Tag Archives: Sweet Evil

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Wendy Higgins

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

I’ve been hosting the Book and a Beverage feature for a while now and I really wanted to expand the feature to extend to authors in 2014! I’m so excited to share these author Book and a Beverage posts with you and as always, many many thanks to the wonderful authors who participate!

Give a big welcome to author WENDY HIGGINS!

WendyHigginsBaaB     WendyHigginsBaaB

author

Name:  Wendy Higgins
You know her best as the author of… Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril, with Sweet Reckoning coming out this spring! 

      

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READING:
What are you reading? When I first started this interview I was reading SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard – super cool and dark and sensual.  Now I’m reading PIVOT POINT by Kasie West – a paranormal romance with an extremely cool mysterious concept.  I would highly recommend both!!!
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? It’s a paranormal with an extremely cool concept. I would definitely recommend it!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Poison Princess series by Kresley Cole (YA), White Hot Kiss series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (YA), and the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (this one is an adult paranormal romance).

WRITING:
What can you tell us about your current work in progress? Well, I’ve got two. I’m 10 chapters into a YA contemporary that I’m calling Kiss Collector, and 16 chapters into a Grimms’ Brothers based YA fantasy that I’m calling The Great Hunt. Both are fun for me in different ways. Neither have been picked up by a publisher, though.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I’ve tried to be a plotter but it’s really hard for me.  I was 100% out-of-order panster with my first book, and a more organized panster with subsequent books. 🙂
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? In my bed, propped up on pillows. Alone and in quiet. *happy sigh*

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What are you drinking? Dark Magic coffee with coconut creamer. Two cups every morning, and then just water for the rest of the day.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? Water. Boring, but good for me, lol.

thoughtprovoking

If you were to co-author a book with someone (anyone!), who would it be? I think Jennifer Armentrout and I would make a good co-writing pair because we have similar writing styles and we both lean toward the sexy bad boys.
Which character from a book would you say you’re most like? Hm…as far as characters go, I always related to Lissa in the Vampire Academy books because she’s sensitive and kind-hearted in comparison with her badass bestie.

A BIG BIG thanks to Wendy Higgins for being the first author on Book and a Beverage! I had an absolute blast reading her answers and I’m so excited for the sneak peeks at her new writing projects!

If you haven’t read Wendy’s “Sweet Trilogy” I also highly recommend it! 😀

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Wendy Higgins on Book and a Beverage! Find her at the links below!

Wendy Higgins Writes (Website) // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook // Pinterest

Are you interested in being featured on BOOK AND A BEVERAGE? Head on over to this feature’s page for the sign-up form!

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Sweet Peril (Sweet Evil #2) – Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril (Sweet Evil #2) – Wendy HigginsTitle: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins
Publishing Info: April 30, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 15, 2013
Related Posts: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)

    Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.
Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

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This is a spoiler-free review for SWEET PERIL but if you have not read SWEET EVIL yet, beware that there may be some spoilers for book one!

It’s no secret that I fangirled over SWEET EVIL pretty hard when I first read it last summer. I was allll about Kaidan and he truly made the book for me (ALL THE SWOONS) so when we left Sweet Evil with Anna and Kaidan separated, I had a great fear building up until I finally got my hands on SWEET PERIL that we would suffer from one of the common occurrences in the second in a series in which the two lovebirds are apart the whole book. Well, I feel it’s important to warn you (and there’s no way I can talk about the first half of the book) to say that… It happened.

I can’t. Get. Kupono. Out of my head.

First: I liked the book. I really did. Despite my wariness for angel/demon books, I really love how Wendy Higgins creates this other world and mythology and legends… But Kaidan, my main reason for loving the book, was gone the whole first half. There was tons of Kopano (which I’m sorry, as a SYTYCD fan, I keep wanting to say Kupono haha) but really, he just doesn’t do it for me. I actually didn’t really like him that much in the first book as a friend and here we go turning a slight love triangle and I just really felt let down. I was actually pretty disappointed with the direction that took. Then I run into another second in a series issue in which the characters are on a mission and traveling. The road trip in book one did not bother me at all because it was more road trip and not mission. The road trip was low-stress and we got to see a lot of character interaction between Anna and Kaidan there. The trips in book two are all over the world and pretty much are the only things we get in the first half of the book. They felt rushed and pieced together instead of a flowing story.

The second half of the book was where the magic really happened for me. It was back to the old times! The good times! Just like in Sweet Evil. We finally get to see Kaidan again for more than two seconds and he returns to all his steamy glory!! Anna finally seems a little more confident because I really felt like she was a bit passive and naïve (well, she’s always going to be naïve) in the first half. After what I felt like was travel, travel, more travel and introducing new characters, we get to know a bit more about the other Dukes, Neph, and angels in the second half. More pieces to the puzzle! More interesting facts!! YAYYY. It was a relief because I got really scared for a while in the beginning.

The second half definitely felt more like the “home” that I found in Sweet Evil so I was thankful we finally got back to that! The only thing I was a bit confused with is Anna’s character is kind of back and forth. She’s been learning how to defend herself but half the time she’s still the sweet, little naïve girl and the other half she’s badass and ready to wield weapons. I’m just not sure which Anna we should be expecting or if we truly should expect both in one. Clearly Anna’s going through a lot of personal changes throughout this whole discovery of her true ancestry and truth be told, I kind of enjoy the badass Anna BUT I also want her to stay true to her character so it’s kind of a toss up for me!

Overall, I did enjoy a lot from SWEET PERIL but it was a slow start for me. Superfans of the series will love it, I’m sure, and I’ve seen tons of five star ratings already!

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Anna Whitt: For some reason when I read Sweet Evil, I didn’t think Anna was that naive (and Wendy Higgins herself said to me, “Really? I think she’s incredibly naive!” but for some reason it just didn’t come across to me that way in book one. Book two, however, gave me a lot of that feeling and it bothered me at times. I think I was just in a different place when I read book two and it totally change my outlook on Anna’s character. Regardless, I’m happy that she’s learning how to defend herself but still hasn’t lost her morals or beliefs. I hope she stays true to her character in book three!!
Kaidan Rowe: Kaidan, why were you hiding in LA half of the book!?! Don’t do that to me!!! Once Kai finally shows back up in the picture in full force, the book really took off for me. I needed that tension between Anna and Kai for the book to work for me, I think, because that was what I loved so much about Sweet Evil!
Kopano: Eh. Kope just doesn’t do it for me. I wasn’t really a fan of his character in Sweet Evil — nothing personal, but he just didn’t stand out for me — so his major presence in Sweet Peril brought me down a little, to be honest!
Characters I loved seeing so much more of: Blake makes a strong appearance in this book and I loved him! Loved seeing more of Marnie and Ginger as well as Baleil/Anna’s father.

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Try it

I didn’t like this one as much… and I’m afraid my love for this series is starting to die! It was still a fun read but I feel like that magic is gone.

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     Sweet Evil      PIvot Point

SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins – Cover Reveal!

Friends!!! As you know, I fangirled quite hard when I first read SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins. Now I will fangirl just a bit more because THE SEQUEL IS COMING OUT THIS SPRING!!! Officially titled SWEET PERIL, this exciting sequel will be released in April 2013. And even more exciting is…. now we have an official cover for the book! Without further ado (drum roll please…..)

SWEET PERIL!!!!

So, what do you think? Looks like we’re in for an edgier Anna and more of some smoldering Kaidan!

Here are some more details about the exciting upcoming release, including a little blurb to tell us what this book holds in store for Anna and Kaidan:

About the Book: Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
Publication Date:  April 30, 2013 from HarperTeen
Book 3 of The Sweet Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, is slated for spring/summer 2014.

Sweet Peril on Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon | Preorder on Barnes & Noble | Preorder on The Book Depository

About the Author: Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.

Wendy Higgins Website | Wendy Higgins on Twitter | Author’s Facebook

Also, there is a pretty SWEET giveaway (seriously – these are some awesome prizes) hosted by S.M. Johnston! I’m sure you won’t want to miss your chance to enter!!!

Top Ten Tuesday – October 23, 2012: Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit!

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

This Week’s Topic is: Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit!!!

1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil: As I’m writing those post (which I started way ahead of time), I’m in the middle of ten (just over 100 pgs in). I started reading last night and it’s really good! But Brittany + scary book + home alone + dark = illogically frightened. So I joked about putting the book in the freezer (10 pts if you get the reference) and took a break so I didn’t scare myself too much.

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: I’ll admit it. I’m too scared to read this book. I got about 25 pages in and I just cannot cannot cannot do ghost stories. I really don’t know why but ghosts scare the ever-living daylights out of me. Anyway, I felt like something was going to creep around the corner at any moment so I stopped scaring myself and put the book down. *shrugs* Oh well.

3. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood: I thought this was a great book about witches! I liked that it deal with magic and witchcraft but the focus was more on society’s take on it and the secrecy of it instead of it being sinister and evil (it was just perceived that way by those who didn’t understand).

4. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard: I just finished this one a couple weeks ago and it was a really fun zombie read! I’m not much of a zombie person but I thought it was a quick and easy read with a few nice twists at the end!

5. The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead: I’m now in the middle of the 4th book, Blood Promise, and I’m still in love with this series. I think it could fit well with Halloween for the vampire aspect.

6. Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich: So I haven’t actually gotten to this one yet, but it’s actually Halloween themed! I still need to read #14 and this is really #14.5. No worries, I’ll always have time for Stephanie Plum!

7. The In Death series by J.D. Robb: I always think a good mystery is great for Halloween – pick up the In Death series and you’ll get some really crazy killers, that’s for sure. They’re almost like horror movies in themselves.

8. The Fear Street books by R.L. Stine: When I was a kid, I was reading the Fear Street books, not Goosebumps. It’s fair to say that these books DEFINITELY gave me nightmares. I think my mom finally convinced me to stop reading them so I would stop having bad dreams (even though I didn’t want to stop reading them).

9. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins: Spirits, devils, demons, nephilim, angels – perfect for Halloween spookiness. Well, and a hot guy. Not like that has anything to do with it though…

10. The Harry Potter series: I don’t know why ABC Family keeps insisting that these are Christmas movies. Witches, wizards, ghosts, vampires (yes, a vampire made an appearance at the Christmas party. Also, not in the movies), goblins, trolls, magic? Yes, this is Halloween-appropriate for sure. And of course, any reason for me to bring Harry Potter back in the mix.

 

This week at The Book Addict’s Guide…

Monday: A Fortnight of Fright: Guest Post from Kelsey – Haunted Walks Are Fun!Series Catch-Up 2012 Challenge: Sign-Ups!
Tuesday: 
Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Reads!
Wednesday: Something Strange and Deadly Read Along: Week 3
Thursday: A Fortnight of Fright: Favorite Halloween TV Episodes!
Friday: Casting Call [7]: The Body Finder

Discussion: From Appropriate to Taboo: Where to draw the line in YA

In the spirit of Banned Books Week (and the fact that my Top Ten Tuesday was horribly boring this week), I decided to stir the pot a bit with a discussion post. Here I want to ask the age old question: How far is too far when it comes to young adult novels?

You know what I’m talking about – the sex, the drugs, the drinking, the swearing. They all play a major part in our lives, obviously for some more than others, and despite the controversy, also in the lives of teenagers. I often wonder if I were to write a book, how would I feel on including these controversial subjects? Would I sensor myself in order to reach a wider audience and younger teens? Would I have a tell-it-like-it-is attitude and keep my novel gritty and heavy? Obviously this is going to vary from author to author and the reception of this will vary from reader to reader. Technically, there is no right or wrong answer on exactly what is appropriate for young adult readers and what is not, and I’m more so talking about the inclusion of these elements in general, not quite the severity of them (I think the majority of us can agree that graphic sex scenes, rampant cursing, and very heavy drug use is generally inappropriate for teen novels. This is meant as an interesting and fun discussion so please understand what I mean when I’m talking about what’s “appropriate” to include in YA).

Swearing: 
I don’t know about you guys, but I swore like a sailor as a teen (I guess I still do. Oops). A lot of times there are ways to avoid using curse words to make a book a little less harsh in language and a little more friendly to the younger teens (I’m not a parent, but I would venture to guess the parents would be happier about this too). The best example I have right now for this Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I’m in the middle of the audiobook (gotta love Wil Wheaton’s narration…) and I’m actually quite surprised at not only the frequency but the selection of curse words throughout the book. Now it doesn’t bother me in the least – if anything, it enhances the story for me a bit because it makes it seem more real. With plenty of surprising moments, bouts of frustration and anger, etc, swearing not only seems appropriate but naturally how I would react in these situations too. I can easily see where people would say it’s too much an unnecessary. For my tastes, it really works with the story. Another thing to think about here is that the main character Wade is also eighteen. It’s not like this is a book where the main characters are on the younger side of adolescence. If they were thirteen, fourteen, fifteen year-olds, I’d actually say the cursing would be a bit excessive for what I’d like to read from that age group. Obviously this is all my personal opinion, but for me, it fits. The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to see that it really depends on the age range of the characters and the age range of the target audience that seems to be swaying me in either direction. Another example that comes to mind is Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. Emmy has quite a different approach to swearing in her book: if ever it’s a “harsher” curse word, she actually censored the characters herself. Sometimes it was just “Screw you” or “you’re such a jerk” instead of the more crass language. A lot of the time, that actually took away from the story for me because it felt so unnatural. If I was that angered to the point of insulting someone and yelling, let’s face it. I’m not gonna use the word “jerk”. When the actual swear words were used, it was the bare bones of the swear and letting us fill in the rest of the letters to figure it out. From this method, I would guess that the target audience for Monument 14 may be a younger one and this would be a way to stretch the audience down to younger teens, even pre-teens considering we have characters that range from around 5 years old to 18; but then comes my issue with that balance. Throughout the book, we also have teen drinking (and a lot of it by the “cool” kids), nudity, sex, and violence (although the violence isn’t severe). So then I was left with the question, how subjective are one of these “taboos” to another? Personally I thought it was pointless to censor the swearing if we’re also reading about underage drinking, sex, and teenage fantasies. I thought those ranked a bit more severe on the taboo scale, but of course, that’s just another opinion. Which leads us to….

Sex:
Sex in high school was kind of a non-issue for me. I didn’t really have any relationships that lasted in high school so I was never really in that situation and I never had to think about it. I guess if I had to say how I felt about it back then, it was towards the negative side because I heard the negative stories: the wild parties, the teenage pregnancies, etc. So when I read YA books where the characters are sexually active or losing their virginity, I’m never quite sure what to make of it. Okay, here’s my confession: I was raised fairly conservatively and despite the mass amounts of movies and TV shows where sex is no big thing and everyone’s doing it in high school, it wasn’t like that for me. I grow a bit hesitant at the amount of young adult books I read with the same kind of situations. Is sex included because that’s the ultimate step to take as a teenager? That’s how you know the characters have finally committed to each other and fallen in love? I can see some books including it, but I’m afraid at just how many there are out there that all included a sex scene with their characters at 16, 17, or 18 years old. I don’t want to bring up books that may result in spoilers so I’ll try to use more familiar ones, like the Twilight series. I was crazy surprised that part of the main theme in Eclipse/Breaking Dawn is sex. Let’s be real: That’s the main reason Bella even marries Edward, right? Let’s get married so we can have sex? It didn’t seem like she really wanted to marry him otherwise (especially the way they portrayed it in the movie! I haven’t read the books in a while so that part is a little fuzzy). Am I right in saying that at least a little bit? And then Breaking Dawn happens and okay, so they’re married at this point, but the big moment finally happens and Bam! Immediate pregnancy. I guess that does really set up the plot for the rest of the book, but still. You just barely graduated high school, throwing away the college experience, begging to be a vampire just so you’re A) not older than your boyfriend by one year and B) so you can get it on. I don’t know. The more I think about it, the sillier it sounds. And don’t get me wrong – the Twilight series is still one of my favorites, but when I really stop to think about it, you can’t deny that sex shaped the entire second half of this series. Another series I loved but was still left with my jaw-dropped: The Chemical Garden by Lauren DeStefano. When I finished Wither, I was so excited to finish and really, really enjoyed the book, but at the same time, I was slightly appalled in a way. Whatever crazy mutation that this was that killed boys at 25 and girls at 20 (okay, what virus is really that specific and could really do that? – I overlooked it…) created a crazy teenage pregnancy break out. In order to keep the human race alive, there has to be teen pregnancy. Some of these girls are picked as young as they can so they can produce the most amount of babies for their teenage husbands, and poor little Cecily who is either 13 or 14 in Wither (I think maybe she turns 14 in the book?) is the first to get pregnant. And she’s excited for it. Wait, what? I mean, when I stop and think about it, I’m not sure how I ended up liking this book so much because how is that okay in any way? But again, this theme is something that shaped the entire plot of the whole series.
There are plenty of others of my favorites where the guy and the girl finally get together and then have sex. And sometimes, as much as I’ve loved the book, I just roll my eyes. Is sex always necessary to prove that this relationship is valid? For me, sometimes it’s the absence of sex that makes the book even better. I love the slow burn relationships and the sexual tension that pulls you along the whole story – and the characters don’t even have to hook up to make for a great ending – and sometimes I think that’s even better writing than having them jump in the sack together. Perfect example: I just finished Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and it instantly became one of my favorite books and one of my favorite literary relationships. No sexy times involved there (in the euphemistic sense…. because there were PLENTY of sexy moments between Anna and Etienne) and honestly, I think it was so great and perfect without the two of them hooking up.

Alcohol/Drugs: 
Another thing we can’t deny is part of the lives of teenagers is the presence of drugs and alcohol, although I’d say more often alcohol. I still frowned upon drugs pretty hard when I was in high school (again with the conservative upbringing), but I’d say by junior and senior year, the vast majority of kids were breaking into their parents liquor cabinets and having their older siblings buy them some booze. I’d say alcohol and some forms of drug use (I guess most commonly marijuana) are bound to slip their way into young adult fiction because they really are that present in so many people’s social circles. For me, I’d say their presence in YA books aren’t quite as controversial to me when it’s the “upperclassmen” (junior and senior aged high school kids) drinking and smoking pot. I think it’s fair to say that drug use more than marijuana isn’t commonly seen in YA lit (at least I can’t think of drug use like that in books that I’ve read – let me know if you have) due to the fact that once drugs like that are introduced into the story, I think the story immediately takes on a much more serious and controversial tone that aren’t necessarily relevant to the plot at hand. Alcohol, however, plays a much stronger role. It’s what makes the classic party scene and seems much less taboo to include. I was actually quite surprised to see such a strong presence of drugs and alcohol in one of my favorite books, Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. The story goes that Anna is a nephilim of one of the Dukes (that is to say, a higher demon) and along with others that represent the Seven Deadly Sins, Anna’s father is the Duke of substance abuse. His job as a demon is to lure people into alcohol and drug abuse and Anna as the super-innocent Southern girl has never touched the stuff. So long story short, we see Anna get familiar with these substances, learn how to control them, and has the classic battle between good and evil and whether to lead these people astray or keep them clean. I actually found the plot line extremely interesting, but really, once we were talking about serious drugs and those drugs showed up on the scene (although not actively used by the characters), it still brought up a serious turn in the tone of the book for me. It was instantly transformed into something that was just a little bit darker and a little bit more for “maturer” audiences (for lack of a better word). In Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, the pot usage by Noah and his tight group of friends didn’t really seem that off-putting. It’s a lot more common to see that show up, even among teenage crowds. Not to say I’m always in favor of its presence in YA novels, but I think it’s much more acceptable – in a way – than any other drugs. Then as far as alcohol goes, I think that’s a very real part of teenage life, like it or not. Where I think it really starts to get taboo is the age of the alcohol drinker. Like I had mentioned earlier, the norm for the kids that I knew at that age  was drinking at 17 and 18 years old. I think if the drinkers in the story are younger than 17 (for me at least) it starts to cross a line a little more and begins to raise red flags   the younger the drinkers get. I think I start to feel uncomfortable when the main characters are under 17 and drinking. I’m sure it has a lot to do with my personal experience so I’m interested to see what other people have to say about that!

This turned into quite the long winded post so I’ll start to wrap it up. All of these situations are clearly my personal opinions – and really, that’s what makes all of these situations so touchy. Everyone has their own personal experiences that shape their reading experiences as well. What’s taboo for one person is on the fence for another and is crossing the line for the next. It’s really all on the perception of the reader. I’m sure my opinion (as a 20-something) on these topics can vary extremely from someone who is a parent and has children who are reading the same books, as well as varying quite a bit from the actual teen. Mostly I’m really interested to hear what you guys think! I know a lot of us are adults reading YA novels because they’re fun, there are so many great ones being published, and they’re so enjoyable. So here are my questions for you:

How do you feel about these topics?
How controversial do you find them?
If you’re a parent, how do these themes affect how you feel towards the books?
Would you tell your kids not to read any books because of these themes?
Do any one of these elements turn you off from a book just because of their 
presence? 

Let me know anything I missed, any opinions you want to throw at me, and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!!

Sweet Evil Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway!

Sweet Evil Blog Tour, Wendy Higgins Interview, and Book Giveaway!

Happy September, everyone! Hard to believe it’s already September, but enough about that because today is the day I’ve been waiting for! It’s my stop on the SWEET EVIL blog tour!!!

I’m sure anyone who’s been reading my blog lately already knows how much I’ve loved SWEET EVIL. After its debut review post (in which I fangirled), I also featured it in several Top Ten Tuesday and TGIF posts because let’s face it, I wanted to spread the news about how much I loved this book and I’ve been trying to force encourage people to read it ever since.

New visitor to The Book Addict’s Guide, you say? Or still don’t know what SWEET EVIL is about? Here’s some info to hook you in:

Sweet Evil
Written by: Wendy Higgins

Published by: Harper Teen
Page Count: 447 pages
Synopsis:
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?

Yep, starting to sound awesome, right? If you still need more convincing or now you’re just so excited and can’t wait to find out more, here are some great links to check out:

The Official Sweet Evil Trailer
Read the first EIGHT chapters!
Add Sweet Evil on GoodReads
Sweet Evil on Facebook

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Already a fan? Grab some Sweet Evil Kai buttons:

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As another part of this blog tour, I had the opportunity to interview Wendy Higgins, the amazing author behind SWEET EVIL!

Interview with Wendy Higgins, author of SWEET EVIL

Hi, Wendy! Thanks so much for joining me for an interview!
WH: Thanks so much for having me!

In Sweet Evil, we find out that Anna and Kaidan are Nephilim (the offspring of angels/fallen angels and humans) and possess super-human powers like heightened senses and the ability to read auras & emotions. I love the creativity! How did you come up with these abilities?
WH: When I first got the idea to write about angels/fallen angels, I asked myself, “If an angel were to inhabit a human body, what effects would they have on it?” I know the heightened senses has been done a thousand times before, but it felt right. And I think that angels would have extreme empathy, to the point where they could actually see and feel emotions, hence the auras.

I really enjoyed the twist that we get between the angel/demon interactions. Did you have to do a lot of research to develop the history of the characters?
WH: I read a bunch of interesting things online and in the Bible about angel and demon lore, but not much information is really given, so I just made stuff up! I just kept asking myself questions, like, “What would be the early role of demons? How many will be allowed to roam earth? What kinds of angels of light are there, and what are their roles?” etc.

Anna was a totally relatable character to me. I really loved the fact that she was sweet & innocent, but not terribly naïve. Do you see a lot of yourself in her character?
WH: Oh, you don’t think she was naive? I think she was very naive, but she was strong enough to cling to her beliefs even when temptations came (it helps that she has friggin’ angel blood, lol). I was sweet and innocent at her age, but I did not have Anna’s will-power. Not enough angelic blood in me, I guess.

Me either!
My favorite of the book (as I’m sure is everyone else’s!) was Kaidan. He had me swooning the whole time! Was he always pegged to be the son of the Duke of Lust?

WH:Yes. From the start. After I envisioned Anna I thought, “Now, who will our little angel-demon girl fall for?” And I started running through the seven deadly sins. Naturally when I got to Lust my imagination lit up. *DING* Winner!

Speaking of which, I really liked the different Dukes and their different jobs, despite the evil factor. How did you pick which jobs/sins to involve?
WH: When I first wrote the book I had too many Dukes. I had the seven deadly sins AND the Ten Commandments AND a few other things, like Gambling. Whoa. But then I started to feel like some of those would be harder to incorporate, and I didn’t want readers to be uncomfortable with the amount of Biblical references (heck, I was already pushing the envelope on religious stuff and had NO idea if anyone would be able to appreciate the lore of it). So I tweaked and tweaked until my editor and I agreed that it was a good mix.

I also love the oxymoron of the title Sweet Evil! Even though there are a lot of dark and evil trials that these characters go through, I think we really start to see that there can be a little bit of good in people where you least expect it. What’s the message that you want readers to take away from this story?
WH:
Everyone is capable of good and evil. Love and hate. In every choice we make. These Nephilim might have a harder time because of the additional urges of vice, but they’re all capable of good, as well.

And now The Book Addict’s Guide’s “A little less serious and a little more fun” Quick Bookish Q&A!

Where is your favorite place to read/write?
WH: In my bed.

Are there any authors you’re dying to meet?
WH: I just got to meet Jay Asher—YAY! I’d love to meet Richelle Mead.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
WH: Harry Potter. Absolute classic.

Who’s your biggest literary crush?
WH: I have SO many. Daemon from Obsidian is a biggie. 🙂

Who’s your favorite literary villain?
WH: Malfoy (and his whole family)

Romance or Sci-fi?
WH: ROMANCE. Although, if you put the two together? Major win for me.

Paperback/Hardcover/eBook/Audiobook?
Hardback. It’s my weakness and guilty pleasure.

Wendy, thanks so much for the interview, and really thank you for one of my favorite books so far this year! Sweet Evil had everything I look for in a book and more and I had so much fun reading it!
WH: It was my pleasure, Brittany! Happy reading, everyone!

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One more thing, and that’s the giveaway! I’ve got some awesome SWEET EVIL bookmarks from Wendy Higgins herself! I’ve decided to forgo the rafflecopter form and keep it simple, so all you need to do is leave a comment below. Since Sweet Evil was one of my favorite reads this year, I want to know what your favorite read of 2012 has been so far! All you need to do is comment and leave me a way to contact you if you’re the winner (email address, twitter, etc). This contest will run through the end of the tour, which is September 15th.

Good luck, and thanks for checking out the blog tour! Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for SWEET HOPE, hopefully coming soon 🙂

UPDATE: BOOKMARK WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Okay, with the conclusion of the tour, here’s the announcement for the winner of the Sweet Evil bookmark contest:

Thanks to Random.org for generating the random number for me – It’s entry number two which is Alyssa Susanna! The email to notify her is on its way and she will have 48 hours to claim her prize.

Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest! I really hope you enjoyed the blog tour! 🙂

TGIF – August 17, 2012

It’s time for TGIF again, thanks to Ginger at GReads!

So this week’s TGIF topic is:
Pimp Your Review: Feature a favorite book review you’ve written in the past that you feel deserves more love!

Okay, so here are a couple of my favorite reviews! In case you haven’t seen them, here’s your chance to fangirl with me 🙂

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Posted 8/6/12
Where She Went by Gayle Forman – Posted 6/26/12
Wither by Lauren DeStefano – Posted 6/1/12

Okay, I think that’ll do it for some of my favorite reviews. Hope you like ’em!

TGIF – August 10, 2012

It’s time for TGIF again, thanks to Ginger at GReads!

I’m actually on vacation right now, but I figured I’d schedule a TGIF post so you didn’t miss me too much 🙂

This week’s TGIF topic is:
Unexpected Books: Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?

  1. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks – I’m not really one for mermaids or mermaid-type stories, but Anna Banks does a fantastic job of this! It’s so different and I love the twists and turns she takes with it. Plus, I love her sarcastic and witty sense of humor! I really ended up liking this one a lot! Now if she’d only write the Sasquatch love story…
  2. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Okay, so I figured I’d like this book. I didn’t think I’d end up falling in love with it! You can check out my fangirl review and that pretty much sums it up!
  3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I borrowed this book from a friend. She said she really enjoyed it. I was pretty skeptical! But this was pretty different from the typical vampire stories. I actually liked it a lot and got totally sucked in by the second book.
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – I really not a big fantasy/high fantasy person, so when I read all of the awesome reviews for Graceling, I was hesitant, but decided to pick it up. Turns out, it’s a lot easier to relate to than I thought! I really loved it!
  5. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – Another historical fiction type book but it’s got such great paranormal element to it! And apparently almost any book with a kick-ass heroine will have me sold. I really, really enjoyed reading this one, and highly recommend it!!

Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil Trilogy #1) – Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil Trilogy #1) – Wendy HigginsTitle: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins
Publishing Info: May 1, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 26, 2012
Related Posts: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2)

    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 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?

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Okay, before I even start to review this… You know how this whole YA Crush Tourney is going on? I was all, “What’s the big deal? Sure I’ve had book crushes, but I’m not all up in arms about any one of them…” And then I read this book. And MAN I was too late because Kaidan already lost to Finnick (really? Clearly not enough people have read this book) on July 13th (I finished on 7/26… Way too late). So that just shows you how quickly I went from zero to “I love him”!

So now to the review. Umm.. how do I put this? I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a while. And that’s saying a lot considering I’ve given so many books 5-star ratings recently. I mean, for all of those that I adored, I loved this one that much more. Really. It’s like 6 stars, if that were possible!

Right from the beginning, I loved everything about SWEET EVIL. Anna is sweet and innocent and usually those characters are naive and annoying, but that’s not Anna at all. She’s a normal girl! Well, if normal means seeing people’s auras in colors, heightened senses, and oh yeah, daughter of an angel and a demon. But she acts normal, is what I’m really getting at here. She was so completely relatable because that’s who I was in high school. Subtract a little bit religious and Southern and add a little choir and basketball and that was me in high school. In fact, I was actually picturing this taking place in my high school whereas usually with books I just created some random place in my mind based on the details I was given. That’s how much I related!
Kaidan. Oh, Kaidan. Brooding. Sexy. British. Son of the Duke of LUST? What? How can anyone resist that? He was built to tease and tempt us and by golly, I was all for him. Then we get to know Kaiden a little better and see that he’s more then just his father’s son and he may actually care for Anna. Lust, romance, and tenderness!? Swoooooon. Yikes. Bravo, Wendy Higgins! Hands down the first character I’ve swooned for. Honestly.
The relationship that develops between Anna and Kai. SIGH. It’s so “I-want-you-but-I-can’t-have-you” and it kills me! They belong together, but they know they shouldn’t be together. I love where the story takes us and it just really tugs on your heartstrings to see these two apart!
I also really loved the best friend Jay! And I’m so glad this was NOT a love triangle situation! Anna can read auras as colors and right off the bat, she knows that Jay is not into her as more than a friend and she’s not into him. She knows his feelings and he doesn’t lust for her and I’m so glad  we don’t divert into love triangle here! It was a highly fascinating story and I think the presence of this love triangle would have ruined it, honestly.

Okay, and onto the actual plot — Once again, absolutely loved it. I think this could have easily crossed the line into religious with all of its dealings with heaven/hell/angels/demons, the fact that Anna’s religious and prays and goes to church — And (not so secret confession) I went to a Catholic school for 10 years. I almost felt like I was forced into religion (that’s a talk for another day, different time) so I always get so frustrated when characters are really religious. It’s just something weird that I have from how I grew up, but when a character is religious or I feel a book is preachy, I get immediately turned off. I feel like this danced perfectly on the line of sacred and secular and played extremely nicely interweaving the two.
I loved the creativity with it being so much more than just Nephilim being the children of demons, that Anna was the child of an angel AND a demon, which is not supposed to happen. I love that it was a little bit more of paranormal when we learn about that the way that Anna reads auras by seeing the colors of people’s emotions. The heightened senses also played a really big part. It was just so much more than Angels vs Demons and it just really drew me in.

QUOTES

  • P 13: He was smokin’ hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I’d never understood until this moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra-T worthy.
  • P 15: Kai, like Thai, only yummier.
  • P 136: I’d had my first kiss, and I’d never be the same.
  • P 231: I’ve heard the saying that you can’t miss what you never had. Only I did. The disappointment hurt.

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Read it!

I’m not sure if everyone will love this one as much as I did… I think it was right place, right time you know? But I still had a ton of fun with this one!

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 31, 2012: Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

It’s time again for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

Oooh okay. This reminds me a bit of my good old Freaky Friday posts (for those of you who were lucky enough to catch them or unfortunate enough to be put through that, depending on how you want to look at it) before I realized it was a really hard weekly feature and promptly took it down after a few weeks…. Whoops. This will be more fun! A quick post and people I actually want to switch places with. Hmm, okay. Here goes!

1. My good old stand-in, Stephanie Plum (a creation of Janet Evanovich). First off, I think I’d fit well in her life (Italian family, pretty accident-prone, etc) so I think I could take it on! Not sure how I’d handle tackling bounty hunters… Maybe that would be Stephanie’s day off! But I sure as hell wouldn’t mind getting mixed up between Joe Morelli and Ranger! Plus I think it’d be a hoot to hang out with all of Steph’s kooky friends like Lula, Connie, Sally Sweet, and her crazy Grandma. I’m in!

2. Anna Whitt from Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Two words: Kaidan Rowe. I just finished this book (review scheduled) and this is just a preview of my fan girling over this book. Granted there are many temptations that Anna faces and evils she has to deal with, but 24 hours with Kaidan Rowe would be worth it! Plus I’d get to use all her super awesome Nephilim powers and that would be pretty awesome. Let’s hope I catch her on a good day!

3. Izzy Spellman from The Spellman series (by Lisa Lutz). Coming from a hilarious family of private investigators (okay, maybe not as hilarious to her since none of her life is private), I think if it was only 24 hours, it’d be hilarious to hang out with this family that gives each other code names and does not at normal whatsoever! It’s a riot a minute in these books and her sister Rae also seems like someone I’d totally get along with. I’d just love to see where I fit in somewhere in that wacky family.

4. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling). Smart. Classy. A witch. And totally badass. Not to mention once that whole Voldemort mess is over, she’s on to bigger and better things, together with Ron, and has an awesome friend like Harry. And magic? Hell yeah, let me in that club! Pottermore just isn’t enough. I want to really experience Hogwarts! I’m sure it was just Errol who lost my Hogwarts letter… Right?

5. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Once Katsa finally breaks free of her uncle’s reign, she’s onto awesome missions to help people in need, has amazing fighting skills (and then some), and starts a romance with Po. Katsa’s world just seems like a place I would love to experience! I’d love to see how the Graces worked and try out her abilities.

6. Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series (Richelle Mead). Wait a minute… Am I choosing all of these people based on the romance that’s involved in the book? Okay well… kind of guilty there. But I really do love the vampire world that Richelle Mead creates! It’s interesting, it’s refreshing, and Rose is another awesome fighter (sheesh, for not fighting at all in my own life, apparently these are the people I want to switch places with). She’s got a great friend in Lissa and helloooooo Dimitri! Swoon.

7. Princess Buttercup from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Princess, but used to be a commoner. Tough but a total romantic. And then there’s Westley. I love this love story! And I love the sass and wit that not only is the movie (which I saw first), but I learned that ALL of it came directly from the book. I’d also love to hang out with Inigo and Fezzik, you know, just riding around on white horses after totally humiliating Prince Humperdink. I’ll just stay away from the R.O.U.S.s – So is it a deal? Can we make that happen? Just say it – “As you wish.”

8. Lena Haloway from Delirium/Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. So maybe it wouldn’t be such a great time in Delirium, but I love the love story of falling in love. I totally fell in love with that book and really liked following Lena’s story – I’d definitely like to switch right where Pandemonium left us at the end. Lena’s got some awesome stuff to deal with and some crazy revelations (none of which I will reveal since they are huge spoilers!) but she’s morphed into such a stronger person than she ever though she could be and it seems like that’s the turning point in her life! It would be a great place to jump in and totally take charge.

9. Heather Wells from (created by Meg Cabot). I just started reading the 4th book in the Heather Wells series, Size 12 and Ready to Rock, and I’m really enjoying it so far! Even after all these years, I’m still in love with her relationship with Cooper and she just seems like so much fun! In so many ways, I really relate and she kind of handles situations how I (think) I would handle them.

10. Ismae from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. This is another one that I just read recently and usually I wouldn’t pick such a historical setting – I’ve never been one for the middle ages, but with Ismae, it just totally works. She makes the middle ages tough and desirable. She’s got awesome powers (albeit dark ones used for killing) and she’s in total control of her life. I’d love to switch places with her with all her confidence too. And of course, I’ll mention the love interest of Duval. How could I not?

So upon completing this list, apparently I picked a lot of these girls because they were A) strong and fighting heroines or B) have swoony relationships. I’m not quite sure what that says about me… But I’m interested to see what everyone else picks! Link me up with your choices! I’d love to see them!!!