Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: The Blue Blazes

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Blue Blazes
   *Series: Mookie Pearl #1
Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Angry Robot
Pages: Paperback; 397
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy tough characters and unique storylines!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Meet Mookie Pearl.
Criminal underworld? He runs it.
Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.
Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job.
But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give…

The Blue Blazes – the first in a new urban fantasy series in which lovable thug Mookie Pearl must contend with the criminal underworld, the supernatural underworld, a new drug that makes the invisible visible, and a rebellious teen daughter who opposes him at every turn.

Wow, what a ride! The Blue Blazes is one of those reads that you pick up, intending to read a few pages, and then just can't put it down. A perfectly wild plot meshes with plenty of tough and quirky characters into something that is just too delicious for words. However, since this is a review after all, I'll do my best to put it into words. Let the raving commence!

The prose in this book was a little more choppy than what I was used to. I soon came to love it though, especially once I met Mookie Pearl. A tough guy of the highest caliber, Mookie is all about brute strength. Don't let his appearance fool you though. Mookie has a good head on his shoulders and a large heart to match it. I couldn't help but fall in love with the way he functions. As a father, as hired muscle, and just as a human being. 

Which is actually how I felt about all the characters in The Blue Blazes! I was pleasantly surprised by the cast of characters that accompanied Mookie in this book. Unique personalities that showcased both their strengths and their weakness made for a set of people I couldn't help but love, or hate as the case may be. This is the perfect example of why pitting the good guys against the bad ones doesn't always work. There are grey areas, and Chuck Wendig isn't afraid to explore those.

Add in a world that sets organized crime against the gritty underworld, and you have a book that I just couldn't get enough of. I could ramble endlessly about how hard I fell from this book, but I'd rather let you discover it for yourself. Let's just say that The Blue Blazes is absolutely worth a read. This is my first Chuck Wendig book, but mark my words when I say it won't be my last.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Domino Falls

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Domino Falls
   *Series: Devil's Wake #2
Author: Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: Ebook; 384
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Content Screening: Violence; Adult Language

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Fans of zombie stories! Especially those who love new twists in their literature.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
It began on Freak Day—that day no one could explain, when strangers and family members alike went crazy and started biting one another. Some thought the outbreak was caused by a flu shot, others that it was a diet drug gone terribly wrong. All anyone knew is that once you were bitten and went to sleep, you woke up a freak.

I have to mention that I didn't read the first book in the Devil's Wake series, but honestly Domino Falls reads just fine as a standalone. I was instantly impressed by the writing style, and by the simple ways that Barnes and Due separate this from other zombie books out there. I'm a huge fan of a good zombie story, and this fit the bill perfectly.

The story opens on the characters from the first book and they are traveling across the perilous landscape in a battered bus. Attempting to find a safe haven, they arrive in Domino Falls. On the surface it looks like the ideal place to survive: quiet, well-stocked and safe. However the longer they stay, the more they see beneath the grime under the shiny layer on top. This isn't just a town, it's a cult, and their buried secret is a crazy one.

I loved how easily I was able to fall into step with the characters, despite not having read the first book. This is a very character driven story. Domino Falls pulls the reader into the lives of normal young people that are just trying to survive. If I had to pick a favorite? Terry wins hands down. As the leader of the group, and an amazing individual, I couldn't help but adore him. If you're a reader who loves to feel invested in the characters when they read, you'll love this writing style.

Now that I've finished, I know I'll go back and read the first book! I'm excited to get more of a back story on the characters that I fell in love with. Being totally honest, this is a book that is well worth your time. The twist might throw you a bit, but trust me when I say it's such a fresh take on the zombie novel! Give this one a shot.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spotlight and Giveaway: Riding on a Beam of Light

Welcome my bibliophile friends! Are you ready for a spotlight and a giveaway? I bet you are!

Albert Einstein adamantly emphasized the importance of imagination and so does Riding on a Beam of Light. In this vividly illustrated storybook, lights-out turns into learning as we’re swept away by young Albert Einstein’s fantastical, and ultimately world-changing idea in an adventure that’s reminiscent of classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon and Where the Wild Things Are. At it’s heart is a story about imagination and dreaming, adventurous and engaging, with gorgeous illustrations that captures our grown-up hearts and our children’s curiosity.

Yesterday I reviewed a gorgeously written and illustrated children's book titled Riding on a Beam of Light. Created by Ramsey Dean and Noah Hamden, this book some light (pun definitely intended) on Albert Einstein and his wonderful imagination as a child!

I was blown away by this book, but I'll let the illustration below speak for itself. Isn't it just magical?

Purchase the book here:

In honor of this wonderful book, I'm giving away a hardcover copy! As much as I loved reading it on my Ipad, there's something about holding a book in your hands that is just unbeatable.

Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
Giveaway ends July 7, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review: Riding on a Beam of Light

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Riding on a Beam of Light
Author: Ramsey Dean
Illustrator: Noah Hamdan
Publisher: The Light Beam Riders
Pages: Ebook; 26
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Source: JKS Communications
Recommended to: Parents/Readers looking for a fantastic look at the imagination of Albert Einstein!

Difficulty Level: Elementary school readers should start to be able to read this on their own, although some vocabulary is a little advanced.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / iTunes
Albert Einstein adamantly emphasized the importance of imagination and so does Riding on a Beam of Light. In this vividly illustrated storybook, lights-out turns into learning as we’re swept away by young Albert Einstein’s fantastical, and ultimately world-changing idea in an adventure that’s reminiscent of classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon and Where the Wild Things Are. At it’s heart is a story about imagination and dreaming, adventurous and engaging, with gorgeous illustrations that captures our grown-up hearts and our children’s curiosity.

Ever wonder what Albert Einstein was like as a child? He definitely had an active imagination, and we are able to see a bit of that in Riding on A Beam of Light. When his mother turns out the light, Albert's mind turns to dreams and ponderings! Young Albert becomes a role model in this story, and shows how important imagination is, both in science and in everyday life. He encourages children to question how things work, and most of all to dream big!

I have to say that the illustrations really steal the show. Big and bright, with an almost magical quality to them, Noah Hamdan has managed to make Albert's childhood into something beautiful! I was blow away by how crisp they looked, even in my digital version. I know that young readers will love exploring Riding on a Beam of Light. Hopefully it inspires them to grow and learn!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Book Review: Tempestuous

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Tempestuous
Author: Kim Askew & Amy Helmes
Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: Hardcover; 224
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Source: Publisher
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy modern day retellings of classic stories, and fun plots.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Miranda Prospero was high school royalty. Dating the most popular boy in school, complete with her own clique, and ready to take on the world. Then it all came crashing down when a cheating scam rocked her world. Forced to take a menial job to make up the money, Miranda has fallen from her perch. Can things get any worse?

I have to say that this was a pretty adorable take on the original Shakespeare play. I liked that Askew and Helmes managed to incorporate a lot of the original characters in new ways. When I originally read the synopsis I wasn't sure if I'd like Miranda. Former mean girl, right? I was wrong! She's funny, she's intelligent, and honestly a ton of fun to follow. Pair her with her bubbly co-worker Ariel, and the rather sullen Caleb, and you have a cast of characters who make this read fly by.

What was even more clever was setting of the book. Rather than being stranded on a desert island, these teens end up snowed in at the mall. Whole stores full of items to use, no adults, does it sound like the perfect place to get up to all kinds of mischief? You'd be right, oh you'd be right. I laughed out loud more than a few times at the crazy things that Miranda and her cohorts were up to. No spoilers here, but I almost wish I'd get snowed in at a mall.

The mystery aspect was a little less prominent than I thought it would be, but that was really the only thing I noticed. Everything else about Tempestuous is fun, quick moving and easy to read. If you're looking for a new read this weekend, give Miranda and her friends a place on your TBR.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Sunday Post / In My Mailbox (3)

Sunday Post and In My Mailbox are hosted by Kimba's Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Mod Podge Bookshelf respectively. Click the buttons above to join in the fun!

It's been a wonderful week here on the blog! I can't wait to post reviews for some of the amazing books I've read this week :).

A sweet and heartbreaking read with wonderful characters!

Looking for a sexy romance with lots of steam? Mick will charm your pants off!

Lois Metzger shares her motivations behind writing A Trick of the Light.

Come weigh in on this months topic! How do you manage your review requests?

Check out the upcoming titles from JKS Communications you should keep an eye on!

Monday 6/24 - Book Review: Riding of a Beam of Light by Ramsey Dean

Tuesday 6/25 - Spotlight and Giveaway on Ramsey Dean

Wednesday 6/26 - Book Review: Monsters on the March (Scary School #2) by Derek the Ghost

Thursday 6/27 - Book Review: League of Somebodies by Samuel Sattin

Friday 6/28 - Book Review: The Northern Frights (Scary School #3) by Derek the Ghost

Saturday 6/29 - Guest Post by Derek Kent (Derek the Ghost)

Physical Copies:

Icons by Margaret Stohl (Library pick!)
League of Somebodies by Samuel Sattin (courtesy of JKS Communications)
Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler (courtesy of Tor)
Requiem by Kim Scholes (courtesy of Tor)

Digital Copies:

The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers (courtesy of Viking)
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young (courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

Thanks for stopping by! Leave your link in the comments and I'll come visit you too :).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book Review: This is W.A.R.

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: This is W.A.R.
Author: Lisa Roecker & Laura Roecker
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: Kindle; 288
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Source: Edelweiss
Content Screening: Mild Violence; Mild Language

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love thrillers with strong female characters.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
At Hawthorne Lake Country Club your trust fund can’t buy you happiness, but if it’s big enough, it almost always buys innocence. When Willa Ames-Rowan drowns in Hawthorne Lake everyone who’s anyone knows James Gregory is the one who killed her. But no one will ever say a word. Enter The W.A.R. Four girls, four motives to avenge Willa’s death, and only one rule: Destroy the Gregory brothers at any cost. The girls pool their trust funds and devise a series of elaborate pranks to deliver their own particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won, but it’s the truth about what really happened that night that stands to destroy them all.

My reasons for requesting this book were two-fold. One, Soho Teen has amazing titles and two, the premise sounded so deliciously creepy. A country club that covers up lies? Definitely sounds like the perfect place for a thrilling mystery! Luckily, This is W.A.R. dove right into the mystery of Willa's death. I found myself anxious to figure out why Willa died, and who the culprit was. I was hooked, and you couldn't have stopped me from finishing if you'd tried.

The characters were really what made this story so much fun for me. Each had their own unique personality that really contributed to this vigilante battle. We have Lina, who is bold and brutally honest, Sloane who is lost, Madge who is bossy, and Rose who is just trying to fit in. It's no surprise that I loved Rose the most. I always cheer on the underdog , and I loved watching her grow from an outcast into someone who was able to take charge. Best of all, every character has a secret that they are hiding and I found myself eagerly waiting to find out what they were.

That being said, there was a lot I loved about the mystery in this story. The clues are well laid out. Willa's mystery unravels at a nice, even pace and expertly ties into each character's life. No one is ever what they seem at Hawthorne Lake, and it creates delicious tension. Still, I have to admit that I just didn't feel the excitement that I usually feel with mysteries like these. I wanted to see more sleuthing and more plotting for revenge. The girls have plenty of resources on their side, but I honestly felt like they didn't always use them as well as they could have.

Still, I can't deny that This is W.A.R. was a book that kept me reading until the very end. Despite slight issues I may have had with it, the story itself drew me in and the vivid characters sealed my reading fate. I had no choice but to read ravenously, and I had more than a few moments of intense emotion as the story unfolded. This was a story that I ended up loving, and I have a feeling that you will too.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Must-have summer reads from the JKS Summer Beach Reads Tour!

It's that time of year again. The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising, and we are all shirking our jeans in favor of skirts and shorts :). It's summer time my friends, and what better way to celebrate than with books? 

I am proud to help kick off the Summer Beach Reads Blog Tour by JKSCommunications! Today I'll be sharing with you some must have teen reads for your beach adventures.


All Our Yesterdays by Christin Terrill
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Twisted by Marjorie Brody
Sarah Hausman must hide a secret-even from herself. If she acknowledges the truth, it will destroy everyone she loves. 
Timid fourteen-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates. Besides, her mother will say Sarah is totally to blame for what the boys did-which Sarah believes is true. So she doubly needs to shield the truth. Not just from Momma. But from everyone. Including herself.

Beautiful, confident, eighteen-year-old Judith Murielle lives the ideal life. She has college plans, respect from family and friends, and a fiance she adores. But as a mysterious connection pulls her toward Sarah, Judith's perfect world unravels. Acting as Sarah's sole confidante, Judith gains the power to expose her secret. Will the truth be worth the sacrifice? Or will Sarah stop at nothing to keep Judith quiet? 

Shattered by Kathi Baron
Teen violin prodigy Cassie has been tiptoeing around her father, whose moods have become increasingly explosive.After he destroys her beloved and valuable violin in a sudden rage, Cassie, shocked, runs away, eventually seeking refuge in a homeless shelter.She later learns that her father, a former violinist, was physically beaten as a child by her grandfather, a painful secret he's kept hidden from his family, and the cause of his violent outbursts. With all of their lives shattered in some way, Cassie's family must struggle to repair their broken relationships.As Cassie moves forward, she ultimately finds a way to help others, having developed compassion through her own painful experiences. Written in lyrical prose, SHATTERED tells the moving story of how one girl finds inner strength through music.

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield
In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

Sky's End by Lesley Young
Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Author Website / Amazon
A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe's future at stake. Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth's new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command's top pilots and her only family, who's been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition's fierce, and she's already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once. Even the station's most respected officer, Lt. Damian King, probably can't help Cassiel pass the second time around-so why is he so interested in her progress? If only one of her freaky deja vu visions would offer an answer instead of mysterious messages like hide. When Cassiel's manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all. Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother-even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or'ic, the cold-as-steel Thell'eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.

So there you have it!

So many good books to choose from, and so many gorgeous covers! No matter what you choose to read this summer, make sure it's out in the sunshine! Happy Summer everyone!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And...Discuss! (6/20/13)

And...Discuss is a way for me to share a topic I've been thinking about, ramble about it for a bit, and then open the floor to your opinions. An open forum for bookaholics!

This time the topic is....


Here is a topic that, especially lately, is near and dear to my heart. I had to close my review requests after only two weeks of having them open this month, simply because I ended up with so many so quickly!

I love Indie authors with all my heart and soul. I love reading their books, spouting love for them, and then pouring that love all over the Internet. So I always accept all requests and go through them one at a time.

However lately I've had a hard time quickly getting through all the emails. I used to answer every one with a yes, a no thank you, or an offer for a promo post. Now? It takes me a long time to get through doing that and sometimes I have to skip some altogether. It makes me feel terrible, honestly, but I'm gone at work 12 hours a day, come home, eat, answer emails, type these posts, and then jet off to bed :). Ah, the life of a book blogger!

Enough about me though, here's the topic I wanted to discuss:

How do you handle review requests? Do you answer all of them? Only the ones you're going to accept? How do you manage the dreaded FULL inbox?

If you're an author, do you like to see a definite answer? Shout out your opinions too!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Post: Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

The book I'm spotlighting today is one that caught my eye for a very special reason. Lois Metzger's A Trick of the Light sheds light on the fact that women aren't the only ones out there suffering from eating disorders. In fact quite a few young men fall into this same category.

Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.

Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.

Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

Of course I'm not a storyteller myself, and I'm sure Ms. Metzger can explain it much better than I can. Please enjoy this amazing guest post on her motivation to write this book!


Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

By Lois Metzger,
Author of A Trick of the Light

It's a question writers often get asked. Some find it hard to answer, because ideas can float around in your head for a while, or several different entirely unrelated things may have to combine to create a story.

In the case of my new young-adult novel, "A Trick of the Light" (HarperCollins), I know exactly where I got the idea, and also when.

On Wednesday, August 4, 2004, I read an article in the New York Daily News called "Not For Girls Only."

The article began: "Sue Roberts couldn't stop fuming after watching a 'Dr. Phil' show on eating disorders. The two-part series features several girls with bulimia and anorexia. 'What about the boys?' she remembers asking herself, then furiously writing an e-mail to the talk-show host."

Sue Roberts' 16-year-old son, Justin, the article said, "almost starved himself to death after several doctor's visits missed important signs." Justin was "a straight-A student who wanted to be perfect in every way." At 13, a coach happened to tell Justin that he could "shave a few seconds off his mile time if he lost some weight." Then, around the same time, a tall thin boy, a classmate of Justin's, looked over at Justin, called him fat and laughed. "Maybe I am," Justin thought, and decided to stop eating, pretty much just like that.

At first, Justin's parents complimented him on how good he looked, how disciplined he was. Then they noticed he was dropping weight too rapidly, that his personality had changed. "We were all walking on eggshells because he would blow up about little things," his mother said.

Within four months, Justin, five feet tall and originally 130 pounds, went down to 82 pounds. The article explained: "His lips, fingertips and nails looked bluish. He wore baggy sweatshirts to hide his frail body, but he couldn't conceal the malnourishment evident in his sunken eyes and hollow cheeks."

Justin's mother couldn't prove to her insurance company that her son needed hospitalization, so finally she had him admitted on her own. "His condition was worse than she thought," the article went on. "His heart rate was 42 beats per minute. He had zero body fat. His body temperature was 92, and there were patches of hair growing on his stomach and neck. It was his body's way of trying to keep him warm. He was days away from death."

During his brief hospital stay, Justin "saw an emaciated girl walking in the hallway, talking to herself." He decided: "I really don't want to be like that." He began eating and he recovered fully. In less than a year, he grew four inches. Talking of his present state, he could say: "I'm more outgoing, more confident. I'm happy now."

I got a strange feeling while reading this article. Kind of an other-worldly, floating, almost surreal sensation. I've written only three previous novels, and the same thing happened before I began writing the other books, too. In each case I knew immediately that here was a story that wouldn't leave me alone.

So it's not really accurate to say this is where I got the idea for "A Trick of the Light." This is where the idea was getting me.

I got in touch with the writer of the excellent article I'd been reading, Julie Patel, then a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News (she now she writes for the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida). She put me in touch with Sue Roberts and Justin. They were extremely helpful in giving me more details about the journey of recovery, and referred me to a doctor at Stanford University, James Lock, author of two ground-breaking books on eating disorders. Dr. Lock gave me the names of some doctors and families in NYC so I could meet and interview them. I stayed in contact with Sue Roberts; I'm very glad to say she wrote me recently that Justin, now a young man, remains happy and healthy.

The 15-year-old boy in my book, Mike Welles, has much in common with Justin. He, too, develops an eating disorder rather quickly, and loses weight alarmingly fast. A doctor misleadingly tells Mike he is fine, insisting that anorexia only affects girls. As the disease progresses, Mike's vital signs are similar to Justin's. Mike, too, encounters a girl at a hospital, who freaks him out because she's talking to herself. Mike doesn't recover as fast as Justin did, but he does take significant steps toward recovery.

Julie Patel's article emphasizes that eating disorders among men and boys are on the rise (this was almost ten years ago, and the problem has only gotten worse). Ten percent of people with eating disorders are male, and currently there are ten million people in the U.S. with eating disorders, which means at least a million boys and men (and many people say the figure is much higher). Their disease still gets missed by doctors who think only women and girls can get eating disorders, and many hospitals and eating-disorders clinics still only admit girls and women. Then, as now, eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychological disorder, estimated between five and 20 percent.

I didn't realize, when the idea got hold of me, where it would lead -- right to the heart of a struggle against a disease that too often ends in tragedy.

© 2013 Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

Author Bio
Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light, was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. She is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Harper's Bazaar. She lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and son.

For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: Playing the Part

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Playing the Part
Author: Robin Covington
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Pages: Ebook; 250
Release Date: June 10, 2013
Source: Publisher
Genre: Romance

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love evenly matched characters who have sizzling chemistry!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
After publicly self-destructing over a heartbreak a year ago, bestselling romance writer Piper James is now making nice with her publisher by agreeing to teach Hollywood's favorite action star how to act like he's in love. Only playboy Mick Blackwell has no clue what love looks like. When a seductive heat ignites between Piper and Mick, she jumps at the chance for a bit of fun between the sheets, but with two stipulatons: she's kept out of the public eye and things end when she returns to New York. Only Mick keeps changing the rules on her. Tempted by America's favorite bad boy, Piper is wondering how far she's willing to bend...

Perfection. That's the first thought that entered my mind after finishing Playing the Part. Those of you who have followed me for any length of time know that I'm a greenhorn in the world of romance. However books like this, gorgeous books with strong characters and sizzling chemistry, make me want to dive even deeper.

First off I completely loved Piper. Witty, intelligent, and honest to a fault, she's the perfect female lead for this story. I couldn't get over how real Piper's character was. Here is a woman who has just been through a terrible breakup, and worse yet she had to do it complete with glaring Hollywood headlines. Yet Piper is still strong. She second guesses herself, sure, but she's a fighter and I totally adored that about her.

Then of course there's Mick and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love him. What's not to love? Total playboy on the outside (and oh does he know it) and yet he has a heart too. Everything about Mick screams "Perfect Man!" even when he manages to screw things up. Okay I'm sugarcoating things. Let's leave it at this: Mick isn't just hot, he's MOLTEN LAVA hot. He's sinfully delicious, and I couldn't get enough of him.

Which of course means that these two very sexy, very stubborn characters have massive heat between them! I'm going to be very tame and say that the sex scenes in this story were perfection. However if had witnessed my reading this book you likely would have noticed me fanning myself quite a few times. Does that perhaps give you a better insight into how spicy things get between these two?

Loved it! That's the long and short of it. I could go on and on, but it boils down to the fact that I utterly loved Playing the Part. Thank you to Robin Covington for further proving to me that romance is my kind of genre! I'm eager for so much more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: Beside Your Heart

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Beside Your Heart
Author: Mary Whitney
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Pages: Paperback; 256
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Source: Literati Literature Lovers Tours
Content Screening: Adult Language

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy sweet, and heartbreaking reads with honestly amazing characters.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
"It's an emotional story that will take the reader back to those feelings that made the late teen years such a powerful time."

Late one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.

Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?

Beside Your Heart was a book that stole my heart from the very first page. Maybe it was the fact that Nicki shows her true emotions right off the bat, but watching her pine to reconnect with her past made me smile. As the story flashes back to where Nicki first meets Adam, I fell even more in love! I assumed this was about adult Nicki and Adam, but the twist was wonderful. Watching these two meet, flirt, and become important to one another was adorable!

Nicki is very transparent about her feelings. After loosing her sister to a car accident, she isn't afraid to be honest about how it's eating her up inside. I thought that they way she dealt with things was fairly spot on. Hiding from people who might want to fake console her, trying to stay strong for her mother, and wanting most of all for everything to go back to normal. It isn't until she meets Adam, who doesn't attempt to do anything but make her laugh, that she starts living again. There's no doubt that these two have a very strong connection.

Best of all, the characters in Beside Your Heart act like normal teens. They aren't perfect. They make mistakes, argue, and sometimes even push one another away. The fact that Mary Whitney shows them in such depth makes it much easier to connect with them. It was amazing to see how they fought, and yet always managed to find their way back to one another. Maybe it's my romantic soul, but I couldn't get enough of their relationship.

The ending kind of broke my heart, but I won't deny that I liked it. This ends up as a story not about a lifetime of love, but about finding love and learning that sometimes it's okay to let it go. That it makes you stronger no matter what. My heart wanted to see more resolution, a happy ending if you will, but again I honestly believe that it was fitting for this story. Beside Your Heart is a sweet and heartbreaking story. Definitely worth a read!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Post / In My Mailbox (2)

Sunday Post and In My Mailbox are hosted by Kimba's Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Mod Podge Bookshelf respectively. Click the buttons above to join in the fun!

Second week I've been able to do this :). I'm loving visiting other bloggers and following new awesome people! Let's get going!

My first post to get back into this awesome meme!

Adorable, witty and super fun romance read! I loved Andy Devine....*swoon*

A short, sweet read with a witty and vibrant heroine!

I spout love for Destiny, Rewritten and look forward to Flora & Ulysses!

The story of a girl who uses her love of music to deal with a tough life.

I actually have a full week, so here's the schedule!

Monday 6/17 - Book Review: Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney

Tuesday 6/18 - Book Review: Playing the Part by Robin Covington

Wednesday 6/19 - Guest Post by Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

Thursday 6/20 - Book Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

Friday 6/21 - Post for the Summer Beach Reads Tour, courtesy of JKS Communcations

Saturday 6/22 - And...Discuss! (Topic: Answering Review Requests)

Physical Copies:

Two books that I've been eagerly anticipating came this week!

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

Thank you to William Morrow and Gallery Books!

Digital Copies:

Two more delicious Entangled romances came my way this week, an Indie pick and two highly anticipated titles from authors I LOVE!

Gabriel: Secrets and Sins by Naima Simone
Out of Control by Stephanie Feagan
A Brand New Ending by S.A. Rolls 
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Thank you to Entangled Publishing, S.A. Rolls, and Candlewick Press!

Thanks for stopping by! Leave your link in the comments and I'll come visit you too :).


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