Hello and Welcome!

Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!



The short and sweet of it:

I'm giving away my recent favorite read
False Memory by Dan Krokos

Open to everyone The Book Depository ships to

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter

Everyone can enter for 'free'

Extra entries for follows and whatnot :)

Happy hopping everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit other stops on the hop :)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fill Up Those Shelves: My August Recommendations

Says one book addict to another:

Isn't it time you hit the stores and showed your bookshelves a little love?

If you only buy a few books this month, 
I HIGHLY recommend these August releases :)




The Wednesday's by Julie Bourbeau
Why I love it:
It's fun and quirky and exactly what a book aimed at middle grade readers should be in my opinion. At it's core it's a mystery story and the suspense was fantastic.

Skylark by Meagan Spooner
Why I love it:
A dystopian world mixed with magic! The characters are awesome and the story line original. I had a hard time putting this one down as it was so easy to get completed immersed in the story. I seriously didn't want it to end and when it did I was a little shaken - in a good way. A perfect debut!

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
Why I love it:
A true blow your mind completely away type of story - right up until the very end. The suspense was amazing and the thrill of it all made for a fast paced fantastic read. I have yet to be disappointed by Jessica and I'm eager to get my hands on all her books!

False Memory by Dan Krokos
Why I love it:
I believe I've said this book was freaken awesome about a million times now - because it is! It's an out of this world yet right in your backyard type of story with a stellar cast of characters. An ending that leaves so much open to explore yet ties up a lot of loose ends very awesomely. Awesome awesome awesome! :)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Free e-book Alert!

Until August 27th the e-book of Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey is FREE!


iBook version is also free

Thank you Harper!

Check out the Epic Reads Tumblr and spread the word :)

Book Review: Croc Capers (Bindi Wildlife Adventures #7) by Bindi Irwin and Chris Kunz


Reading Level: Ages 7 and up
Publication Date: August 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Series: 7th in a series
Acquisition: I received a free copy for review from the publisher

Summary:
The next installment of this hit series features stories that are inspired and co-created by Bindi Irwin, daughter of the iconic wildlife expert, Steve Irwin.
Bindi, Robert and Terri Irwin are on their annual crocodile-tagging trip in the Cape York Peninsula, the home of the extraordinary Steve Irwin wildlife Reserve. When Bindi and Robert chance upon a camp site set up by a father and daughter behaving like two fish out of water, they soon discover the real reason behind their trip to the reserve. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
The 7th book in a series for young readers, Croc Capers takes us into the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Australia. Bindi Irwin and her younger brother Robert are looking forward to their annual estuarine crocodile research trip but their excitement is quickly replaced with worry when they stumble upon a land developer's campsite.

What follows can only be described as a lesson with heart. With a very cute set of characters, I was fully captivated by Bindi's story from page 1. A perfect read for young nature lovers.

Final verdict:
Easy to read and understand with very likable characters, I can't wait for my little one to be old enough to read this series. Croc Capers is book 7 but I'm already on the hunt for books 1-6 for my shelves.

Also, I absolutely loved the Animal Fact Files at the end of the book. I learned things about the saltwater crocodile, the palm cockatoo and the goanna that I never knew before. (ok, honestly, I had never even heard of a goanna before reading this book!)

Having grown up watching Steve Irwin, it warms my heart to see that his daughter's passion for nature and animals is just as great as his was.

A great book and what I can only assume is a great series for the young readers in your life.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars


Books in the Wildlife Adventures Series:
#1 Trouble at The Zoo
#2 Rescue!
#3 Bushfire!
#4 Camouflage
#5 A What of  a Time
#6 Roar!
#7 Croc Capers

Goodreads / IndieBound

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: False Memory by Dan Krokos

***2012 Debut Author***
"we are privy to seemingly whole chunks of information, only to realize later that they were really just crumbs"
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 327
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: I received a free ARC for review from at BEA 2012

Summary:
Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn't at all surprised by Miranda's shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn't easy--especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can't remember loving. Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn't seem to matter...when there may not be a future.
Dan Krokos' debut is a tour-de-force of non-stop action that will leave readers begging for the next book in this bold and powerful new series. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Freaken awesome. False Memory is a truly unique story with a very full cast of characters that will leave you with more questions then answers. Reading this book was a full on adventure the likes of which I haven't come across in a very long time.

Nothing is as it seems. Everything is in question and Miranda has only her instinct and gut reactions to lead her through. With so many layers of mystery and deceit I was worried, at times, that the intricate storyline would confuse more then entertain. However, I had no reason to worry.

Krokos knows how to tell a story.

The driving force behind False Memory is it's characters. They live in our world but their lives are nothing like our own. Without a past, Miranda could be anyone. She's determined to find out what is happening to her but at the same time she knows that there is no going back. She has to move forward, making new memories and new decisions along the way.

Final verdict:
An absofreakenlutly fantastic story. I really loved how, as a reader, we are privy to seemingly whole chunks of information, only to realize later that they were really just crumbs.

The ending of this one is intense. There is still a lot Miranda doesn't know and there is a lot of story left to be told. At the same time, the ending was satisfying. While I'm extremely happy there will be a book 2, if there wasn't I wouldn’t be upset.

Having read an ARC, I'm looking forward to buying a finished copy for my shelves. As a debut, False Memory has left a mark and to say Krokos has left an impression on me would be an understatement.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
#1 False Memory
#2 [Untitled] August 2013



Read a SNEAK PEEK now!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

On My Reader (21) - August 18, 2012


On My Reader posts are were I highlight recent ebooks I've added to my digital collection :)

Some NetGalley love :)
Links are to Goodreads


August 7, 2012 from Open Road Young Readers
This e-book has an illustrated biography documents from Cooney's personal collection.
I'm pretty sure I read Fire as a teen but I didn't know it was part of a series. Very interested to get this bind up read!

August 28, 2012 from Open Road Young Readers
This one also has an illustrated biography and personal documents.
I don't think I read this one as a teen but I do love Lois Duncan!



January 22, 2013 from Disney-Hyperion
Disney doesn't approve bloggers for their NetGalley reads but they made an exception with this sample. 
I loved Victoria's first book and I can't wait to see what this one is all about.
It's currently a READ NOW so anyone with a NetGalley account can get it!



July 10, 2012 from Dynamite Entertainment
OMG I love this show! Written by the writers of Warehouse 13, I'm pretty sure this volume contains 5 issues of the comic book series. What I do know is that I'm reading this one today!

November 6, 2012 from Ape Entertainment
A graphic novel for kids - I'm going to read this one with my daughter :)

So, what's on your e-readers?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

***2012 Debut Author***
"...a lot of action that isn't sugar coated with simple and easy answers..."
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 373
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: I received a free ARC for review from the publisher

Summary:
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Mia is a kick ass heroine. Her city is all but destroyed, her family is falling apart, a cult (or 2) have swooped in to gather the masses and oh yeah, she's a human lightning rod. And? Does she really let any of this stand in the way of protecting the people she loves? Not really.

I loved the on the edge post apocalyptic / dystopian world Bosworth has created. It's been a month since a major earthquake struck Los Angeles but we are given the impression that massive cataclysmic events are happening all over the world. What's a little different though for Mia is the fact that even if she weren't surrounded by disaster, she has major problems of her own to contend with.

I think that might be the one thing that didn't sit quite right for me. We never now exactly why Mia has these powers. Why does lightening effect her? Why now? I had a lot of questions and while some were answered I felt that a lot of really important back story was left out.

What I did like was the fact that almost nothing is clear cut. The good guys and the bad guys aren't all that different until the final pieces are put together in the end. I really liked how Mia stood her ground against everyone, making up her own mind and making her own decisions (at least while she was able to)

Final verdict:
With a lot of action that isn't sugar coated with simple and easy answers, Struck was a pretty thrilling read for me.

While reading, I wasn't entirely sure if Struck was a stand alone or the first in a series but honestly, I think it works as both. The ending was...well...an ending, but at the same time, there could be more of Mia and her story to tell. I'm happy with either scenario.

An awesome debut - Jennifer Bosworth is an author I'm sure to keep my eye on.

Overall Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
#0.5 Prophet
#1 Struck

Author's website / Goodreads / IndieBound

Read An Excerpt
Discussion Guide

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

"A perfect ally executed thriller that messed with my mind in all the right ways "
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 2012
Publisher: Walker Children's
Pages: 422
Series: no
Acquisition: I received an ARC free for review from the publisher

Summary:
Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins-so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away, can't tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong-especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself? (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
There is really a lot I want so say about this book but it all really boils down to - holy mind f-ery Batman!

Beautiful Lies is a psychological thriller at it's best, made all the more poignant by it's first person narrative.

Twins Alice and Rachel share everything, including each other's pain. When one goes missing, the other knows something horrible has happened but no one will believe her. The reasons no one believes her were a total plot twist - and this is only in the first couple of chapters. With such a big 'secret' revealed so early on I was preparing myself for a disappointing climax. I really had no reason to worry however.

Beautiful Lies ends just as powerfully as it begins. Some serious edge of my seat reading was happening by those last couple of chapters! Even if I could have plotted out what I thought was going to happen I wouldn't have been prepared for the emotion behind it all.

Final verdict:
This book is amazing - Warman as done it again!

I really had no idea how things were going to play out until it was all over - and even then I was still left with a few questions. A perfect ally executed thriller that messed with my mind in all the right ways.

If you're looking for a neat and tidy happily ever after, Beautiful Lies might not be for you. BUT If you're looking for a healthy dose of actually being scared out of your mind then you need to get this book now!

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Books To Trade

I've been reorganizing and cleaning up my bookshelves a bit have I have a nice pile of books I no longer want.

I thought I'd see if anyone wants to do some trading before I hand them over to my town librarian.

I'm open to any types of trades. You can always buy me a new book or 2 and I'll trade it for a bunch of my 'used' ones :)

Check off as many as you WANT and as many as you HAVE and I'll get back to you!

My books are in excellent condition and I'm looking for the same in return.

Email with any questions  - WilowRaven at gmail dot com

Thanks guys!

On My Reader (20) - August 11, 2012


On My Reader posts are were I highlight recent ebooks I've added to my digital collection :)

Links are to Goodreads

Got some goodies from NetGalley :)


August 14th from Simon and Schuster
With collage age characters, this one fits into what people are calling the "New Adult" genre. I'm guessing more sex, drugs and darker subject matter? Interested to find out!

September 10th from Stoke Books / Lerner Pub
A short middle grade read with a zombie feel. I think I'll read this one today :)

AND!


October 30th from Harlequin Teen
Book 1 in Julie's new series that takes place in the same world as The Iron Fey and stars Meghan's brother Ethan. (It's also being called book 5 of The Iron Fey series and I think it's official title is The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten Book 1: The Iron Prince...cause that's not confusing or anything :)
Very excited for this one!
To add to the awesome there is a Novella coming out in September that takes place before this book - I might wait for that before I start this one...maybe but probably not!

So, what's on your e-readers?


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells

"... to say that I'm eager to see what else lies beneath would be an understatement..."
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 373
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: I received a free ARC for review at BEA 2011

Summary:
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
I was a little worried that the unbelievable nature of the story would be too much. A bunch of kids trapped in a school where no one questions what's going on or why? I didn't think it could amount to much. I mean, either the truth is lame and the story gets old or everything is such a secret and there isn't really a story to tell - right?

I was so wrong! The truth, or at least as much of the truth as Benson can find out, is not lame at all. I was truly shocked - it's rare that a book can catch me off guard - and I loved it. And the secrets? There are still TONS more to be revealed and a lot more story that needs telling.

Variant is only the first layer of Benson's story and to say that I'm eager to see what else lies beneath would be an understatement. Really, a true thriller. Lots of twists and turns to the plot but the story never seemed to get off track. It was so easy to get caught up in Benson's story.

Final verdict:
I loved the discovery aspect to this mystery. As a reader, I knew what Benson knew and I found myself asking the same questions he asks and coming to the same conclusions. I felt connected to him as a character and invested in what happens to him. And what will happen? I have no idea! There are so many possibilities and I love when stories play out this way.

With it's male protagonist and action packed storyline, I really think Variant will appeal to reluctant male readers. Really though, anyone who enjoys thrillers with fantastic twists will love this book.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
#1 Variant
#2 Feedback (October 2012)




Variant Trailer #1
Variant Trailer #2 Variant Trailer #3

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!



The short and sweet of it:

I'm giving one of my favorite reads of 2012 -
Meagan Spooner's Skylark

Open to everyone The Book Depository ships to

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter

Everyone can enter for 'free'

Extra entries for follows and whatnot :)

Happy hopping everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit other stops on the hop :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Review: White Witch by Trish Milburn

"...a somewhat lighthearted take on some staple paranormal elements..."
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 2012
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Pages: 188
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: NetGalley

Summary:
Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business. No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It. “Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her—the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
The attraction / potential relationship building that leads to the quickest case of insa love ever was just too much for me. I had to keep checking to make sure I was getting it right but it really was only a few days before our two MCs were falling for each other. It was more then unbelievable, it was a little sickening. And unfortunately, even though I liked the paranormal elements of the story, the insta love was just too much.

Another thing that really didn't sit well with me was Jax's initial reaction to Keller. He's been trained to kill her kind and somehow it doesn't matter at all to Jax. This very much reminded me of another YA book that I really didn't care for at all. Not fair to compare maybe but it's still a pretty glaring bit to forget about.

And then there is Toni, Jax's insta best friend. She also comes from a family that KILLS WITCHES but...somehow it just doesn't matter. I actually really liked Toni, until she turned into a complete idiot at first sight of hot witch boy...whose name I can't even remember.

Final verdict:
Looking back on it now, it's hard for me to remember much more then the 'romance' and insta relationships. Everything happens so quickly it was really impossible for me to take any of it seriously.

White Witch ended on a cliffhanger but I can't say that I was really holding on too tight. I would have rather seen these character crash and burn then figure out whatever it was they thought their problems were. Not a good thing to be feeling at the end of a book.

The first in a series, but I won't be reading any further. A quick read for me and probably for you as well and if you're looking for a somewhat lighthearted take on some staple paranormal elements, then White Witch might be for you. I can't say that I would outright recommend it but I do urge you to seek out other reviews before you decide for yourself.

Overall Rating:
2.5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Coven Series:
#1 White Witch
#2 Bane

Author's website / Goodreads / IndieBound

Monday, August 6, 2012

Not so Sunday Book Round Up

Hello lovelies!

Friday was my birthday and I actually did something to celebrate this year. My family and I got back yesterday from a fabulous mini vacation to some local attractions (including a bookstore ;) and I'm settling into my end of summer run around like a crazy person season, known to others as 'August'.

This lovely blurry pile pic (courtesy of my Tumblr) is a few weeks worth of book buying bountifulness :)

Hope you all are having a fabulous Monday!

Links are to Goodreads!



Shadows Before The Sun (Charlie Madigan #4) by Kelly Gay
One of the few adult series I still follow. I'm dying to read this one! Oh Hank how I've missed you!

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke
Impulse buy - love Cornelia's writing and fantasy worlds.

It's the First Day of School...Forever! by R.L. Stine
A new R.L. Stine! How could I not?

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser
A total impulse buy. Anyone read this one?

Cerulean Isle by G.M. Browning
New Hampshire author was signing this one at my local Indie bookstore - couldn't pass it up!

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
This one is my boyfriend's :)

Abarat by Clive Barker
Another one of my boyfriend's book - he's reading it now and says it's very good.

Bound to You by Christopher Pike
A bind-up of 2 Pike books I read as a teen - Spellbound and See You later

The Goddess Legacy (Goddess Test #2.5) by Aimee Carter
5 novellas from the Goddess Test series - back stories for Calliope (Hera), Ava (Aphrodite), Persephone, James (Hermes) and Henry (Hades).

Katana by Cole Gibsen
Read and loved and wanted my own copy :)

Breathless by Cole Gibsen
I loved Cole's first book (Katana) and wanted to give her second book a try.

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
A 2012 debut and even though I told myself I would lay off the hardcovers for a while I couldn't pass this one up.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can't Wait To Get My Hands On...Strange Chemistry

Strange Chemistry is the new young adult imprint of Angry Robot and they have some awesome looking books coming out this year.

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
September 2012

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Shift by Kim Curran
September 2012

When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made.

At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed.

In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings
October 2012

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
October 2012

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. And when Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

To break the curse, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks—all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic, and the growing romantic tension between them.