Jul 20, 2012

Reading Mind's Review of Before I Wake

Before I Wake

[Note: Reading Mind's review contains spoilers for BIW]


If I Die…what can be said about this absolutely great book? It just shines with its brilliance, the fast-paced plot, the unforgettable characters and the sarcastic and witty lines written by the magic pen of Rachel Vincent.

"So, Kaylee, how's your first day back going?"


"Fine." As long as 'fine' could be defined as the half-way point between horrible and unbearable.

I thought I couldn't possibly love this book more than If I Die. Turned out I was totally wrong. I was hooked from the very first word (actually, from the dedication of the book) and I couldn't put it down. Kaylee is at her best; she's finally more confident, stronger than ever, even if she still has to work on accepting the fact that she's dead. She has some problems adjusting to her new non-life, but I love the way she acts, I love what she says…she has grown so much from the beginning and she is become a gorgeous independent woman. I loved the plot and the twists, all the unexpected things that happened (Avari! Hellion walking on earth! NOT GOOD) and I was stunned by Kaylee's new ability. Waiting for the next book is going to be an agony.

There is not a thing I didn't like in this books: Nash, my previously not-so-likeable Hudson brother, has kind of redeemed himself at my eyes. I can see how he struggles to get on track again and how he tries to protect Kaylee and I do hope he'll get better. Sabine has been a nice discovery, too. She's nicer than usual and I love her attitude and her bad-assness. She's starting to be less selfish and girl is smart. Tod…oh, well, what can I say about the most gorgeous, caring, loving and all-around GREAT reaper in the world?

“You're not lost, Kaylee. You can't ever be lost, because I'll always know where you are. And if I'm not there with you, I'm on my way, and nothing standing between us ill be standing for very long.”

See what I mean? He's absolutely perfect but he manages not to be arrogant. Kaylee and Tod are just the perfect couple and they fit each other perfectly. They are dealing with some nasty problems but they work in team, together with Nash, Sabine and Emma, and they great. I especially liked Kaylee's father in this book; he's finally come to term with the fact that Kaylee is a woman, even if he thinks he lost her now that she's kind of dead. I loved their conversations and the way he treats Tod.

This is not really a review, it looks like me gushing about how great the book was. It. Was. AWESOME. Rachel Vincent has done it again, she wrote a compelling, fast-paced, well-written and unputdownable story, a rollercoaster of emotions that won't disappoint the fans. Now, PLEASE, give me the next book!

RATING: 5 stars…no, wait, 5 supernovas!

Jul 16, 2012

Renee's Review of Before I Wake

Before I Wake

This book is…. something. I'm not quite sure what that something is just yet. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved it. Before I Wake dragged me onto an emotional roller coaster that left me a little shaken up. I must have literary vertigo. Yeah, that's it.

As always, this book was beautifully written without seeming to be too formal. As a reader, it's very important to me that each of the characters have a "voice." This sort of mental tenor I hear every time they speak, or in Kaylee's case, throughout the entire narration. The twisted mess that is my brain needs this as an anchor to tie the entire story together because without it, nothing seems real enough for me to believe it.

Each of the characters needs to be so defined that they create their own person. Someone that I can count on to maybe not always make the right decision, but one that makes sense for them. They have to be able to surprise me without making me feel skeptical, and they definitely have to make me miss them when they're gone.

Before I Wake had all of this and more: it was an entire whirlwind of craziness. It made me laugh so often that I was sore, and it made my heart swell with pride during those "awwwww…." moments. But I was so in shock throughout the entire thing that I don't think I fully came to terms with all that had come to pass until long after I reached the last page.

And that's when I broke down into tears.

Everything was kicked up another level from where things stood after If I Die. The stakes are higher, rules are broken, and suddenly everything is on the line because no one is safe anymore. All hell is about to break loose. Literally.

Rating: 5 stars

Jul 14, 2012

Helene's Review of Before I Wake

Before I Wake

[Note: Helene's review contains spoilers for BIW]

I’ve just finished reading BIW and the first thing I want to say is: Ouahhhhhh, this book is so so great.

I love this book and the fact that I won it with my participation to the Soul Screamers reading challenge makes me love it more.

How Rachel Vincent can have a so big imagination? There is always action and we never know what happens next, which dangers the characters will have to face.

In the beginning we were with Kaylee for her first day at school after her death. It’s very difficult for her because she is different now. During the entire book, I find that Kaylee is the same girl but in the same time she is completely different. The death makes her different. She has to get used to her afterlife and she needs time. Thankfully, Tod is here to help her. I love to see them together. They are for each other, they need each other. They love the other so much.

I love their first time together, it’s so sweet. Tod is so nice and cute. He wants that this first time means something for them both.

But Kaylee can’t spend her afterlife to just love Tod. The hellions are never far from her. Even dead, she has to fight them, to save her friends and family and to save her soul.

We don’t know what happens. People die again and souls are stolen. It’s not a new danger; it’s the same as always. Avari is here and more than ever he wants Kaylee’s soul. He finds a way to cross to the human plane. The author must have a very good imagination to find that because it’s so incredible. I could never find something like that.

And the end, I can’t believe that. It was so amazing. They face three hellions, and Emma dies but she comes back in Lydia’s body. The hellions are always a threat for everybody. How can we wait one year after an end like that? I want to read WAMS now even if I will be very sad after WAMS because it’s the last book.

I love so much Soul Screamers and the characters. They are like friends for me. I follow them during all the fights and I fear for them. Reading one of the Soul Screamers book is so intense.

And I’m so happy because I understand the entire book very well. After reading five full books and three novellas in English I think that I have a better understanding.

So I would like to thank again Rachel Vincent for this wonderful book and this wonderful series. She is a so great author and she has always time for her fans. It’s so amazing to have the chance to chat with her during the Soul Screamers chat.

I can’t wait for the BIW chat.

To conclude Before I Wake is so great and deserves a lot of read.

Jun 21, 2012

SSRC: If I Die Spoiler Chat



This is the last official spoiler chat with Author Rachel Vincent for the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge and it's this weekend! And we're talking all about IF I DIE!!! Finally!!!!!

While the awesome author will be having a spoiler chat for BEFORE I WAKE some time in July, she's doing that just because she's... well... AWESOME!

Every Soul Screamers book except for BEFORE I WAKE is up for discussion. So, I'm really going to have to try and not ask all those burning questions I have about all those shocking/amazing/oh em gee things that happened in BIW.... Wow, that's going to be tough.

So....

SAVE THE DATE!

DATE: Sunday, June 24th

TIME: 3:00PM Eastern/12:00 PM Pacific

LENGTH: Approx. 1 hour

WHERE: Rachel Vincent's chat room. CLICK HERE to read the author's post for details. A live link to the chat room will be posted on her blog 30 minutes beforehand for those of you who want to stop by early.

WHO: Anyone is welcome to join in, even if you didn't participate in the challenge.

DETAILS: This spoiler chat will be for spoilers from all books in the series, except for BEFORE I WAKE. So, if you have had a chance to read it before release, please, please, please don't ruin it for those who haven't.
***

I really hope you'll stop by for the chat. And be sure to have your questions ready because it is just so easy to forget them when the chat actually starts.

As the chat will be taking place in Rachel Vincent's chat room a login is required. So stop by a few minutes early so you don't miss anything! Because you won't be able to see what happened before you log in. And you won't be able to ask your questions until you're given a "voice."

And once again I just have to say thank you so much for participating in the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. You all made it such an amazing event to host and it would not have been nearly as fun without each and every single one of you there!

Jun 20, 2012

SSRC: Unclaimed Prizes

I know it's a little soon to create an "unclaimed prizes" post, but I'm trying to wrap up all the giveaways for the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge and I'm hoping this post will put those who have won prizes on notice.

I think I ordered and/or sent out - or am in the process of sending out - over fifty prizes at the end of this challenge. Between the participation post, the end of challenge giveaway, the month five prizes and the star winners, it added up to a LOT of prizes. And a lot of panic.

But I don't think anyone got lost in the shuffle.

There are a few winners I'm waiting to hear back from in response to their emails to me that I responded to. (Did that actually make sense?)

And there are a few prize winners who are awaiting the release of Before I Wake so that I can send the books to the author for signature.

I've got all books ordered from Amazon and The Book Depository for those who did email me with their details. Yay!

And I've sent the addresses to the author for the specialty bound book prizes!

IF YOU HAVE EMAILED ME AND I NEVER EMAILED BACK, PLEASE SEND ME ANOTHER EMAIL! OR SEND ME A TWEET!

But I really don't think I missed anyone.

So, that leaves those who haven't yet contacted me to claim their winnings. And there are just a few.

If you are one of the following, please be in touch so that I can order your prizes!


UPDATED 6/28/12

Ron @ Stories of My Life - you won a pre-order copy of BEFORE I WAKE. FORFEITED 6/28
Young Readers at Home - you won a signed copy of BEFORE I WAKE. CLAIMED!
YA Reader's Escape - you won a Rachel Vincent Book of Your Choice. CLAIMED!
Kiara @ Goodreads - you won a pre-order copy of BEFORE I WAKE. FORFEITED 6/28
The Cait Files - you won a pre-order of BEFORE I WAKE. CLAIMED!
Shaft's Words - you won a pre-order of BEFORE I WAKE. FORFEITED 6/28
Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives - you won a pre-order of BEFORE I WAKE. CLAIMED!

Thanks to everyone for being patient as I got everything sorted and ordered! I am so glad to hear that so many of you had fun! And I really do hope you can join in on the BEFORE I WAKE reading challenge that will run from JUNE 26-August 1!

Jun 18, 2012

A Thank You to ALL SSRC Participants


I wrapped up the challenge over at Fiktshun and announced the end of challenge winners there as well as highlighted all the stars of the challenge - those who either posted in all five months of the challenge or who received 10 points in the challenge.

But I wanted to thank and list ALL active challenge participants!

Without further ado, here they are in order of point values.


Hoping4More Simple Reviews 15
Smiling Ina's Bookish Corner 15
Aleksandra's Corner 15
p7 @ Bookeater/Booklover 15
Jen @ Midnight Book Thief 14
Deann @ Goodreads 13
Alaiel @ Librarian Mouse 13
Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal 13
Kristin @ Goodreads 13
Debbie @ Goodreads 13
Helene @ Facebook/SSRC 13
RiffsAndReviews 13
Melissa @ Goodreads 12
Kiara @ Goodreads 12
Renee @ SSRC 12
My Book Obsession 12
YA Readers Escape 11
Lucia @ Goodreads/Reading Mind SSRC 11
Kristin @ My Parahangover 11
April @ Books4Juliet 11
Tyawna @ Goodreads 11
Mandi Kay @ Never Too Fond of Books 10
Alba @ BookPics 10
Kat @ KHN 10
The Whispering of the Pages 10
Ron @ Stories of My Life 10
A Book Obsession 10
Ashley @ Wholly Books 10
Cinq @ To Tell the Time 10
Chandra @ Unabridged Bookshelf 9
Nicci @ Paper Dreams 9
Nicole (Dragonbee13) @ Goodreads 8
Shafts Words 8
Erin @ Paranormal Book Nook 8
Adriana @ Reading Fictional 8
Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf 8
Lis @ Nox-Invictus The Reader Lines 8
Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives 7
Herding Cats & Burning Soup 7
Reading in the Mountains 7
What the Cat Read 7
Pavan @ Goodreads 7
Carmen @ Coffeebookbandbat 7
Team Tod @ Facebook 7
Angie @ Pinkindle RR 7
Lea @ Goodreads 7
Tsk, Tsk What to Read 7
Psique @ Book Travels 6
Jo @ Once Upon a Bookcase 6
Emilies Book World 6
Geek Chic 6
Carina @ Fictional Distraction 5
Kate @ Epic Chocolate Fantasy 5
Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews & Goodreads 5
Emily Baker @ Facebook 5
Maricar @ Blackplume 5
Gabic Reads 5
Putting Pen to Page Heather 5
The Cait Files 5
Shaina Jachim @ Goodreads 5
Ali @ My Guilty Obsession 4
A World of Words 4
Angela @ Goodreads "Angie" 4
Raquel @ The Book Barbies 4
Hannah @ In the Best Worlds 4
Poppy @ Goodreads 4
Heather @ Goodreads 4
Krazzyme @ Young Readers 4
Nicole @ Bookaholics 4
The Savidge Way of Blogging 3
Random Musings of a Bibliophile Judy 3
Hackaroos Reviews 3
The Autumn Review 3
ShawnaLeAnn @ Dreaming In The Pages 3
Stephanie @ From Books Paradise 3
Sukies Bookends 3
Well Disordered Mind 3
Bookworm Brandee 3
[Bookish Comforts] 3
Enna @ Goodreads 3
Rose @ Read, Write, Leave 3
Mortality Bites 3
Paige (The Book Vulture) @ Goodreads 2
Emmalee Giantomasso @ Goodreads 2
Bella Collela/Paranormal Book Club/GR 2
Inspire Imagination 2
Magical Urban Fantasy Reads 2
Sierra @ Happily Never Ending 2
Tee @ Dreamingdreams 2
Ephrielle @ Hope, Love, and Happy Endings 2
Ella @ Goodreads 2
Delphine @ Goodreads 2
YA Sisterhood 2
My Thoughts On Surviving Life 2
Irene @ Goodreads 2
Candaces Book Blog 2
Nea Barabea @ My Life is a Fairytale 2
Fiction Freak 2
Ciara @ Lost at Midnight Reviews 2
Steph @ The Night Bookmobile 2
Book Lovers Paradise 2
Meg @ Goodreads 2
Paranormal Fantasy Addict 2
Melt My Heart 2
Jennifer (Nightshade) @ Goodreads 2
Katrina Whittaker @ Goodreads 2
Andrea @ The Bookish Babe 1
Ifrah @ Booksters Café 1
Lavished with Books 1
Nice Girls Don't Read Naughty Books 1
Bookish Things & More 1
Hannah @ Once Upon A Time 1
Michelle @ Mishelvesofbooks 1
Jay @ We Fancy Books 1
Katrina @ Bookish Things 1
Debbie @ Coffee Tea Dreamer 1

While I counted 119 active participants (including me), I only list 116 here (not including me) as two entrants posted reviews that were dated prior to the start date of the challenge so were not technically "active" during the challenge and didn't receive point values for those reviews.


And for an explanation of the point values...


For posting a review of any of the full-length books during the correct challenge month dates, that earned you a total of two points each.


For posting a review of any of the novellas or short stories during any of the challenge month dates, that earned you a total of one point each.


For posting a review of any of the full-length books during a challenge month that was not for that book, that earned you a total of one point each.


If you passed on a prize and earned an extra entry into a monthly giveaway, that did not count toward your point values for the end of challenge, just for that particular giveaway.


Maximum points for this challenge were 15. And there were four challenge participants who got that perfect score so I'm adding in an extra thank you to them! Especially as the short stories were extra to the challenge and not part of the original list of "extra credit" reads.


***
I would like to thank all of you for signing up and taking part in this challenge! Each one of you made this challenge a success! I hope you enjoyed getting to read or re-read Rachel Vincent's amazing series. I know I did!


And if you'd like to join me on June 26th through August 1st for a read of BEFORE I WAKE, I'd love to have you join in. Details to come next week!



Jun 17, 2012

SSRC Month Five Winners



Prize #1 - A Rachel Vincent book of your choice - this can include a pre-order copy of Before I Wake - to TWO WINNERS



Winner One - #14 - Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf

Winner Two - #86 - The Whispering of the Pages

Prize #2 - A signed copy of Soul Screamers Volume One to ONE WINNER



Winner - #34 - To Tell The Time*

*Prize will be sent directly from the author


Prize #3 - A signed copy of If I Die to ONE WINNER



Winner - #92 - Coffee Book Band Bat

Prize #4 - A signed copy of My Soul to Steal to THREE WINNERS


Winner ONE - #32 - Helene @ SSRC

Winner TWO - #30 - Deann @ Goodreads

Winner THREE - #29 - The Reader Lines

Prize #5 - A signed copy of Before I Wake to TWO WINNERS


Winner ONE - #69 - Unabridged Bookshelf **

Winner TWO - #73 - Young Readers**

** Prizes will be sent to the author AFTER release to be signed. Then shipped back to me to send out to the winners. If winners would prefer to receive prizes unsigned so they can get them closer to release date, please advise.


Prize #6 - A set (signed) of Soul Screamers Volume One*, My Soul to Keep, My Soul to Steal, If I Die and Before I Wake **


Winner - #100 - Tsk, Tsk, What to Read?

*Soul Screamers Volume One will be sent directly from the author.

** Before I Wake will be sent to the author AFTER release to be signed. Then shipped back to me to send out to the winner. If you would prefer to receive BIW unsigned so you can get it closer to release date, please advise.

Prize #7 - $50 in books of your choice from Amazon or The Book Depository


Winner - #91 - Pavan @ Goodreads


Prize #8 - ONE-OF-A-KIND printed and bound copy of Reaper signed by the author*



Winner - #38 - Librarian Mouse

*Prize will be sent directly from the author

Prize #9 - ONE-OF-A-KIND printed and bound copy of Never to Sleep signed by the author*


Winner - #104 - Reading Fictional

*Prize will be sent directly from the author


Unclaimed Prize #1 - A signed copy of My Soul to Keep to ONE WINNER

Winner - #89 - Bookeater/Booklover


Unclaimed Prize #2 - As two winners didn't claim their eBook prizes I have replaced that with one pre-order copy of Before I Wake to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE WINNER

Winner - #1 - Mandy Kaye @ Never Too Fond of Books

Unclaimed Prize #3 - A Rachel Vincent book of your choice to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository - it may be a pre-order of Before I Wake

Winner - #54 - YA Reader's Escape

There are also two other unclaimed prizes, but I am giving the winner until the end of today to claim them. If I do not hear back from them I will update this post with two new winners - one for a T-Shirt from Rachel Vincent's Urban Quill store. One for a signed copy of If I Die.

Congratulations Winners! I hope to hear from all of you! The sooner you email your details to me, the quicker the prizes can be sent or ordered. Please email me at fiktshun[at]gmail[dot]com.

If you have won a book prize that you already own, contact me and I'm sure we can come up with another prize!

WINNERS, if you do not wish to receive your prize - please let me know by email or in the comments and I'll choose another winner or winners. If you are the winner of a signed book and choose not to accept your prize, I will replace it with a pre-order of BEFORE I WAKE.

Winners of the signed books please send me your address details. If you won a signed BEFORE I WAKE and wish it to be personalized, please let me know if you want it personalized. If you do want it personalized, please include who you want it personalized to and any message.

Winners of the books of your choice, please send me your address details and book choice.

Winner of the $50 in books of your choice from Amazon/The Book Depository, please email me with your book selections and address details. Note that books priced at TBD must be USD prices through the US website. If you aren't sure about the total cost of your books, give me a list, in order, and I'll add books to the cart until I hit the $50 mark.

Winners of the signed books sent by the author - this includes the special bound volumes - please send me your address details AND whether or not you wish to have your book personalized. If you do want it personalized, please include who you want it personalized to and any message.

****

Congratulations to the MONTH FIVE giveaway winners!

The end of challenge giveaway winners for the pre-order copies of BEFORE I WAKE will be posted on Tuesday. I am still working on determining the number of books (minimum of ten) that will be up for giveaway.

And as announced on Twitter, if you were an active participant in all five months of the challenge, posted reviews for all five full length books AND do NOT end up winning a prize, other than an eBook, in this challenge (including the end-of-challenge giveaway) I will pre-order a copy of BEFORE I WAKE for you!

Stay tuned until Tuesday night for the End of Challenge post.

And be sure to check back at Fiktshun on June 26th for the start of the one month + "challenge" to read and review BEFORE I WAKE!

SSRC Mini Challenge Redux Winners


We have our winners for the second Mini Challenge and they are...


Congratulations Blackplume and Jen @ Midnight Book Thief. You are the winners for the Rachel Vincent book of your choice to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository! And yes, the prize can be for a pre-order of Before I Wake.

Please email me at fiktshun[at]gmail[dot]com if you wish to claim your prize. HOWEVER if you wish to wait to see if you've already won a copy of Before I Wake from the end of challenge giveaway, which will be announced on Tuesday, before choosing a book, please just email me to let me know that you wish to do so!

I will be announcing the winners for the MONTH FIVE giveaway later today. Stay tuned and good luck!

Jun 16, 2012

SSRC: Participation Post Winner


The Soul Screamers Reading Challenge ended on Thursday night. While we still have a chat scheduled for IF I DIE and I'll be having a "mini challenge" month for a read and review of BEFORE I WAKE, I am in the process of wrapping up the giveaways.

I will be posting the winners for the MONTH FIVE giveaways here tomorrow. So good luck and stay tuned! As those require I check all the links and confirm the entries, it will be later in the day.

And on Tuesday I'll be announcing just how many copies of BEFORE I WAKE are up for grabs and who the winners are. But as it will take some time given the extra entry nature of the giveaway, that announcement won't be until later in the day on Tuesday.

I'm not sure how many copies will be up for grabs, as I have to figure out how many active participants there were - which means they will have had to sign up and post at least one review in a subsequent month, but there will be at least 10 pre-order copies being given away.

But I do have one winner to announce. I ran all the names through Random for those who posted a correct (and active) link to a PARTICIPATION POST. If the link was to a review and not a participation post, those entries have been associated with the challenge month in which they were linked for both the monthly giveaways and the entries for the end-of-challenge giveaway. They do not count as participation posts, however.

And I did find several participation posts not linked on the Participation Post page, but rather linked in with the sign-up post or the monthly reviews. I DID add those entries here as they were valid participation posts.

Well, Random has spoken and...




Congratulations Coffee Book Band Bat! You are the winner of the participation post giveaway. You have a choice of either a $50 Amazon giftcard, a $50 Barnes & Noble giftcard, or $50 in books of your choice from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location.

You will have until June 19th to email me at fiktshun[at]gmail[dot]com with your details and the prize you would prefer or I will be forced to choose another winner.

Thanks again so much to everyone for participating in the challenge and for creating a post announcing your participation. It really meant A LOT to have you all join in!

Jun 13, 2012

SSRC Check-In + Quickie Before I Wake Pre-order Giveaway #6


Well, the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge officially ends tomorrow at Midnight! I can't believe it's almost over. Though I'm so super thrilled that BEFORE I WAKE comes out in less than two weeks!

I hope you all had an amazing time reading or re-reading Rachel Vincent's books in this action-packed and emotionally intense world. I know I did! Though I still have one final re-read to complete my challenge and that's NEVER TO SLEEP.

I will be writing a post on the main blog next week about the challenge and spotlighting a few of my favorite and most active participants.

I am also going to have a special BEFORE I WAKE one month link-up after BIW releases in which those who read and review it by August 1 will be eligible to win $50 in books of their choice from Amazon or The Book Depository.

And we still have our IF I DIE Spoiler Chat in June, hopefully before the release of BIW - so that there will be few who can spoil that next book. But that depends on Rachel's availability. She is writing WITH ALL MY SOUL after all and that most definitely comes first.

So as this is the final check in, I would really just love to hear your overall thoughts about the challenge experience, re-reading the SOUL SCREAMERS books and just what you think about Tod and Nash, especially having read IF I DIE.

And for giveaway, I will be giving away two pre-order copies of BEFORE I WAKE from Amazon or The Book Depository. It will be the U.S. edition which releases/ships on June 26th.

***

What's up for grabs:

Two pre-order copies of BEFORE I WAKE from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location.

The rules:

  • Only one entry per person.
  • You must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is International.
  • You must be a SSRC participant - YOU CAN ENTER as long as you signed up. EVEN if you didn't end up reading any books for the challenge.
  • You must leave a comment with your thoughts.
  • Giveaway ends at 9:01 p.m. Pacific on June 14th.
  • Winners will be announced in this post and contacted by email on June 15th.


To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Renee's Review of Reaper

Reaper

Why, hello Tod. It's good to see you again. I was almost afraid I'd have to wait until the next book to enjoy all of your wonderful sarcasm again. But no, it was not to be. The stars were aligned at the time and I had the good fortune of discovering this novella while it was still all nice and free. And boy was I glad that I did.

When I read through "Reaper" for the first time, I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped all the way to the floor. And then crashed down into the basement. Where it was shortly followed by my heart, and then my brain. You get the picture.

This one was a real eye opener. I had read it before I got through If I Die, and I am so glad that I did. Because I really didn't need any more emotional turmoil in that book. Everything fit in perfectly here, though. It's so seamlessly interlaced with dry humor and nearly painful sarcasm that you hardly even begin to understand the enormity of what just happened. That is, until you sit back for a little bit and this goes through your head: No. Wait. What just…? Did he just…? He couldn't have just…? No. He didn't. He couldn't have. What the %@#$ just happened?! And then that's all your brain can come up with for about an hour. Maybe two. Three tops.

You don't really mind being mentally incapacitated for a while, though. It is so beautifully written and completely hilarious that it's really all worth it in the end. We get a convenient little insight into the workings of the mysterious mind of Tod, come to understand why he is the way he is, get a few more reasons to hate Nash, and enjoy some little redheaded ninja action. Not bad for only a few pages.

Rating: 5 stars

Renee's Review of If I Die

If I Die

(Note: Renee's Review contains spoilers for If I Die)

Holy…. swiss cheese. That was…. indescribable. Wow. I don't know what it is about this book that makes me want to laugh and cry and do a little dance in pure joy of the moment all at the same time. There is just something so special about this book that leaves me speechless. So much wonderful all crammed into so few pages that are never enough; it's just not fair. There's a lust demon posing as her math teacher (if that's not proof enough that math's evil, then I don't know what is), her boyfriend's falling off the wagon again, and oh wait, there's more: she's dying! But that's not all!

There's Tod. Oh my Tod. Sweet, sweet Tod. You've always been there for Kaylee when she needs you, and now you're finally making your big debut. I don't know what there is that I can possible say about you that won't ruin the story for anyone more than I already have, but I must mention that you were completely right all along. Apricot jam really is where it's at.

But back to the most pressing matter at hand: Kaylee's death. It's not really surprising that she tries to set the world to rights before she's gone, it's what she does. She puts the weight of the world upon her shoulders and never tries to shrug the burden off onto another because she thinks it's her job. As heroines go, she's not going to be donning a cape and taking the comic book world by storm anytime soon, but she doesn't have to have super strength or shoot laser beams out of her eyes to be a superhero. Kaylee has something that kryptonite could never give her: a heart. Cheesy as that may sound, she is a purely good person. While that may have come back to bite her in the butt, Kaylee is undeniably one of those few characters that readers are always proud to watch grow because they know that she will never disappoint.

Sabine, surprisingly, has gained a bit of my respect in this book as well. While some may argue that's it's only Kaylee's impending demise that's shining a light upon her soul, I disagree. Sabine's really not that bad of a person. Sure her "passion" may be described as "ruthless," but when has she ever done anything to really hurt someone just for the fun of it? That's true evil, and that's not her. In this book, we see how an abandoned little girl was left for dead because of something she couldn't control, and how she is terrified of becoming the monster that so many people believe her to be. While no one will ever mistake her for a loveable teddy bear, she does care for those few that believe in her, and considering everything she's ever been through, I'd say she didn't turn out so badly.

That is, except for her choice in males. Oh Nash, how I despise you. You have really gone downhill lately and your ways of dealing with unfortunate situations certainly leave something to be desired. I'm afraid the world is not plotting against you, and dare I say it, you might be partially responsible for some of what's been going down. It need not be said that you don't exactly exude grace under pressure, but really man, words hurt. Just because you're having a bad day, doesn't mean that you can take the rest of the world down with you. Show some class.

Luckily, the most renowned Rachel Vincent has weaved enough amazing-ness into this book to cover up his frequent social blunders. This book really is the "BEST ONE YET!", and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for it. It's impossible to try to put this book into words worthy enough to describe it, but I can think of at least one that fits:

Awesome.

Rating: ∞ stars

Jun 8, 2012

Past SSRC Unclaimed Prize Winners

The following prizes still remain unclaimed. I've added in the month four winner who has yet to claim their prizes, too.

All unclaimed prizes will be added to the month five giveaways. And if none of the eBook winners respond, I will combine that into a pre-order copy of Before I Wake instead.

UPDATE: This post has been updated with prizes marked claimed or unclaimed as of the end of the challenge. As both eBooks were unclaimed, I'm adding one pre-order for BIW to the MONTH FIVE Prizes

MONTH ONE
Fiction Freak – a signed copy of My Soul to Keep - UNCLAIMED - added to Month 5 prizes
Jo’s Book Reviews – a Kindle eBook of Never to Sleep - UNCLAIMED - with the other unclaimed eBook adding as pre-order of BIW to Month 5 prizes
Epic Chocolate Fantasy – a Kindle eBook of either My Soul to Lose or Reaper - UNCLAIMED - with the other unclaimed eBook adding as pre-order of BIW to Month 5 prizes

MONTH TWO
Angie @ Pinkindle – a Rachel Vincent book of your choice - CLAIMED

MONTH THREE
Team Tod’s Soul Screamers Reading Challenge FB – a Rachel Vincent book of your choice - UNCLAIMED - added to the month five prizes

MONTH FOUR
Always Hoping for More - A T-Shirt from Rachel Vincent's Urban Quill Cafe Press store
Always Hoping for More - If I Die signed

Helene's Review of Never to Sleep

Never to Sleep

Never to Sleep is an interesting novella because it’s the point of view of Sophie and we don’t know her well. The only thing we know about Sophie is that she is Kaylee’s cousin and she hates her cousin. She is not a lovely character.

In this Novella we go in Sophie’s life and we can see the things differently but at the end at the novella Sophie remains a not lovely character.

In the novella we meet a new character, Luca. He is very interesting because he knows about the Netherworld. It will be very interesting to see him in Before I Wake.

After going to the Netherworld, I think Sophie will be different. Now she knows about the non-human world and maybe her relationship with Kaylee will be different.

Winner Announced: Shadow Bound SIGNED


As I mentioned in my comment on the Rachel Vincent Appreciation Weekend post I was going to run the names through Random and select a winner for a signed copy of SHADOW BOUND.

Well, Random spoke and the winner is...


Congratulations Erin! You are the winner of the signed copy of SHADOW BOUND. If you do not wish to claim your prize please let me know and I'll pass along the chance to the second person on the list!

Please email me at fiktshun[at]gmail[dot]com so I can send out your book.

And thank you once again for sharing your love for the author and her amazing books!

Jun 6, 2012

Reading Mind's Review of If I Die

If I Die

(Note: Reading Mind's Review contains major spoilers for If I Die)

Finally the re-read of If I Die has come and I feel this is going to be my worst review EVER because all I can say is 'THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY FREAKING AWESOME."

*deep breath* Okay, so, I know what was going to happen, as I read it when it came out, but still, how could you not fall in love all over again with Rachel Vincent's writing and her shocking ways to hold readers' attention?

In this book I'm back to love Kaylee again more than ever. She is about to die. Yes, you heard that right. Kaylee, the leading female protagonist, is about to die. And in the meantime, in order not to sit and think about her fate, she's trying to save girls at her school because her new and hot teacher is really an incubus feeding on girls' desire.

Where do I start? I adored Kaylee in this book. She's back to being the strong, smart, independent girl I love. She's stubborn, set on doing things her way. She's obviously afraid of death but she's brave in her fear. I wish a girl like her could be my friend. And she's finally understood that Nash is not the right one and she starts to see Tod with new eyes and YES, THEY KISS. They are just insanely cute together and the way they grew closer through the whole series is just perfect and very believable! Ms. Vincent has utterly outdone herself, because they feel 'real' together!

Nash is…well, I couldn't stand him in the previous book and it's the same for If I Die. He's got an attitude I dislike and he acts like the jerk he is when he finds out about Tod and Kaylee. I could have cut him some slack because finding your ex girlfriend is in love with your brother must be hard, but I always despised the way he treated Kaylee, so I make no excuse for him. And the fact that he tries to force Kaylee to have sex with him and that he uses his powers on her was absolutely his lowest point.

I *almost* got to like Sabine in this book, which is saying something, and I am not going to talk about Tod. He's perfect, the best character of the series, with his dark humor, his concern for Kaylee and his witty yet sad remarks. Yes, Team Tod forever and always. Oh, and because of Tod I tried apricot jam (if you read the book, you understand).

And what about the plot? The book was unputdownable from the very beginning. There is so much more than romance, there's action, friendships, doubts, death, confusion, romance, everything you want and even more. Rachel Vincent doesn't disappoint her fans at all and the ending…oh, the ending will make you want to have the next book immediately.

This is the last review for the challenge. I'd like to thank Rachel Vincent for creating such an addictive series, one that only gets better with every book and every re-reading, but also the amazing host of the challenge. It was a pleasure to take part in it and THANKS for being so kind and supportive! Double thanks to the Rachel(s) !

RATING: 5/5 shining stars.

May 26, 2012

Rachel Vincent Appreciation Weekend




The Soul Screamers Reading Challenge is almost over. I can't believe it. I'm sitting here staring at If I Die and getting so super excited that ONE MONTH FROM TODAY Before I Wake will be in my hands, on my shelf, on my Kindle and in bookstores around the country.

But I digress.... I'm not creating this post to talk about my excitement for this next book in the Soul Screamers Series. I'm here to talk about one of my most favorite authors of all time. Why? Well, because she's awesome. That's right. She is.

This reading challenge would not have been the same without her monthly chats. Which she has offered up because... you guessed it... she's awesome.

And it would not be nearly as amazing without her offering to sign a ton of books for the giveaways. Or to offer up two amazing prizes that are ONE-OF-A-KIND.

But she's not awesome only because of how she has so generously helped out this challenge. She was awesome loooooong before and will continue to be so looooong after.

So. What do I think I know about this author? What do I think makes her awesome? Lots of things. Many of which I'll be kicking myself about because I forgot to mention them here. But here goes....

She is a passionate writer.

Whether you're as huge fan of her stories as I am, the fact is that it's evident in the stories she writes just how passionate she is about writing them. Not one of the stories I've read felt like she phoned it in. Not even in the slightest. Every angst-filled moment you can tell was thought through, fought for and delivered with love, care, concern and maybe just a little wicked enjoyment.

She cares for her characters.

Yep. Even the ones she makes bad things happen to. Even the ones she kills. Each of them have a story. They're not "insert extra here" characters. They all have depth. They all have a reason. They all play a role. Even if it's an evil one or one you just can't stand.

She is a dedicated and hard worker.

While it may be hard to believe, I'll just bet she has a life outside of writing. She talks often of a #1 who must take up even a fraction of her time. She speaks of having a passion for baking - and does a show and tell with those gingerbread creations that are totally amazing. And yet she constantly seems to be working.

She makes those word counts. She meets those deadlines. She doesn't let down her publisher or her fans. She fights and struggles and imagines and creates and manages to get it all down in a way that is exciting and intriguing. And does that sound easy? Does that sound like it takes no time?

But she also manages to blog. And post updates to facebook. And tease bits and pieces from her stories. And markets herself. And shares her time with fans. And travels to events, signings, conventions. And if that weren't enough...

She knows her craft.

I am not an author. I don't work in the business. But I attended one panel she spoke on and the things she said made so much sense. And some of those other, newer, writers who were there definitely took note of the things she said, the wisdom she imparted.

And the fact that she is currently writing two amazing series with very different characters and worlds and manages to keep everything straight is a testament to not only how hard a worker she is but how skilled she is at what she does.

Writing is creative. I'm sure there are parts to it that are a ton of fun. But it's also a business. And yet she manages to create stories that don't feel like she's only looking to line her purse with cash. Her stories feel like labors of love. They feel like they're written just for the readers and not to meet a marketing target. And they tease, entice and excite. They go in directions that aren't always popular and they delve into very dark and real issues that aren't always everyone's cup of tea. But she goes there and she does it anyway.

She is an amazing person.

While I've only  met her briefly and only "know" her online, she constantly goes above and beyond and gives so much to her fans. More than we could ever ask for. More than she has to in order to keep an online presence.

She doesn't have to do all that she does to keep a fan-base and yet she does. She has a publisher with a marketing team who help to promote her books. She doesn't have to share aspects of her personal life with us, and yet she does. And even though she will still always be a rock star to her fans, she allows us to see that she is, in fact, a very real person.


What do you think?

I could go on. And on. And on. And yet I won't. Because this isn't the me show today. It's about this amazing author. And so, I'd love it if you would - whether you're participating in the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge or not - SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS about the author in the comments this weekend.

Is there something in it for you? Maybe. There might be something amazing for one or more of you. But I won't say. I'd rather you leave a comment just because you think the author deserves to be appreciated, as I do, and not because you could potentially win some prize.

And I would love it if you SPREAD THE WORD. Not because I care about blog traffic - this blog goes away after the challenge. Not because I am working in cahoots with the author - she has NO IDEA. But because every so often an author who gives so much deserves some recognition just because.


***

And just in case you haven't seen, heard, met, read or know about Author Rachel Vincent, here's just a little bit about her....

Bio & Photo courtesy of the author's blog.
Rachel Vincent is the author of the Shifters series, from Mira books. Stray, Rogue, Pride, Prey, Shift, and Alpha are available in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia, and are being published in Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Finland, India, France, and Italy.

Also, look for the Soul Screamers books, Rachel’s young adult series! My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save, My Soul to Keep, My Soul To Steal, and If I Die are available now, and Before I Wake will be on the shelf in the US and Canada on June 26, 2012. The Soul Screamers series is also being published in the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Spain.

Rachel’s new adult series Unbound debuted with Blood Bound on August 23, 2011 in the US and the UK, to be followed by Shadow Bound on May 22, 2012.
And just some of the places you can find her: Twitter, Facebook, Blog