Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

Mind of WinterMind of Winter, Laura Kasischke

Rating:  3.5 of 5 Stars

Source: Suspense

Publication: 3/25/2014, Harper

# of Pages: 288 (Hardback)

Source: Purchased

Synopsis from Goodreads: On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens, the fragments of a nightmare-something she must write down-floating on the edge of her consciousness.

Something followed them from Russia.

On another Christmas morning thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric were in Siberia to meet the sweet, dark-haired Rapunzel they desperately wanted. How they laughed at the nurses of Pokrovka Orphanage #2 with their garlic and their superstitions, and ignored their gentle warnings. After all, their fairy princess Tatiana-baby Tatty-was perfect.

As the snow falls, enveloping the world in its white silence, Holly senses that something is not right, has not been right in the years since they brought their daughter-now a dangerously beautiful, petulant, sometimes erratic teenager-home. There is something evil inside this house. Inside themselves. How else to explain the accidents, the seemingly random and banal misfortunes. Trixie, the cat. The growth on Eric's hand. Sally the hen, their favorite, how the other chickens turned on her. The housekeeper, that ice, a bad fall. The CDs scratched, every one.

But Holly must not think of these things. She and Tatiana are all alone. Eric is stuck on the roads and none of their guests will be able to make it through the snow. With each passing hour, the blizzard rages and Tatiana's mood darkens, her behavior becoming increasingly disturbing and frightening. Until, in every mother's worst nightmare, Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.

My Review:  I can't really delve too much into the plot because I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say that Mind of Winter is a clever little book by an equally clever writer. Laura Kasischke has a unique writing style that may seem, to some, repetitive or overwrought, but once you get used to it, the story is well worth the investment. It was engaging, though little was actually happening. Just seemingly mundane, normal things. I can't say that I didn't enjoy it because I did. I enjoyed it tremendously. I started reading before bed one evening and, in complete disregard for how I tired I would be at work the next day, I continued to read well into the early morning the next day. I didn't want to put it down and for the few brief minutes that I was forced to, I continued to think about the story, to try and puzzle it out. I read a ton of books so for a story to leave me guessing all the way to the end, is a rare occurrence. Mind of Winter did that and it did it well.

My main problem with Mind of Winter, then, is that I expected something else. The synopsis really gave me a supernatural/horror vibe that I never really felt while reading. I wasn't once frightened or on the edge of my seat, I was just confused. Albeit in a good way but confused nonetheless. That being said, I don't feel it's fair to judge a book too harshly based upon my own assumption of what the book would be about. That's not the book's fault. It's mine. Removing my bias, we are left with an engaging story and a memorable ending. I'd recommended it to fans of psychological suspense or mysteries. It's tension-filled but slow-moving, so if you're looking for action, this book isn't for you.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Empower: Fight Like a Girl Cover Reveal

May is Lupus Awareness Month so today I am participating in a cover reveal for Empower: Fight Like a Girl. Personally, I think it's an amazing cover and all proceeds go to a great cause.

Genre: Anthology of short stories ranging from crime mysteries to paranormal thrillers
Publisher: Words Empower Media
Release date: May 1, 2014

Praise for Empower: Fight Like A Girl

"Even non-girls will feel empowered by these stories about ordinary, flawed characters finding their own strengths. Highly entertaining and original." -  Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Chase and King City, whose mother lost her hearing to lupus.

Women of TV have united against lupus! Presenting Empower: Fight Like A Girl, a special collection of short stories by top women writers from some of your favorite shows, including: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Family Guy, Person of Interest, Grimm, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU, Star Trek: Voyager, Eureka, Twisted, The 100, Malcolm in the Middle, Millennium, Being Human, The Shield, Castle, Chuck, Gilmore Girls, and Game of Thrones. In this anthology, you'll discover supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedies, and more.

Authors contributing stories to this volume include:
  • Amy Berg
  • Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
  • Akela Cooper
  • Liz Edwards
  • Jane Espenson
  • Shalisha Francis & Nadine Knight
  • Lisa Klink
  • Pang-Ni Landrum
  • Lauren LeFranc
  • Kam Miller
  • Jess Pineda
  • Jennifer Quintenz
  • Lisa Randolph
  • Kay Reindl
  • Kira Snyder
  • Jeane Wong

  • All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Lupus Foundation of America to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Cover Reveal: Arcana by Jessica Leake

    Quick, look. I've brought you something pretty...

    Today I'm super excited to be part of the cover reveal for Arcana by Jessica Leake. I've been wanting to get back to posting regularly and I think this amazing cover reveal was the right way to start. It's gorgeous and I'm kind of in love with it. Now stop reading this and go gawk at the pretty.

    Release Date: November 4, 2014

    Book Summary:
    A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

    Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome—or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine’s family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London’s most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

    Through her late mother’s enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin—and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere—hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

    But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine’s arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor—even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

    With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?

    Author Bio:
    Jessica Leake has been in love with historical England ever since her first literary crush: Mr. Darcy. After embarking on a quest to bring her own intriguing and headstrong characters to life, she decided to quit her day job as a clinical therapist and spend her time weaving arcana with words. She lives in Greenville, SC with her brilliant husband, three painfully cute children, and two mischievous dogs. She invites you to visit her at jessicaleake.com.


    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    Waiting on Wednesday {28}: 3:59

    Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

    Today I'm featuring 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil.

    Synopsis from Goodreads:  Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

    Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

    Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

    Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

    But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

    By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

    Why I'm Waiting: I loved Gretchen McNeil's Possess and Ten so she's on my automatic pre-order list. Anything she writes I will buy. If you haven't read anything by her yet, you should.  She's amazing.
    3:59 will be released by Balzer + Bray on September 17th, 2013!

    Okay, so that's mine. What's your WOW pick this week? Also, if you want to participate, head on over to Breaking the Spine and link up!!