meat nonstop instead she had to see herself partially transformed to come to the realization that she’s not human anymore. She handles the whole werewolf dilemma pretty well, and even though she still adjusting; she finds time to help other ‘mutant girls’ dealing with the same problem.

There is a love triangle in this book, which I’m not a fan of. To make matters worse the two love interests’ interactions with Sam felt passive. Their supposed feelings for one another don’t feel real or genuine and I found myself having a hard time connecting and believing it. Plus for the first time ever in love-triangles, I find myself disliking both male leads. Everything happens too quickly, with the events only spanning a couple of days. Bouncing off the subject of connection, I also had a difficult time connecting with the secondary characters. They felt one-dimensional and nothing but background props. The main characters are pretty much just Sam and the two love interest. Supporting characters are important to me in a story, so I hope I get to learn more about Sam’s band mates ,her family, and  her new pack (if there is a sequel).  

Overall, NOT YOUR ORDINARY WOLF GIRL is a fun-cute read. There were a few minor flaws but that’s understandable with it being a first book (in what I hope is a start to a new series). This book has a lot of potential to be a great series, especially with how it ended. I want to find out what happens to Sam, Owen, which guy she’ll pick and the mutant girls (sequel please)! If you’re looking for something light and not too serious, then this is the book for you. I recommend this to all paranormal fans…and if you love weres/shifters like me…definitely give this book a try!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Title: Antigoddess
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Paranormal-Mythology YA
Series: Goddess War #1

Hardcover, 333 pages
Publication: September 10, 2013 by Tor Teen

Source: Publicist


Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I love mythologies and Greek is one of my favorites, although to be honest I only know the bare minimum on it. I always jump on the chance to read or watch anything relating to Greek mythology because who doesn’t like reading about gods and goddesses?! Ms. Blake’s ANTIGODDESS is the first book in her new Goddess War Series, and boy was I pleasantly surprised by how dark it was. I’ve never read her Anna series (which is horror) and I knew from the cover that it was going to be dark but this book is….super creepy and chilling dark (in a good way). 

Blake’s gods and goddesses are like I’ve never seen them before. The book opens to Athena and her brother Hermes walking across the desert in search of answers to their demise from their aunt Demeter.  All Demeter tells them is to find the Oracle, Cassandra of Troy. The gods/goddesses are reincarnated and are in their late teens (except Hera, Poseidon who are obviously older) and they’re not what you expect when reading about them or their description. For example, Athena is the goddess wisdom, courage, and justice etc. but Blake’s description of Athena is probably the opposite when the word wisdom/justice comes to mind.  Athena apparently has black hair with some parts dyed a color (was it a purple streak?, I forgot),tattoos on her arm, punkish clothes and Demeter did say she looks like a harlot! 

The book is narrated from multiple third person POV from Athena/Hermes making their way across the US in search of Cassandra of Troy and Cassandra/Aidan presently living normal lives as high school students. Some of the gods/goddess remembers their past life, while others don’t (usually the humans who are reincarnated like Cassandra and other heroes of the past like key players in the Trojan War). The multiple viewpoints converge about halfway through the book when their lives intersect and Athena tries to convince/ or force Cassandra, and her friends to join her cause in fighting against Hera, Poseidon and Aphrodite. 

This is my first time reading Blake’s work (I have both Anna books in my TBR pile, which I will read eventually) and I am not disappointed. I love her writing style and the dedication in research she did for this novel which is plainly shown in the story and how she incorporated the mythology/characters to present day. The pace was good, and the amount of information/back history of the characters wasn’t too much or too little. The description of how each god is dying is really descriptive and gory and there were a few times the character used curse words. I find both of these aspects surprising since it’s a young adult novel…but then again most YA today are getter darker and darker. 

Overall, I enjoyed the ANTIGODDESS and am looking forward to reading more of this new series. The ending wrapped up pretty nicely and if I didn’t already know that this is the first book in a series I would have thought it was a standalone. Also if readers are hoping to find out ‘why’ the gods/goddesses are dying…you won’t find out in this first installment. I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially with how the book ended! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Guest Blog by Jon S. Lewis + Giveaway

I would like to give a big welcome to Jon S. Lewis, author of the
Grey Griffins series. Jon is here today to talk about his Kickstater campaign. His goal is to publish the next Grey Griffin novel and a charity anthology that he's collaborating with other incredible authors. For more details, continue reading the guest post below! 

The Silver Lining for Authors
by Jon S. Lewis

Sprig (Welsh faerie) by Imaginary
I haven’t been this excited about writing since I signed my contract with Scholastic.

The publishing industry is going through massive changes. Borders and Walden Books are gone and according to reports Barnes & Noble is going to shut 33% of its stores (Source).

Limited distribution and declining sales (Source) means that publishers have been forced to sign authors with massive sales numbers. That means midlist authors are in trouble. And if you’re trying to break in as a new author, you’ll need more than a dynamite book—you’ll also need a built in audience to buy your book (social media fans and blog subscriber).

The Silver Lining
Despite all the doom and gloom, there’s good news! According to BookStats, sales of e-book trade titles
Natalia and Brooke by Simone Kesterton
rose 44% in 2012 and e-books represent 20% of all books sold, which is up 4% from the prior year.

Companies like CreateSpace have made it easy for authors to go direct to market without a publisher, which means we have the ability to take control of our careers. Look at Amanda Hocking. She couldn’t find an agent who would represent her (much less a publisher) and she went from completely and totally unknown to literary rock star in less than a year.

Amanda isn’t alone. There’s Hugh Howey, John Locke, Rachel Van Dyken, H.M. Ward and dozens of others. And let’s not forget Barry Eisler, who turned down a $500, 000 advance.

I’ve talked about publishing my own books for years but I was worried about the stigma of being a self-published author and I didn’t want to upset my publishers. But everything is different now. Self-publishing has changed the paradigm forever and it’s time to jump in.   

Why I’m Self-Publishing Two Books Instead of One
My first self-published book is going to be Grey Griffins: Night of Dragons, the continuation of the Grey Griffins series that was published by Scholastic and Little Brown. But I wanted to do something different—something that would make a splash, so I enlisted some of my author friends to write an anthology of Grey Griffins short stories and 100% of the profits from that anthology will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation ( and Kids Need to Read (

And these aren’t just any authors … they’re some of the biggest names in the industry today:
  • Brandon Mull | NY Times Bestselling Author, Fablehaven
  • Aprilynne Pike | NY Times Bestselling Author, Wings
  • Frank Beddor | NY Times Bestselling Author, Looking Glass Wars
  • Michael Spradlin | NY Times Bestselling Author, Youngest Templar
  • Dean Lorey | Co-Executive Producer, Arrested Development
  • Shannon Messenger | Let the Sky Fall, Keeper of the Lost Cities
  • Tom Leveen | Party, manicpixiedreamgirl, Sick
  • Joseph Nassise | International Bestselling Author, Templar Chronicles
  • Matt Forbeck | Leverage: The Con Job based on the TNT television series
  • Janette Rallison | My Fair Godmother, Slayers
Ice Dragon
The Drawback with Self-Publishing
Each short story in the Grey Griffins anthology will be professionally edited. It will also have its own cover painted by the incredibly talented Scott Altmann ( The final product will look every bit as good as what the major publishing houses produce, but there’s a drawback. When you publish your own books you have to come up with the money to pay the artists and the editors, and those things don’t come cheap. That’s why I’m turning to Kickstarter.

Crowdsourcing with Kickstarter
Running a Kickstarter campaign gives readers the chance to pre-order the book. In turn I’ll invest the money into making an amazing product. And I know what it means to have a tight budget, so I made sure the pledge levels started at $1.

There are some fun rewards like custom Grey Griffins short stories, collectible character trading cards and sketches from the cover artist. For the writers out there, we’re offering the chance for a query letter review, a partial manuscript review, and even a Skype brainstorm session where I’ll help you come up with ideas for your story.

You can help fund the Kickstarter campaign >>>>here! <<<<

You Can Even Get Your Story Published in the Grey Griffins Anthology
Because I also have a passion for helping new writers break into the industry I thought the best way to do that with this project was to give someone a chance to get a short story published in the anthology. Your story will end up in the same book with all those New York Times bestselling authors. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, you can find the submission guidelines here:

Thank you
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your consideration to back the Kickstarter campaign. I’m going to need your help to make this project a reality, and I know that together we can do something incredible!

Jon is generously giving away a hardcover copy of his latest novel, The Paragon Prison (The Clockwork Chronicles #3) to a Short & Sweet Reviews reader! To enter please fill out the rafflecopter below :).

[US only]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Jon Samuel Lewis is an American writer best known for the acclaimed Grey Griffins series published by Scholastic’s Orchard Books. After selling nearly a million copies in the original trilogy, Lewis and his writing partner, Derek Benz teamed with Little Brown to publish the Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles. He is also the author of CHAOS Novels, a young adult urban science fiction series published by Thomas Nelson and has written for DC Comics. Lewis is also a marketing executive and content strategist who works with Fortune 500 companies on their digital marketing strategies. 


Books by Jon S. Lewis