Saturday, April 7, 2012


The switch is final! My new home is at Wordpress. If you would like to continue following my blog, head on over to:

To celebrate the move, there is a contest, new reviews, new books, and did I mention there is a contest?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coming Soon After this Short Break From Our Sponsors

Hello Authors, Publishers, and Followers!

(This is our wedding picture from almost three years ago!)
It's been a whirlwind past couple of months away from here and I have lots to share! First, the reason for my absence was three-fold. The first, my husband quit his job to go back to school full time and participate in two internships, leaving me to work more hours at both of my jobs. That has hardly left me any time to read, let alone sleep, eat, and exercise. It was a huge decision for us, but one that I don't regret and I cannot be any prouder of him.

The second reason, we got a puppy for my parents. She is a sweet border collie/australian cattle dog mix. That means she is full of energy and is incredibly smart. As a whole family, we took on the role of training. So, I am there multiple times a week trying to help out. I've never had a dog, so this has been such a fun experience.

And lastly, we manage a rental house and are preparing and searching for more roommates. It's a harder task than you would think! So, we have been remodeling the decor, advertising everywhere, and interviewing lots of people.

Coming Soon!
The Book Heroine is moving to Wordpress! Many of my book blogger friends have already made the jump and I had just been waiting for a reason. Well, Blogger served that reason on a silver platter when they removed friend connect. I am working on my new site and will have a Grand Opening with lots of book reviews, author interviews, and give aways! Until then, keep reading!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Circus Galacticus by, Deva Fagan


Author: Deva Fagan
Publisher: Harcourt
Released: November 15, 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: YA-middle school, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect.

But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it.

Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel secrets of her own past--if she can survive long enough.

What a ride! The blurb above gives a great description of the plot, so I won't waste your time repeating that. It is an adventure of one young girl who doesn't want to waste her life and talents in the shadows of others. Honestly, the blurb was more exciting than the book ever got. I was sorely disappointed in every outcome.

Let's talk about Trix. Life at the boarding school stunk. She didn't fit in, the students teased her, and the staff made her life unbearable. Did she fight? Cause trouble? Stand up for herself? No. She ran away to the circus. I had hoped for some sort of exciting battle of wits between her and the headmistress at least. Later, as she takes the plunge to join the gang, one hoped that she would discover her special talent that would separate her from the rest. Nope. Nothing special, just pink hair. Of course, I loved that she found a place to belong and share her life with.

The other characters seemed intriguing at first. With the different possibilities of talents in a space circus, I thought the author would get more involved in their development. I was disappointed to find most of them flat. I did find a couple characters cute, but nothing special. The Ringmaster was just strange. It seemed like the author alluded to Trix falling for him, but then he seemed more like a mentor. When romance is even slightly hinted, as a reader, I crave to find out the end result. This seemed like a tease.

Altogether, I just wasn't thrilled with the overall book. My expectations must have been too high with all the positive hype it had been given. I hope you all found it much more pleasing!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

WINNER of the Touch of Power Contest

Hopefully, everyone is having an eventful and pleasant holiday. I have been very blessed to spend the last few days with my amazing in-laws in Northern California. Surprisingly, there is no snow this Christmas. The upside is not having to bundle up in five layers to take the trash out.

Alright, I will get to the good part! The winner of the contest is:

DeAnn from Butterfly Books

Make sure you check out and follow her blog! It seems to be a pleasant mix of reviews, opinions, and other such tidbits. One post was a wishlist of books and Touch of Power was number one. Glad to help Santa out on that one. ;]

Congrats, DeAnn!

Since I am still on vacation until Tuesday, I will not be posting my review of Maria's novel until then (along with many others throughout the week). I am so excited for the next two weeks that entail me working only one job. That means, book review catch up! I have about five or so to post and lots more reading to do!

Until then, Happy Holidays to everyone and no matter what you celebrate, enjoy family and friends. That is the most important part!

Your Book Heroine

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview with Maria V. Snyder & Contest!

Today, I am lucky enough to have Maria V. Snyder visiting the blog!  She is the author of the Study series, the Glass series, and the Insider series.  As always when reading Maria's books, I fell for her latest characters and quickly got on board with a whole new story.  When I first asked Maria for an interview, Outside In (book 2 of the Insider series) had just released and Touch of Power was finishing up.

BH:  Thank you, Maria, for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Since you are one of my favorite authors, I must say that it was difficult keeping the list to a minimum!
MVS:  Thank you for inviting me to your blog.  I am honored to be one of your favorite authors.

BH:  After two wonderful series, both set in the lands of Ixia and Sitia, what made you break away and begin a whole new world of adventure in the Insider series?
MVS:  Even though I thoroughly enjoyed writing the Study and Glass books, I was ready for a new creative challenge.  It's fun to create a new world and meet a number of new characters.  It also helps to keep my writing fresh and least I hope it does!

BH:  You have chosen incredibly strong females as your protagonists in all four of your series.  Were they a reflection of yourself or inspired by someone you know?
MVS:  As a reader, I've always been drawn to strong female protagonists.  Growing up, my mother and father always encouraged both me and my sister to be very independent and be able to take care of ourselves, and I think that translated into all my lead characters.

BH:  What made you lean toward a more dystopian genre and pick a science fiction setting for the Insider series?
MVS:  Actually, I didn't pick the genre or the setting - the story came to me in a dream.  I dreamt about Trella, Cog and Broken Man, the Pop Cops, the twists, the setting all in one dream!  I haven't done it before or since (wish I knew what I had for dinner the night before).  In fact, I didn't really consider it a dystopian until my editor mentioned how it was similar to the "Hunger Games".

BH:  Have these stories been building for many years now or did their inspirations come together quickly and unexpectedly?
MVS:  Both.  The Study and Glass books started with an idea for a food taster to be the main character of a fantasy novel. I thought it would be a stand alone book, but it turned into three books and spun off the Glass series.  "Inside Out" was one dream in one night!  A gift from the sandman ;>

BH:  You've done a lot of research for your books, like glass blowing, horseback riding, and even studied poisons. What was that like?
MVS:  I love doing hands-on research for my books.  It's the best way for me to be able to translate an experience into words.  All my classes and lessons have been loads of fun and sometimes scary (horses are big and kilns are hot!) and I learn so much more than what goes into a book.  I would love to do more with glass, but I don't have the time or resources right now.  What I like best is exploring new subjects and skills - I don't need to become an expert at anything, but I learn enough to be dangerous ;> I have a legitimate reason to be a dabbler.

BH:  If you could be any one of your countless characters, whom would you be and why?
MVS:  Avry who is the main protagonist in "Touch of Power".  She's a healer and I've seen so many friends and family members suffer with various problems, that I wish I could just...heal them.  All the money in the world is nothing compared to good health.  Also as a mother - healing would be wonderful.  I hate to see my kids sick or hurt.  My second choice would be Valek - 'cause, well...he's Valek ;>

BH:  You have a new book coming out December 20, Touch of Power.  Will you give us a little synopsis of what we can expect out of the first book in the new series?
MVS:  "Touch of Power" is a fantasy novel about a healer set in a world that is recovering from a deadly plague.  Avry's world has blamed the plague on the healers and has hunted them down.  She is finally caught only to be rescued by a group who wants her to heal their Prince.  The group's leader, Kerrick, knows the healers aren't to blame for the plague and that she could do some good for a change instead of hiding.  Unfortunately, she believes this Prince is the one who started blaming the plague on the healers so she isn't risking her life for some pampered Prince.  As they travel to the Prince's hidden location, they're pursued by others who have realized having a healer around might just be a good thing for them, but not necessarily for her.

You can read the first chapter of Touch of Power here:

BH:  If you could choose your theme song, what would it be and why?
MVS:  This isn't quite a song...but I would choose the little ditty Dory sings in the movie "Nemo".  She sings, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." when it looks like all is lost.  I really love that attitude and it's so true with writing. Just keep writing and submitting and eventually things will happen. That's exactly what happened for me.

BH:  What was, is, or would be your favorite toy to play with in the bathtub?
MVS:  I used to take in my Fisher Price toys - those little plastic people with the cars and various furniture.  I'd set up an underwater city for them and they'd have to fight off sea dragons and other denizens of the deep.  LOL - I haven't thought about that in years!

BH:  What's quirky and unusual about yourself that one wouldn't read about in a typical biography?
MVS:  I love office supplies.  My office lacks for nothing and my kids refer to my well-stocked supply closet as "little Staples".

Want to get more info about Maria V. Snyder and her books? You can learn about her and even read the first chapter of all her books as well as a number of free short stories!

Did you know she's a blogger? Stay in touch with new books and learn more about this splendid author!
Now for the best part...

The Contest!

Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Maria's newest book:

The contest will end: Saturday, December 24 at 11:59pm ET

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

***Spoiler Alert***

Author: Douglas Rees
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: September 27, 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: YA, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Source: NetGalley

I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it--even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.
I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best--a Fame spell. Good idea, right?
Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.
Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and--ahem--maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. WAYpast. Cars amaze him--CARS! And cell phones? Ugh.
Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star--crossed...

As I read this book, I kept thinking, 'Yes! This is going to make four or five stars! I am loving this idea, the characters, the flow!' Then, the book dove...hard. Let me explain.

What a great plot! Girl wants the role of Juliet (what actress doesn't?). Girl casts a spell to get role after bum audition (what girl wouldn't?). Girl gets hot Shakespeare from the past instead (what girl couldn't live with that?). It's a sweet idea!

Miranda was not my favorite female lead character. Her character seemed flat and it was difficult to get a connection. In other reviews, bloggers have suggested that it was the fact that the author is male, so writing this from a female's perspective was awkward. I kind of agree to that. He seemed to put his effort into the male characters more than Miranda's. He did a great job with Edmund! I really enjoyed his persona, his passion, and his spark! My favorite was definitely Drew, though. Such a sweet, head-over-heels in love boy. The best friend that was always there. I think these two saved the book for me.

The biggest downfall was towards the end. I was happy with the explanation of Edmund's time travel to be magic. Bringing into the factor science experiments, battery-water....blah blah blah. It lost me. Then I actually laughed at the whole phone app thing. Really? Magic was more believable. It got way too confusing and too quickly. It was quite the let down.

On the romance-side of things, I did not like the battle of relationships. Edmund was a player. Period. It's the time-period he came from. For Miranda to just take him later on seemed implausible. He's dirty in more ways that just needing a good bath. It was obvious from the beginning that Drew had been in love with her. The way it all played out did not make me happy. Miranda was seconds for Edmund and Drew for MIranda. Ick.

In all, I gave three stars just because this story has such good promise. It didn't make even a fraction more because it just faltered in the end. I would love to get your opinions on this story.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tankborn by, Karen Sandler

Author: Karen Sandler
Publisher: Lee and Low Books
Released: September 28, 2011
Pages: 384
Genre: YA, Sci Fi
Source: NetGalley

Best friends, Kayla and Mishalla, know they will be separated for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-Humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. GENs are gestated in a tank and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.
When Kayla is assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds secrets and surprises; not the least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul's great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.
After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan with their new friends to save the children who are disappearing. Yet, can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face.

This book grabbed my attention instantly. Just the title alone reminds me of the Matrix, humans being genetically engineered and grown in tanks. I didn't even read the synopsis before jumping into this novel. I kind of wish I did, though. It might have prepared me for some of the strange language.
The story itself is pretty amazing. The author weaves a world where the caste system is strongly in place and the selfish quality of humans is well portrayed. Earth crumbles and humans move to Loca where they start over. They don't learn from their mistakes, though. They worsen in their ways. The most important things are status, wealth, and land. Part of that is owning GENs, to abuse and use in whatever way. The GENs have been raised to believe that their god has designed all this and their servitude is a part of the plan. There is some romance, but it does not muddle the plot, nor does it take away from it.
The characters are not as developed as I had hoped for. There is so much action, that it seemed rushed to get to know them. If this was a series, I would have been okay with that as there would be time later, but this seems to be a stand alone novel. What was developed, I loved! Mishalla has such a huge heart, Kayla so courageous, and Zul such an amazing leader despite his handicap.
Back to the language part. Just like most sci-fi books, Tankborn does have its share of slang. For some reason, the words used to replace today's is odd. For me, it did not flow well and it distracted from the whole point. I don't know what to recommend because an author has full liberty in science fiction. It didn't take away to omuch, but enough for me to say something.
In all, I really enjoyed this novel. The struggle of the lower class, the reasoning to explain how the human race got to where it is in the storyline, and the disillusionment of the GENs. I wish the story could have been longer or there was a sequel because I would love to see where Kayla's life could go from here.