Mundie Moms

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

City of Lost Souls Cover REVEAL!

Oh WOW!!! What do you guys think!?!? I love it! USA Today Online posted this just a few mins ago, along with a lovely prologue. You can read all about it here.

Here's a little teaser from the longer excerpt that's posted:

May is a while away, though, so for now check out this exclusive prologue from City of Lost Souls to whet your appetite:

Simon stood and stared numbly at the front door of his house.

He'd never known another home. This was the place his parents had brought him home to when he was born. He had grown up within the walls of the Brooklyn row house. He'd played on the street under the leafy shade of the trees in the summer, and had made improvised sleds out of garbage can lids in the winter. In this house his whole family had sat shivah after his father had died. Here he had kissed Clary for the first time.

He had never imagined a day when the door of the house would be closed to him. The last time he had seen his mother, she had called him a monster and prayed at him that he would go away. He had made her forget that he was a vampire, using glamour, but he had not known how long the glamour would last. As he stood in the cold autumn air, staring in front of him, he knew it had not lasted long enough.

The door was covered with signs—Stars of David splashed on in paint, the incised shape of the symbol for Chai, life. Tefillin were bound to the doorknob and knocker. A hamesh, the Hand of God, covered the peephole.

Numbly he put his hand to the metal mezuzah affixed to the right side of the doorway. He saw the smoke rise from the place where his hand touched the holy object, but he felt nothing. No pain. Only a terrible empty blankness, rising slowly into a cold rage.

Leave us your thoughts! What do you think of the cover? What do you think of that killer ending to the excerpt?

If you want the Hi-Rez cover I recently added, be sure to stop by Cassie's tumblr page to grab it.

Book Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Published by: Simon Pulse
Released on: January 3rd, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
4 stars: I Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances… a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life…and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last…
-quoted from Goodreads

If this doesn't make you want to eat a cupcake, cuddled up under a warm blanket on a cold winters night with a mug of hot chocolate than I don't know what will. This book is so well crafted from the sweet winter romance, to the icy back drop from the winter season in the small town of Watonka, NY to the ice skating and ice hockey subplots and the deliciously described cupcakes. There's this perfect blend of romance, heart ached, friendship, sports, baking and realistic life lesson woven into this story. I adored everything about this well written, real life story line.

It's not hard to sympathize with Hudson. She's a character who's on the brink of trying to find her place in the world. She has dreams she wants to accomplish and yet she feels trapped in her mom's diner and the small town they're living in. She juggles working long hours in her mother's diner, school work, being with her friends, ice skating and doing everything she can for her mom, while putting her own social life on hold and own dreams and aspirations on hold. I honestly admired her for all the extra responsibility she takes on, even though at times I grew really frustrated with the way her mother handled things, even though I also understand the predicament her mom was in. The title is a perfect fit for this story, because Sarah does such a great job at writing about those bitter and sweet moments we all experience in life.

The relationships that are written in this story are so realistic and believable. I really enjoyed getting to know the different characters. Like Hudson, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. They'll flawed in some way, but do the best they can given the situations that come their way. There's times they make good choices and times not the best ones, but through it all they continue to cling to the hopes and dreams they each have. I respect any character who does that, especially Hudson who through a course of choices learns to let go of her past and cling on to her future.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is the role ice skating and the Wolves high school ice hockey team play in it. They provide moments of humor, romance and important lessons in friendship and self discovery for Hudson. I really enjoyed the authentic teenage romance in this story. Who wouldn't enjoy having two hot ice hockey players fighting for your attention? While I adore both Josh and Will, Josh won me over the moment he set his skates on the frozen pond. You don't need to know a lot about ice hockey or ice skating to understand the lingo that's discussed with these sports. Sarah does such a suburb job at getting to the heart and art of each of these sports, and the big role they play in both Hudson's and her small town's life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the feel of the story, the setting and the characters I felt like I got to know. It's a story who's small town feel really came to life for me, as Sarah drove home the importance of sacrifices family and friends make for each other. Not to mention it also left me craving one of Hudson's cupcakes. I love that under each chapter heading is a brief description of one of Hudson's well known cupcakes. I'm a sucker for those little creative attentions to details in books like that. I highly recommend picking this book up. Now that I've read one of Sarah's book, I'm looking forward to reading many more. There is very mild language, a scene with underage drinking and a few well written kissy scenes.

* On a side note, I LOVE the cover and title change that Simon & Schuster did. The ARC has a completely different title and cover from the published book. The new cover and title matches the story perfectly, and it adds that wintery feel the book has.

Waiting on Wednesday: SCARLET by A.C. Gaughen

Published by: Bloomsbury/ Walker & Co.
To Be Released on: February 14th, 2012
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for -quoted from Goodreads

I adore this synopsis and the fact there's a girl who's posing as a thief on Robin Hood's team. I already love the legend of Robin Hood, but I'm even more intrigued by it, because of Scarlet. This book has been on my to read list for months now and I can't wait to go pick it up next month when it's out. I'm even more excited about it's release, because A.C. is a debut author!!

What book are you waiting on?