Category: Books

REVIEW: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We were liars was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review, but truthfully, I picked this up on NetGalley because of a fantastic review by Emma Michaels.

We were liars is a deceptive tale of a girl who almost drowned, and is both trying to remember what happened before the accident and heal herself from the past.

She’s a girl who falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks and a girl who for lack of a better word doesn’t really feel like she fits into the family she’s part of.

She speaks a lot about the hush hush nature of her posh family who owns an island with four houses no less, and has a scrutinizing grand father and whose mother and aunts keep divorcing men who aren’t good enough for them.

The writing style is beautiful, with short, choppy sentences that simply display the details and none of the fluff that can sometimes bog down books. It’s very poignant and precise in its writing and I love that about it.

The mystery surrounding the girl’s accident and the way she pulls it all apart is quite flawless. It’s gruesome and terrifying come the end but it’s also one of those things you can’t forget in a book.

I can’t talk about it too much without giving out details but this is a drag you to the bottom of the ocean kind of book. I loved it when she realized the dogs had been involved and when she hugged Gat, he told her that wasn’t everything, that there was more to remember.

You have to read this one for yourself to understand the pure genius of this novel, so I’ll leave you to it. Besides, I was told that if anyone asked me about the ending, I would lie.

Cheers,
Rhi

REVIEW: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

My first thought when I saw this book on NetGalley was OMG another book by Julie Kagawa! Click click click click click click.

Then a few days later Harlequin approved me (thanks ladies!) and I downloaded the book onto my kindle.

And then life got in the way and I began reading but I kept putting the book down and reading nothing because I wasn’t in a reading mood this year.

I finally came back to The Iron Traitor in November wondering what I had missed. I really didn’t like the cover on this one, the guys on the previous covers looked like teenagers, and they greatly differed from the “Fabio” hunks on the usual Harlequin covers. (Hey Harlequin has come a long way but they still put out those “Harlequin Novels”)

This guy looks like Fabio, the chiseled jaw, the pointy nose, the longer hair, the gray eye. I just couldn’t connect with him and I’m pretty sure this is meant to represent Kierran so okay that’s great too, once again a character I didn’t connect well with in The Lost Prince . . .

In some ways I feel like Julie and I have some of the same ideas and then completely different ways of executing those ideas on paper, which I love about her. I like the way she weaves the fantasy world with the real world.

This book was a bit different, the plot has been getting more and more diluted as the books go on. I’m all happy for more Iron Fey books don’t kid me, but Ash and Megan had their day, their huge war, and they won their Iron Throne. Ash even oddly enough went off to get his humanity and then somehow kept his abilities as an Ice Prince.

Iron Traitor kind of picks up where Lost Prince left off. The Forgotten aren’t feeding on exiles anymore, but they’re feeding on something worse, and then Annwyl the girl Kierran is in love with, is dying of the Fade, which leads them into a slew of trouble trying to figure out how to stop the fade. There are a few new fae creatures in here, one of which I liked was the Thin Man.

Without giving too much away, the story got interesting about a quarter of the way through, when Ethan is in New Orleans and Kenzie shows up anyway despite him telling her not to. And it’s nice watching Kenzie save Ethan’s ass, since he pretends to be such a bad boy.

There’s a guest appearance briefly by Ash, a new way to travel through “the In Between” and an ending you definitely won’t forget. Oh and then a ritual with Guro that will take you by surprise. I was surprised because that ritual was done rather well, and rather accurately for the results the characters wanted to pull off. I liked the real feel to it, it gave the story a lot of believability.

And then the end came and I was pretty much shocked. I wasn’t sad and I didn’t cry but I was like, “wow, another person taking more risks, I wonder how this is going to be taken . . .” You know, because one author already killed off their main character this year and ignited an uprising, now we have another author doing it and here I am over here in my little Indie Corner with my not very well known book series in which I also killed off my main character … and I’m thinking “great now there’s nothing I can do to be original anymore.” but I did it in the first book, and I’m glad there’s another book in Julie’s series because otherwise I might be upset.

So the thing is, this is the fifth in the Iron Fey Series and if you haven’t read the other books you should because they are SO GOOD! This feels a bit like we’ve been there before, but at the same time, Julie is upping the ante with the characters and making good decisions and she’s got a story arc that I want to see to the finish line, so hopefully this finish can be as good as the one in The Iron Knight (book 4 in the series)

This book has been out since the end of October, so if you haven’t read it yet go grab your copy and get reading!

Cheers,
Rhi

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

O Hai!

I never win anything. 
And my philosophy is that I’m already a winner. My life is already so incredibly awesome that I don’t need to really ask for or wish for or win things. 
But every now and again someone sends me a link and says “Rhi, you should enter this contest because your book is really good.” 
In this case it was the 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards hosted by Writer’s Digest. Completely a big deal in my mind, because it’s Writer’s Digest. So I looked at the steps, mailed my books out, and waited. The waiting part took a long time. 
Yesterday I received a message thanking me for entering, that all the contest winners had been contacted last week and prizes were distributed to the winners. The e-mail then included a section that explained I would be receiving a commentary on my entry. Commentary!? They didn’t mention this before, and a commentary is . . . amazing, incredible, much more than what I’d expect from any awards committee because of the sheer number of entries they receive.
They promised that commentaries would show up by the end of the year. Mine came today. *cue anxiety attack*
THE COMMENTARY (in all its glory)
Entry Title: SURRENDER (The Ferryman + The Flame #1)
Author: Rhiannon Paille
Judge Number: 51
Entry Category: Middle-Grade/Young Adult books

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.

Structure and Organization: 5
Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot (if applicable): 4
Character Development (if applicable): 4

Judges Commentary:

Very nice cover design! However, I’m not sure all of the inside photos match the cover’s quality — I think it may have been better if they had all been in the same style, instead of some PhotoShopped and some drawn, some cartoonish, etc.– but they do provide a nice visual as we go through the story.
I really appreciated the guides at the front–and the voice you injected into it.

I have two suggestions for tightening the narration in future publications. Because, while this kind of story lends itself to be lengthier and has longer paragraphs for world-building, etc., you could still do a fair amount of tightening to make it even better.

First, do a search for all your adverbs — an easy way to get many of them is by searching “-ly” — and omitting as many of them as you can (which is probably most of them). The second would be to do a search for all your passive verbs — particularly, IS/ARE/WAS/WERE/FELT/REALIZED/LOOKED/ SEEMED — and replace those with active verbs. You’d be surprised how many words you can trim when you do that, which makes the book sleeker and helps with pacing. And, when you swap out passive verbs for active ones, you can even trim a lot of adjectives because a good, active verb, will do the work of both of those things PLUS the work of adverbs! There were a few grammatical/formatting hiccups, but nothing major.

All in all, this is a well-written piece. I agree with your blurb on the cover and always admire someone who can weave in so many details about unique worlds she creates without the prose feeling narration-heavy. Nice job!

MY THOUGHTS

Did they just agree with Evie from Bookish Evie who said I’m the J.R.R. Tolkien of the Young Adult Generation? *reads it again* Holy crap they agreed that I’m the J.R.R. Tolkien of Young Adult. HOLY CRAP.

HOLY CRAP!

And the score, 21 out of a potential 25 points!? WOW.

WOW!

I’m pretty much floored, never mind the little things I’ve been working on in my later books already that they mentioned, or the artwork that’s been redone (SURRENDER was re-released October 1st with brand new artwork to match the rest of the interior art) but J.R.R. FREAKING TOLKIEN!

BEST.DAY.EVER.

I don’t care if I didn’t win this contest, this commentary right here? This makes me a winner.

And I’m so glad I entered! If you’re looking for a contest that will treat you right, this one is definitely it!

Cheers,
Rhi

UtopYA, UtopYA, UtopYA

O Hai!

So UtopYA happened this past weekend and you had to be there to understand all the awesomeness that is this convention. There are really no words in the English language to describe the people, energy, conversations, everything. There’s just no way to explain it, it’s like one of those really awesome inside jokes that only you and three hundred people understand. 
I couldn’t go anywhere without running into authors and bloggers I knew on facebook. I couldn’t go anywhere without people fangirling over my books or telling me they read my books or telling me they thought I was awesome or my booth was awesome, or I was awesome, or my ebook cards were a really nifty idea, and on and on and on.
Some stand out moments:
That awkward moment during set up where I walked in for the first time and the first person I saw was Regina Wamba. That was nice because I literally had not met anyone else but her before that.
That awesome moment I came to get my badge and Susan Taylor (one of the volunteers) told me I was famous because she read my books. 
That amazeballs time Chelsea Freaking Fine (that’s your name now honey) showed up at my table to say she thought my covers were amazing, she sees my stuff online all the time and we need to catch up soon.
That time Tabatha Vargo found my table and I almost smacked into the big pillar beside my table in a mad dash to hug her. 
When Arielle Caldwell wanted to trade for books.
When Lori Parker of Contagious Reads decided to graciously ship my books to a winner for me (I’m paying you back!)
When Alexia Purdy agreed to ship more of my books to more of my winners. (I’m paying you back too!)
When Janet Wallace called out my name at closing ceremonies. AND she called me Rhi Pie, which is really a thing now . . . 
When someone who’s name I cannot remember for the life of me actually pronounced my name right!
When I got selfies with Cambria Hebert, Adam Kunz, Tiffany King, Melissa Andrea, Chelsea Fine, Laura Howard . . . 
When other people asked to take pics with me.
When Jamie Magee and Chancey Pickard kidnapped me for lunch.
Talking to Tara Brown who is basically the goddess of book sales.
Watching Straight No Chaser on twitter with Tara’s husband creature Nick. (I’m not referring to him the way Heather Daniels referred to him . . .)
Pool time with Frankie Rose, Chelsea Starling and Collin Patrick.
Meeting Jessica Sorensen (no I didn’t fangirl AT ALL pffftt!) 
And last but not least – Amy Evans, because she gets it.
OH and if you were at closing ceremonies . . . it was SUPER terrifying to get up there and talk and I <3 those of you that talked to me after the fact because I basically forgot to explain the WHOLE thing. 
Carol Kunz, you are the best hugger ever.
Cheers,
Rhi

BEA craziness and coincidence

O Hai!

So that’s me and David Levithan, the last really cool person I met at BEA and the last of many crazy coincidences. 
There are no good places to start so let me just say that I was NOT the girl having a panic attack and crying in the bathroom.
I WAS the girl striking up conversations with random people in line, getting lost in crowds, standing in looong lines for book signings and . . . are you ready for this one?
BEING RECOGNIZED.
Of the people I talked to, the shwag I handed out, the friends I made, and my revitalized opinion of NYC, being recognized was by far the craziest thing to happen to me at BEA.
And I’d love to say it happened once, but it didn’t, it happened about five times. 
If you follow my blog you will be getting a little updated list of ARCs I have at this point for giveaways and I’ll be running some separate giveaways in the next week or so.
In the meantime . . . David Levithan, the man with the crazy long lines for his book signings, the man who has been with Scholastic, Penguin, Random House, I mean really, everywhere. The man who wrote a book called Every Day which is another take on an idea I’ve had in my head for five years. The man who named the love interest in that book: Rhiannon.
I skipped his signing. I thought oh well I’m not going to get to meet him. Instead I focused all my energies on being FIRST in the Cassandra Clare line, which I was, until some front of the line pass holders showed up . . . not that I’m grumbling, they were awesome, and I exchanged some shwag with them.
I delayed my ride to the airport for Cassandra Clare and you all know why: she’s freaking Cassandra Clare! I remember when her book attacked me in a Wal-mart and I finally read her work (and then all her books) and understood that the way I write is very similar and that I was doing something right.
So hard to find an author connection like that when you’re starting out, but I did, so it was so good to get to say hi to her.
As I’m leaving, with book blogger number five who recognized me, there’s David, waltzing through the lobby area all on his lonesome . . . and so we talk about Every Day and about the woman in the UK named Rhiannon that he knows, and how it’s awesome that authors have similar ideas and execute them in wildly different ways.
And then I found a cab driver who’s daughter is into books and got lost in the Newwark Airport . . . and eventually ended up on the plane I’m on now.
I’m ecstatic, completely blown away that you even know who I am, bloggers, readers, friends, everyone! I’m so grateful for everyone who has picked up my book or chatted with me on facebook or just been part of this crazy ride.
While I won’t give away the juicy details, I think this was a great experience and something I’ll remember forever. 
Next year, BEA, me, you and a lot of books to sign, what do you think? Are you going to make it for little old me?
Hope you do and if you don’t make it to BEA, come to UtopYA in Nashville, June 26-28 and I will be there with books and ebooks cards, and bookmarks and stuff!
Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!
Cheers,
Rhi

Armchair BEA: Introductions

O Hai!

Welcome to Armchair BEA, the Rhi Paille version! Today kicks off the celebration and below you’ll find out some things about me! Real short so you can meet me and then go meet some other awesome folks!

Somethings about me:

I write books about Ferrymen and Flames.
I’m a hopeless romantic.
I’m allergic to coffee.
I’m a book addict.
I read minds.
I can sing.

These are my books, they’re pretty.

Justice is going to be free from June 10th – 14th and if you want to help me with the Book Blitz, go here: http://www.xpressobooktours.com/2013/05/blitz-sign-up-justice-by-rhiannon-paille.html

Mmmmm SIGNED Paperbacks / E-book Cards

O Hai!

Don’t you love the smell of books? And sharpies? And that moment when you open the front cover to read the little personalized note left to you by the author?

Isn’t that the best freaking thing in the world?

So I know some of you can’t come see me at shows. It makes me sad too, but the cool thing about the interwebs is that we has snail mail!

Here’s all the info which is permanently found on my contact page along with a lot of other cool things like how I do personal appearances and I’ll donate books to your school library or local library and stuff . . .

Signed Books:
I don’t know why I didn’t mention this before but I often have a number of books in my office and I can sign them, personalize them or whatever you like and ship them to you.

PAPERBACKS:
CANADA: $25.00 w/ shipping. I’ll send them expedited too so you’ll get them in two days.

USA: $25.00 w/ shipping. I’ll send them small packet air mail so you’ll get them in roughly 6 days. FYI: Canada Post has now stopped their small packet ground to the USA. It used to cost me $8 – $10 to ship books to anywhere in the US. Now the cheapest for one book has been $15.57. I think this is why the post office has been deemed evil. At the very least you’ll be getting the signed copy for less than the list price on Amazon.

INTL: I’ll need to get you a quote.

MULTIPLES: Obviously shipping will be awesome, but I’ll still need to quote you.

E-Book Cards:
CANADA: $5.00 w/ shipping. I’ll send them letter mail, should arrive in 3 days.
USA: $5.00 w/ shipping. Letter mail, should arrive in 5-7 days.
INTL: $10.00 w/ shipping. Letter mail, and it’ll depend on where you are.
MULTIPLES: I’ll need to quote you.

*the cool thing about these is that I can sign them in silver or gold ink, and you can keep the collectible card. E-mail me at rhiannonpaille at gmail.com if you want to take advantage of me and my silver pen.

Cheers,
Rhi

P.S. I might ship those lollipops too, they’re pretty effing amazing.

Cover Reveal: Burning Falls by Laura Kreitzer

Oh Hai!

Many of you may have been wondering when Laura Kreitzer will be releasing the third book in her Summer Chronicles Burning Falls, but the truth is that she hasn’t set a date. Mainly because she hasn’t finished writing it. HOWEVER, she is writing it. The project is in motion. Until then, how about a cover reveal? And now (drum roll please) here’s the official cover for Burning Falls!

Book 3 in the Summer Chronicles:

Summer’s in the midst of a rivalry between the scientifically altered people living on Forsaken Harbor. As things heat up on the island, our heroine and her friends are thrown in the middle of a war that will rip them apart. When Summer discovers those she trusted most are keeping life-altering secrets, she flees the violent harbor for the wild jungle. Realizing Summer’s missing, Julian and Gage fight their way through the jungle and come across a mysterious burning waterfall. Summer’s there, but so is someone else . . .

Will it be fight or flight for our battered heroine? Who will win her heart? Who will betray her? And who will make the ultimate sacrifice to save her? Find out in the shocking third installment of the Summer Chronicles as more than one battle is waged on the island.

You can read the first book Phantom Universe for FREE.

Cover Reveal: Renegade by Cambria Hebert

Title: Renegade (Heven and Hell #4) (the final book in the series)
Series: Heven and Hell
Author: Cambria Hebert
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Formats: Ebook and Print

I’ve been beautiful. I’ve been ugly. I’ve died. I’ve been brought back. I’ve had abilities awakened within me. My strength has been tested. My beliefs have been tested.

Yet I stand.

What’s next when you’ve pretty much experienced it all?

The end.

Sam and I are picking up the pieces. We’re trying to come to terms with all we’ve lost. And as much as I would like to hide my head, ignore the reality I live every day, there is no forgetting.

Riley is in hell—I’m still not sure of his agenda. My mother’s past haunts me. And Kimber…Kimber is being herself. Cole sneaks glances at Gemma and she returns them when she thinks I don’t see.

But I do.

When Beelzebub escapes he brings his war to places I never thought he would. Earth. Maine. Home. Now everyone and everything is at risk. This has become bigger than my circle of friends. This has become bigger than me. I have to finish this. I have to find a way to stop him, to finish this war.

I just pray we will all be left standing in the end.

About Cambria:
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and the Death Escorts series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com

“Like” her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cambriahebert
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/cambriahebert/pins/
Cambria website: http://www.cambriahebert.com
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/CambriaHebert?feature=mhee

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

After reading Pushing The Limits I was hooked to Katie McGarry’s writing style. I read Pushing The Limits in two days, and while Dare You To took me a little longer it was definitely not because I wanted to. Things like work kept getting in the way and I kept having to put it down when I didn’t want to.

Dare You To happens after Pushing The Limits, but it’s not about Noah and Echo. This book is about Beth, and the horrible life she’s had to endure. This book is much stronger, more edgy, and resembles real life situations in a scary accurate way.

Without giving away the plot too much, Beth used to like getting drunk and high with Noah and Isaiah. She lived with both boys at her aunt’s house until something bad happens to her mom and custody of Beth goes to her Uncle Scott. Beth is forced to move from Louisville to Groveton where she used to go to elementary school. She doesn’t expect the kids to remember her, but they do. To make matters worse, there’s Ryan, all star baseball pitcher who keeps annoying her.

To be honest, I thought Isaiah and Beth were a better match, despite him being wrong for her. Ryan was good, but he was all american good, and too shiny. This isn’t really a book about a straight laced guy saving a girl whose fallen off the rails in her life. It’s actually the other way around. Beth ends up showing Ryan a different side to life that baseball and listening to his parents can’t give him. Beth pushes him to do things he’d never do. Yes, they dare each other to do things but that dare game started long ago between Ryan and his friends.

It’s so hard to explain in a review why this book is so good, but once you’re reading it you’ll understand. McGarry is effortless in her descriptions, dialogue, and plot. She paints her characters with such simple brushstrokes that while you can see what makes them stereotypical, you can also see where they bleed between the lines. Beth is no cookie cutter badass girl from the wrong side. At times she’s insecure, and skeptical. Ryan isn’t just great at baseball, he’s not your typical jock. Sometimes he’s got deep emotions.

It’s all of these things that make the words jump off the page and attack you. It makes it a very hard book to put down and one I constantly found myself going back to even when I was supposed to be doing other things.

Read this one, I dare you to.

Cheers
Rhi

P.S. I received this book off netgalley in exchange for an honest review.