Hooray! It is finally here! October! A month filled with all things spooky and paranormal as well as sweet treats for all you book lovers! Be sure to check in everyday for the update on the stops and giveaways! To see all the giveaways right here on Rainy Day Ramblings click Current Contests.
Jenny@Supernatural Snark: Kirsty Eagar: Night Beach
Laurie@ Reader Girls: Thomas Winship: Vaempires: Revolution
Please be sure to head over and check out the posts and giveaways.
Here today I am super excited to host Wendy Higgins the author of Sweet Evil. The lovely Wendy has stopped by to answer a few questions and throw a giveaway for all you fantastic readers. First here is a bit about Wendy:
After earning a bachelors in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until becoming a mommy. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.
She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Evil is her debut novel. You can catch the long winded version on her website. Be sure to visit Wendy on Twitter,Pinterest, Goodreads and Facebook. Stay tuned to her website for the latest updates and information on the continuation of her triology which I am pleased to inform you has finally been picked up by her publisher, Harper Teen, so we can expect to see the second and third books out very soon. Wendy is also releasing a short story featuring Kaidan. More details are on her site.
Now here is Wendy to answer a few fun interview questions:
1. Give us five reasons why everyone should be clamoring to read Sweet Evil....
2. What runs around in your head at night when you are trying to sleep?
3. Was there someone in particular that inspired you when you created Kaidan?
4. Since it is nearing Halloween, is there a particular book, story or movie you like to revisit during October?
5. What kind of Jack o Lantern face best illustrates you?
6. Quick a hoard of zombies is shambling toward you...look around you and tell me what you can use in a pinch as weapon.
7. What is the one candy that you withdhold giving out to the trick or treaters if at all possible so you can eat it later?
8. What scares you the most?
9. What book are you most looking forward to reading in the next couple of months?
Thank you so much Wendy for being here today and helping me kick off Something Wicked Comes! Now for the giveaway! Wendy is offering to one lucky winner a copy of her book, Sweet Evil. She was even gracious enough to make this an international giveaway as long as The Book Depository ships to you! To enter fill out the rafflecopter. Check out the Contest Policies for all details.
Here is my review:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Embrace the Forbidden. What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna. Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Paperback, 453 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by HarperTeen
Four Stars: A book that is not your typical YA angel book!
Anna is always the good girl, she doesn’t lie, drink, skip school or even attend parties. She has always been just a bit different from everyone else as she possesses super senses. Yet, she does her best to fit in, until she meets the mysterious and super hot Kaidan Rowe, a drummer in a rock band. He immediately senses that Anna is unique. Suddenly Anna’s world is turned upside down as she learns more about her abilities and heritage from Kaidan. Quickly and unexpectedly the two are thrown together for a whirl wind road trip to California so Anna can get some answers. In close confines, the seeds of attraction are sown, but unfortunately it is for naught. Kaidan and Anna due to their status as Nephilim cannot date or be together otherwise they are at great risk. Yet, the fires of forbidden love are stoked. Can Anna find a way to change her destiny and be with Kaidan?
What I Liked:
- I picked this up expecting to read a typical YA romance with a paranormal flair. Instead what I got was something unique, complex and very interesting. This is not your run of the mill boy meets girl and they fall in love story. It is so much more. If you like books with detail and something extraordinary check this book out.
- I loved that this book takes the angel vs. demon theme and builds and expands and makes it something entirely new. First, I will tell you up front their is not much discussion on heavenly angels. This book focuses on the Nephilim, which are the offspring between the sons of god (angels) and the daughters of men (humans). These children are born with special gifts and live to serve their fathers. In this case the fathers of the Nephilim are the Dukes. There is a duke for each deadly sin. The Nephilim are forced to serve their fathers and work at luring humans to sin. In addition to the Nephilim there are of course, heavenly angels, Guardian angels, and the Legionnaires, the demons that whisper to humans in order to tempt them. Ms. Higgins lays out a detailed and complex system of angels and demons that I found to be fresh and intriguing. If you are a fan of books featuring celestial beings along check this one out. I also very much appreciated that she included a glossary at the end that covers each Duke and their specific specialty and their offspring.
- I enjoyed the main characters Anna and Kaidan. Anna starts out as a simple, sweet girl who refrains from sin because it is in her genes. She comes from an angelic mother and a demon father. As the book progresses she learns more about her darker half and she is forced to embrace it or risk death. I enjoyed the transformation of Anna. It isn’t often you see a character go from perfect and nice to a little wicked. This was definitely new. Kaidan, on the other hand, is the bad boy rocker who is forced to work for his father and lure women to fall in love with him since he is the son of the Duke of Lust. At first, he appears to be self centered and uncaring, but as time goes on his softer side slowly emerges. He goes from being the bad boy to someone a bit more likeable. I love watching characters transform!
- I liked that the romance in this one is unexpected in that it is a forbidden romance so it is wrought with danger and it seems that it will remain unrequited. I like that the two time and time again are forced to deny their feelings and I am left wondering how they will fight it out.
- This book has rich characters that are fully fleshed out and detailed. I enjoyed that I was taken by surprise by some people’s actions and caught off guard when people I thought were bad showed they had sparks of goodness. One character in particular I was expecting to be evil and then I was totally flabbergasted to learn that inside was a good heart.
And The Not So Much:
- My main issue with this one is that it should be marketed to older teens only as there are some heavy themes that tend to be a little dark. There is lots of drinking and some drug usage, and discussion on losing one’s virginity, mentions of abortion as well. If you prefer to keep this kind of material away from your younger reader, then I would recommend they not read this one until they are mature.
- I was wondering why Anna’s father, a powerful Duke, spent years in prison. Why would someone with his power allow himself to be locked away. Could he not have used his influence and escaped? Did he stay incarcerated because he felt guilty for his actions?
- I never understood how one of the Nephilim, Kopano, is able to walk away from his duties and refuse to work. It seems that the demons keep a pretty close eye on the Nephilim and make sure that they are fulfilling their duties, so I couldn’t see why he could quit and not face the consequences. Also he was the son of Wrath and I didn’t see how he used his ability, the one time he was working he was gambling and winning at cards, it seemed he was making people envious rather than angry.
Sweet Evil was a surprising novel in that it was rich in original lore. It takes the well worn theme of demons and angels and refreshes it so we get something original and creative. I really enjoyed the amount of detail and explanation that went into creating this one. I am a stickler for details and I found this book covered everything so I was left with few questions. My only hesitation is that it has mature themes so it is best suited for older readers. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment to see how Anna continues to grow.
“This guy was sexy like it was his job or something.”
“The Georgia heat had set in, bringing with it tank tops and flip-flops, as well as shorts and skirts that kept no secrets.”
“An evil soul rejects the goodness and love naturally embedded in us from being made in the image of our Creator.”
“I’d never felt such longing. I wanted to....envelop him, wrap him up. Make him mine.”
“You. You’re a walking contradiction. Horns and a halo. I don’t believe it.”
“It was the good kind of laughter: the soul-cleansing, ab-crunching lose-control-of yourself kind.”
“Our souls complimented each other to the point where, eventually, we couldn’t stand to be apart.”
“It was horrible when I came to earth and saw the human souls trapped in their physical forms. They were miraculous creations, truly a work of genius and love. But they’re at odds with their own bodies.”
“Maybe it seems cruel to test the angels and the human souls, but it’s not like that. We have to face difficulties to found out what our strengths are. How we come back from a failure is a very valuable test.”
“The purpose of life is to find your way back to a spiritual way of thinking and living---to be able to get past the physical stuff.”
“My whole life I’d fooled myself into thinking I didn’t need his love, but I’d been wrong. Everyone needed their father’s love.”
“Self-pity was like wearing a wool jacket in the sweltering heat, and I wanted it gone.”
“I suppose there is no way of truly knowing one’s heart until one is put to the test.”