Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014 Wrap Up


February always throws me off. It's a short month, and it just speeds by! A lot of good things happened this month though, not the least of which was that I read some great books. So here's a list of what I devoured in February.

**********

(C) = Children / (YA) = Young Adult / (NA) = New Adult
(A) = Adult / (MG) = Middle Grade
** Books read in previous months


Books read and reviewed in January:
(MG) Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee - Review (3/5)
(A) Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell - Review (4/5)
(A) High-Heeled Wonder by Avery Flynn - Review (3/5)
(MG) Northwood by Brian Falkner - Review (4/5)
(YA) The Polaris Uprising (Polaris #1) by Jennifer Ibarra - Review (4/5)
(A) The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson - Review (3/5)
(YA) The Rule of Three by Eric Walters - Review (4/5)
(YA) The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman - Review (5/5)
(A) Bittersweet Darkness (The Order #3) by Nina Croft - Review (4/5)

Total Reviewed: 9
Towards month totals: 9


Books read but not reviewed/reviewed elsewhere:
(C) Peter Panda Melts Down by Artie Bennett - Reviewed on BL (3/5)
(MG) You Can't Ride A Bicycle to the Moon by Harriet Ziefert (4/5)
(YA) The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (4/5)
(A) Life After Dane by Edward Lorn (3/5)
(YA) Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton - Reviewed on BL (2/5)

Total books read in November: 14
Goal Progress: 30 out of 125 (24% finished)

**********

I've been trying to write reviews more quickly once I read a book, unless the book is just for fun! That way more reviews get up for you all to see. It's helped a lot with backlog. Expect more this coming month! I've got a lot planned.

How did you do this month?


Book Review: Bittersweet Darkness (The Order #3)


Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Bittersweet Darkness
   *Series: The Order #3
Author: Nina Croft
Publisher: Entangled: Edge
Pages: Kindle; 251
Release Date: February 24, 2014
Source: Publisher
---------------------------------------------------
Genre: Paranormal Romance

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy fast-paced reads with excellently written characters!

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
There are no monsters, only good guys and bad guys. That’s the creed by which Detective Inspector Faith Connolly has always lived.

When Faith discovers that she has a time bomb counting down in her head, she has one goal; to solve the murder case she’s working on—a young girl who was found drained of blood—and in doing so gain closure for a long ago murder never solved. Her investigation brings her in contact with Ash Delacourt. Ash is all black leather, big guns and sexy bad attitude—definitely not one of the good guys.

As payment for a debt, Asmodai AKA Ash Delacourt, finds himself working with the Order of the Shadow Accords. He’s the demon representative on the newly formed Committee for the Integration of Mankind and well…everything else. It’s a chance to be near his daughter, make a new start, and—once he’s met the delectable detective—maybe have a little fun.

There are no monsters. But as Faith’s investigation deepens, her beliefs are eroded and for the first time, she is falling in love—with one of the bad guys. But how can she ever let Ash close when her time is running out…?

Due to my overabundance of excitement at the premise of this book, I didn't notice that Bittersweet Darkness is actually the third book in a series. My fault entirely. So, yes I did scramble for purchase a bit as I found my place in Faith's story. Still, this is a solid read even as a standalone! Nina Croft's writing has the ability to pull you straight down into the story. I might have been missing some details about the pasts of these characters, but in reality I didn't feel the sting too much. In fact, I've found a new world to love. You can bet that this bookworm is headed back to read the first two of these, as soon as possible.

Now on the to the actual review, shall we? Faith's character was absolutely wonderful. I have a place in my heart for characters like her. Characters who are loyal and kind, but also have no problem kicking ass when the situation calls for it. To Faith, the world lies in absolutes. There are good guys, and there are bad guys. There is darkness, and there is light. Most of all, monsters don't exist. Or do they? I watched as Faith's ideals were  put into question, and I was so impressed. She's strong. She's fierce. Best of all? Faith isn't swayed by the bad boy type. That alone makes her a winner in my book.

Speaking of the bad boy type, Ash definitely fits that description. It still makes me giggle to call a demon "sexy", but there's no other word to describe it. In his human form, Ash is unstoppable. He's intelligent, sarcastic, and yet just enough of a gentleman to make him delicious. Pardon my gushing, but he is definitely worth swooning over. The banter between Ash and Faith is filled with sass and sparks! I'd have loved Faith no matter what, but Ash definitely complimented her perfectly.

Let's be honest, I'm a fan of PR. I eat Urban Fantasy up like it's candy. So it's really no surprise that I loved the premise of Bittersweet Darkness, what with it's action and intrigue. However that only scratches the surface of my enjoyment. Nina Croft's writing is easy to read, and fun to get lost in. This book is only a little over 250 pages, but I would have happily read for hundreds more. I loved the characters, I loved the world, and I honestly can't wait for 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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review: The Waking Dark


Media Type: Print Book
Title: The Waking Dark
Author: Robin Wasserman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: September 10, 2013
Release Date: Hardcover; 464
Source: Library
--------------------------------------------------
Content Screening: Violence; Adult Language

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who are okay with dark, disturbing reads. This features plenty of violence.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

Holy YA Batman. Seriously. The Waking Darkabsolutely blew me away. Those of you who were following along with me as I read might have noticed it took me a while to finish. Trust me when I say that it's not because this book isn't fantastic, because it absolutely is. I'll explain more below, but let's just say this isn't necessarily an easy read. I thought I was desensitized to violence, what with how much horror I read. This book tested that theory. It's dark and disturbing. You've been warned.

See here's the thing, it's the characters that suck you in. Each one of them is so very different. You have your jock, your church girl, your outcast, and more. If this sounds a bit like The Breakfast Club, let me assure you that it couldn't be farther from the truth. The thing is that each one of these characters has a full, rich back story. They each have a series of events that have led them to be what they are now, and a ton of buried secrets that you slowly uncover along with them. I was a slave to the pages. I had to know what happened to these characters. It was amazing.

That's just the surface though. The plot of The Waking Dark is equally impressive. Imagine your average town in the middle of nowhere. The one where everyone knows everyone else, and for the most part people are content to get along. Now imagine that same town going stark raving mad. It was intriguing how Robin Wasserman set this up. I hesitate to say too much, since I don't want to spoil anything, but every person in this book never stops being themselves. They just give in to the parts of themselves that they never let see the light of day before. That's what makes the story terrifying. It's also what makes it so hard to look away from.

This book is sad. It's violent and twisted. It's filled with bad things that happen to good people and, even more difficult, young people. This is what made this such a long read for me. I couldn't stop reading, and yet I had to because no one in this book ever gets a break. Really, nothing ever seems to go right. The Waking Dark stirred up emotions in me that I wasn't expecting. 

So yes, I highly recommend Robin Wasserman's beauty of a book. It's not going to be the right fit for a lot of people, but it definitely was for me. Five gold stars go to The Waking Dark, and onto my favorites list it goes.




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: The Rule of Three


Media Type: Print Book
Title: The Rule of Three
Author: Eric Walters
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: Hardcover; 405
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Source: Library
----------------------------------------------------
Content Screening: Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy more realistic fiction, and well-written characters

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.

Wow, what a book. The Rule of Three doesn't feature zombies. It doesn't have a huge decimating explosion that sets off the end of the world. What it does have, is a realistic vibe to it. What happens when everything you take for granted is suddenly gone? Cars no longer work, cell phones are dead, and there's no way to know if any help is coming. What happens to society? This is what Eric Walters uncovers in The Rule of Three, and it's both amazing and terrifying.

It's a little hard to describe the pacing of this book. While it doesn't exactly pick up pace at any particular time, it has this slow burn feel to it throughout the whole book. There's never really a huge climax. Lots of small ones, yes. Lots of little things to keep you reading on and wondering what will happen next, but nothing explosive. It's an interesting read for that very reason. I'm used to books being either slow, and then picking up or vice versa. This was bit of an anomaly to me, but one that held my attention.

In terms of characters, Adam and his neighbors have the ability to be anyone. They might be the people down the street from you. The babysitter at the end of the block. I loved the realism here. I watched in fascination as normally happy, easy-going people were reduced to shambles. As society as we know it so very quickly fell apart. Adam's story is scary because it is one that could, and most likely would, actually happen. It makes it that much harder to put down.

In fact, I predict that this very fact is going to be a deal breaker for some readers. The Rule of Three does have a few things about it (such as Herb) that are more fictional, but still possible. However the majority of this book is very grounded in reality. It's a look at what we are all capable of when survival mode sets in. So, if you've been eyeing this book, know that I recommend it! I can only hope there's more around the bend.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Covet Release Day BLAST!



Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, Like their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.


Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's February releases! Check them out, then scroll down to enter to win some awesome release day goodies! I'd take advantage of the $0.99 promo prices if I were you. Covet books rock!

***
Hot Rock by Annie Seaton

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


Megan Miller is on a dream trip to research her doctoral thesis at a rock festival in England. When she arrives in town she’s stunned that her temporary neighbor is the spitting image of her 70’s rock idol, too bad he’s also a world-class jerk. So why can't she stop thinking about him?

Seventies rock star Davy Morgan is a man with a secret: rockin’ in one time and living in another. He holds his privacy close to his heart, so when a beautiful girl who not only loves but truly understands his music moves in next door, he works overtime to keep her at a distance. Easier said than done.

Megan follows Davy to the rock festival, but it’s not what or when it seems. The lure of the music draws them closer, but can their newfound love span across the decades, or will it get lost in time?


***
Pan's Conquest by Aubrie Dionne

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Syrinx pulled a fast one on Pan to escape his raging lust. The God of Chastity wasn't about to break her vows and succumb to his temptations. Transported to the twenty-first century, she runs a florist shop—fulfilling her fake, mortal life. Until the breathtaking Parker Thomas hires her to decorate his grand estate for a gala. Five hundred roses? Easy enough. Except Parker makes her feel things she can't ignore...

As the God of Fertility, Pan is used to maidens flocking in droves to his pastures. So when Syrinx denies him, he's determined to win the one that got away. He poses as a mortal to get close to her, but he doesn't count on falling hard for his conquest—hard enough to make a life and stay.

But Syrinx is falling in love with a man that doesn't exist. Can Pan hide his identity forever, or will the truth tear them apart?



a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart


Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart
Author: Peter Swanson
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Pages: Hardcover; 292
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Source: Publisher
-------------------------------------------------
Genre: Thriller / Noir

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy mysteries with a slow burn, and noir style writing.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
George Foss never thought he'd see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack's Tavern.

When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl's grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece - the one who had committed suicide - was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved - and of the things she may have done to escape her past.

Now, twenty years later, she's back, and she's telling George that he's the only one who can help her...

Peter Swanson's The Girl With A Clock For A Heart threw me for a loop. I'll admit that I went into this book completely blind. This was a total case of succumbing to cover love when I was offered this for review. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It's got a bit of Hitchcock feel to it, and it's a nice easy read.

George Foss is just an everyday kind of man. He's reached a point in his life where things have stalled. A mid-life crisis if you will. Which is why when a girl from his past, a girl he thought was gone for good, steps back into his life? He takes a chance. I liked George. He didn't always make the best decisions, his fascination with this girl wasn't always easy to understand, but underneath it all he was a good enough guy.

The thing about The Girl With A Clock For A Heart is that the whole plot hinges on the girl from George's past. If you can't believe in their connection, you can't really understand why he makes the decisions he does. I found this part to be a little weak. We see flashbacks to George's history with the girl, from a short time during his college career. Can you really build that strong of a relationship with someone in that short of a time? Enough that you'd agree to put yourself in danger for them when they show up out the blue, years later? I just don't know.

If you let all that go though, and just travel with the flow of the book, it's not a bad read. The mystery George finds himself wrapped up in is beautifully designed. I didn't see most of it coming. Even the ending, which wasn't entirely unexpected, was a surprise. I'm a little upset about the fact that it was so open-ended, but then again that's just me. I like resolution. The Girl With A Clock For A Heart gets three stars from this bookworm.



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, February 19, 2014

Book Recommendations from author Perrin Pring!



AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: PERRIN PRING

Good morning awesome bookworms, and welcome to another guest post! I love having authors on my blog. I especially love when they're willing to share a little bit about themselves with both myself, and all of you.

Today's spotlight is on Perrin Pring, author of Appointment At The Edge of Forever.

Filion felt safe in his role as a Dream Searcher. He was paid to venture into other's dreams and exert influence over individuals whom he would never meet in the flesh. But that was until he received The Summoning. Filion has been called to track down and protect Ryo, the last of the Chozen. She is the only hope of preventing a tide of evil driven by the Afortiori and the prospect of universal slavery if they aren't stopped. Time is ticking and Filion has no idea of how to find Ryo let alone how to protect her, yet destinies of planets rest in her hands. Enlisting the help of a rag-tag band of mercenaries, Filion will set out to search the wastes for Ryo. Together they will confront an evil whose power they just might have fatally underestimated.

Please enjoy the guest post below, and don't forget to do some visiting! Authors love visits and comments just as much as we do :). Happy reading!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for having me on the blog! I thought I’d talk about some of my recently read favorite books. While I write science fiction, I’ve noticed that reading a wide range of genres has helped me become a stronger writer. I hope you find some of the below recommendations as good as I did.


Short Stories: The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor 

This is a compilation of all of O’Connor’s stories. I recommend reading the stories in order (they are organized chronologically) and as a whole. O’Connor’s focus is on the American South between the 1940’s -1960’s.


Literary Fiction: City of Thieves by David Benioff 

A fictionalized account of Benioff’s grandfather’s experiences during the Siege of Leningrad of World War II. Both comical and tragic, this work is beautiful.


Memoir: Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight by Alexandria Fuller 

Fuller’s disjointed memoir of her childhood as a child of white British farmers in Rhodesia during its civil war. If you want a look into another world, read this book (Warning: Children and animals die. This heavy but moving.)


Scientific Non-Fiction: The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner 

An easily digestible read on the longest running finch study in the Galapagos, The Beak of the Finch, will change your perspective on life and death as you understand it. Simply the best scientific non-fiction work I’ve ever read, and no, you don’t need a degree in any sort of science to understand it.


Adventure Non-Fiction: The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger 

The Perfect Storm reads like a Hollywood blockbuster, but it is non-fiction. Junger does a great job at bringing his readers inside of a mega storm and recounting the stories of those who died during the Halloween Gail. I now compare all adventure non-fiction to Junger’s Perfect Storm.


Young Adult: The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins 

No doubt the most well known of books on this list, the Hunger Games not only chronicle a heroine worth rooting for, but are a powerful and simple look at the toll war takes on society and individuals alike.


Science Fiction: Wool by Hugh Howey 

I read Wool when it was self-published, and it was mind blowing for two reasons. First, the story is captivating, creative and unique. Second, it shows that just because something is good, doesn’t mean the powers that be embrace it (although it is now traditionally published). Look out for the underdogs, they’re the best kinds of stories.


Mystery/Thriller: Faithful Place by Tana French 

Set in the inner city in Dublin, French transports you to the suffocating world that is Frank Mackey’s family. Revolving around the unsolved disappearance of Mackey’s teenage sweetheart, Mackey is forced to go back to a world he had thought he’d left behind. Written partially in dialect (but easy enough to understand), French transports you to Ireland, whether or not you’re ready to go.


Those are some of my recommendations! Please visit my Goodreads profile to read all of my reviews, or visit me at www.Perrinpring.com, or check my work out on Barnes and Noble.com or Amazon.com. I’m also on Facebook, G+, Twitter, and Booklikes.com.
















Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: The Polaris Uprising

Media Type: Ebook
Title: The Polaris Uprising
   *Series: Polaris #1
Author: Jennifer Ibarra
Publisher: Tiwala Books
Pages: Paperback; 328
Release Date: October 30, 2013
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
----------------------------------------------------------
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoying strong female characters, and hidden secrets.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon
In less than seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will succeed her father as the president of Neress, a nation where all citizens are cared for from the moment they’re born. Fed, sheltered, even educated—every need of theirs is met.

The only price they pay is their free will.

Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.

Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.
What a surprise! I hadn't heard anything about The Polaris Uprising until I stumbled across a blog tour for it. I'm glad I did. This is a gorgeous hidden gem. A dystopian book that features two very strong, very unique, sisters and their fight to keep what they believe in alive. It's been done before, but Jennifer Ibarra breathes new life into this story line. I was hooked.

I couldn't help but rally behind Ryla. Blame it on my own impetuous nature if you must, but she just stood out to me. The exact opposite of her sister Alanna in every way, Ryla was a spitfire. I loved her charisma, her ability to think on her feet, and the fact that she wasn't afraid to stand up for herself. Not that Alanna isn't a wonderful character as well! She's the kind sister, the older one who listens to reason, the one who tries to keep the peace. These two together were a pure joy to follow. I knew there was dissent coming, but the first half of the book held so much sisterly love in it.

What most impressed me about The Polaris Uprising was how easily it flowed. Every chapter brought something new to light and, even though the book switches between the view points of Alanna and Ryla, it was so simple to follow. I slowly had the opportunity to watch these girls grow up. To be right there alongside them as they discovered who they really were, and what they wanted for their futures. I can't really say much more without spoiling anything. Tragic, I know. You'll have to read this for yourself.

Suffice it say, I was impressed. I'm glad that Ryla and Alanna's story was put on my radar, and I can't wait for more! This is the first in the series, and I'm in for the long haul. That ending pretty much solidified it for me. Pick this up if you enjoy well-written dystopian fiction with strong female characters! You won't regret it.

 

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, February 16, 2014

Book Review: Northwood


Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Northwood
Illustrator: Donovan Bixley
Author: Brian  Falkner
Publisher: Capstone Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 282
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Source: NetGalley
------------------------------------------------------
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Young readers who love unpredictable adventure and fun characters

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
The dark forest of Northwood has never seen the likes of Cecilia Undergarment before …

Cecilia Undergarment likes a challenge. So when she discovers a sad and neglected dog, she is determined to rescue him. No matter what. But her daring dog rescue lands her in deep trouble. Trouble in the form of being lost in the dark forest of Northwood. A forest where ferocious black lions roam. A forest that hides a secret castle, an unlikely king and many a mystery. A forest where those who enter never return. But Cecilia is determined to find her way home. No matter what.

Thank you Brian Falkner. Thank you for writing the kind of book that I was craving! Northwood is the reminiscent of the stories I adored as a child. Fairy tales, filled with dark forests, brave heroes, and hidden castles. It's the type of story that is unpredictable, and filled with adventure. The type of story that doesn't talk down to its young readers, but instead embraces them within its pages. This is the stuff that bedtime stories are made of.

Cecelia stole my heart. Our heroine in this book, she isn't just brave but smart and honest as well. I think the perfect word for Cecelia is tenacious. She just doesn't give up! Whenever things weren't going her way, she worked around it. Sure, she was afraid at times. What ten year old wouldn't be? She just never let it get in her way. Cecelia's character is the perfect role model for the young readers who will fall in love with this book.

Northwood blends Cecelia's adventures with a fair bit of humor as well. Avery and Evan, our supporting characters on this adventure, were tons of fun! Bickering twins, these two were like night and day. Headstrong Avery, who was always willing to jump into danger when necessary. Sweet, silly Evan who tried so hard to seem smart that he was constantly misusing big words. These two bring a lightness to the story. Trials and tribulations come their way, but these three always keep their heads up.

In fact, this whole story is just filled with the perfect kind of whimsy that will make young readers, and readers who are young at heart, smile and laugh. Houses made of balloons, hairy and evil Kings, and so much more. I can't deny that I fell in love with Miss Cecelia Undergarment. I'd happily follow her into any adventure she happens upon. Once again, thank you to Brian Falkner. Northwood spoke straight to my inner child, and delighted her to no end.



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spotlight Giveaway - Seventeen's Ultimate Guide to Guys!




Apologies dear readers! This post was supposed to go up yesterday, in honor of Valentine's Day, but my blog wasn't having it. So, consider this an extension of that lovey dovey day, okay?


Today's spotlight book is all about relationships. Looking for a guide to all things dating? Wondering what goes on in the heads of those gorgeous guys across the room? Seventeen's Ultimate Guide to Guys has got you covered!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SEVENTEEN
ULTIMATE GUIDE
TO GUYS

By Ann Shoket
& the Editors of Seventeen

When it comes to navigating first crushes, kisses, and love, millions of girls turn to Seventeen, the largest monthly teen magazine, for help. For that reason, Seventeen’s Editor in Chief, Ann Shoket, releases the SEVENTEEN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GUYS, a girl's must-have manual to what he is thinking on flirting, dating, relationships, and falling in love.


Drawing from Seventeen’s popular Hot Guy Panel, the magazine’s trusted editors polled real-life guys to provide readers with insight into the wild wilderness of the male brain. Packed with answers to girls’ burning questions when it comes to guys, such as What Does His Text Really Mean; Does He Like You…or Not; What Flirting Moves Do Guys Like and Not Like, the advice-driven book is divided into four categories including:

  • Flirt Like an All-Star 
  • Be a Super-Dater 
  • Have the Best Makeout
  • Defining the Relationship

In addition to key advice on girls’ top relationship concerns, SEVENTEEN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GUYS also features hundreds of photos as well as interactive quizzes that make the book an interactive, fun experience.


Praise for the SEVENTEEN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GUYS:
Seventeen has always given the best love advice and now it’s all in one amazing book. Anytime you need help with a guy, all you have to do is flip through these pages!”
     —Bella Thorne

“Boys can be so confusing, but the editors of Seventeen really know their stuff. This book is a must-have.”
                                                                                                                                                  —Ariana Grande


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


GIVEAWAY!

Here's your chance to get all this juicy dating advice for your very own! Up for grabs is one copy of Seveteen's Ultimate Guide to Guys straight from the lovely people at the publication. Enter below, and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Resurrection by Laury Falter


Ready for another book blitz, featuring another amazing book? Sure you are! This time it's all about Resurrection by Laury Falter. A post apocalyptic world plagued by a contagious infection? Yup, that's what you'll find between these pages.

The second and final installment in the two-book series, Apocalypse Chronicles... 
a dystopian romance about five high school seniors who set out to cure an apocalyptic world of a contagious infection.

Bestselling author Laury Falter finishes off this two-part series--a dystopian romance filled with an electrifying plot, a powerful romance, and unexpected twists.

Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes




He laughed to himself. "You're always my strongest supporter, Kennedy, and therein lies the problem. That blind loyalty could get you…" He closed his eyes and seemed to swallow back the words, or one in particular. "Could get you killed."

"What are you saying?"

"Kennedy," he exhaled patiently but with a great deal of effort, "I'm not sure how much venom my body can take, what the effects of it have been on me, or even how it is merging with the antibodies. Every time I'm bitten I put you in danger, everyone who is near me is in danger." He exhaled in frustration. "Why do you think I wait for sixty seconds after I'm bitten to come near you?"

That had never occurred to me, but he was right. I remembered seeing him move away from me after an attack; he'd gone so far as to put a muzzle to his head. I'd even caught him positioning himself within range of Doc, Mei, and Beverly.

"Wait…," I mumbled, an understanding of something forming in the recesses of my mind. "Wait a second…"

Then it hit me. He had been training them to defend against the Infected's strengths…the same traits that he possessed. He had trained them to detect weaknesses, the same weaknesses he possessed.

"Wait…" I said again, bile rising in my throat.

He had done this in front of me, with my help, and I hadn't even realized what he had been doing.

"You…," I whispered. Clearing my throat, I tried again. "You…"

He was watching me now, waiting for me to wedge free the statement that was so rigidly stuck in my throat. "I…?" he said coaxingly. "I what, Kennedy?"

What began the fire of infuriation in the pit of my belly was that he knew. He knew what he'd done and he knew I'd figure it out sooner or later. This was that moment.

The memories flooded back to me then. The shift in his positions around the group after he'd been bitten, the line of sight he'd maintained with someone, anyone but me on our team to take him out if it was needed.

"You trained them to kill you," I uttered.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: High-Heeled Wonder




Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: High-Heeled Wonder
Author: Avery Flynn
Publisher: Entangled: Ignite
Pages: Ebook; 250
Release Date: January 24, 2014
Source: Publisher
------------------------------------------------------------
Genre: Romance / Thriller

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love sizzling male leads and strong female leads!

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
Sylvie Bissette may be one of Harbor City’s youngest glitterati, but only her best friends know her most closely guarded secret. She’s the woman behind The High-Heeled Wonder, a must-read blog for fashionistas everywhere. Gossip, fashion advice, exposés. Too bad some people can’t take a little criticism. When an internet troll discovers her secret identity and escalates from stalking her to threatening her life, Sylvie turns to security expert Tony Falcon for help. The investigator from the other side of the tracks is the olive oil to her Evian water and aggravates her to no end, but it’s not just her temper he’s inciting...

Tony Falcon wouldn't know a kitten heel from a tabby cat, but since most of the bad guys he tracks down aren't wearing stilettos, it's never been a problem...until he meets Sylvie. When a murder investigation leads him to the same place Sylvie works, he realizes the feisty fashionista may be his best chance at catching the criminals who killed his best friend. It all leads back to the cut-throat fashion world. But solving that case means going after the people Sylvie cares about, and soon his attraction for her—and the danger she’s in—has him wondering if solving the case is worth hurting the woman he can’t stop fantasizing about…
When Sylvie’s almost run over in broad daylight, Tony goes undercover as her boyfriend to infiltrate the close-knit fashion community. And when they discover Sylvie’s stalker may be linked to Tony’s own investigation, what started as a simple plan to find his friend’s killers turns into a hot bed of secrets and revelations. In a world full of overblown egos and dog-eat-dog ambition, Tony and Sylvie must work together to find her revenge-obsessed stalker before Sylvie ends up with a literal knife in the back.

After a very long week, I was in need of something fun and flirty to read. High Heeled Wonder fit the bill perfectly! A strong, sarcastic fashionista. A PI whose abs should be considered a deadly weapon. A mystery seeded deeply into the inner workings of the fashion industry. What's not love? I placed myself squarely into Sylvie Bissette's heels, and set off on what I hoped would be one smoldering adventure.

This was a quick read. Avery Flynn wastes no time pulling the reader into the tension filled world of fashion. I was introduced to key players, seduced with talk of perfectly tailored suits and designer clothes, then charmed with Sylvie's razor sharp wit. In fact, Sylvie's character was actually a huge surprise for me. Despite being part of the "gliteratti", she was so down to earth. Sylvie is strong, funny, and not afraid to go for what she wants. Points to Avery Flynn! This is a girl I can get behind.

Speaking of getting behind someone, I can't deny I fell head over heels for Tony Falcon. Please ignore his rather cliche name, because this man is perfection. Tony was instantly likeable. He's sweet, fiercely loyal, and just all around adorable. I loved the banter between Tony and Sylvie. These two had sparks flying between them the entire book, and I loved every minute of their chemistry.

I do have to say that I felt a little shortchanged on the overall romance though. High Heeled Wonder walks the line between romance and mystery. However I feel like, because of that, each aspect wasn't as fully realized as it could have been. I was able to figure out the mystery pretty early on. Then I was even further disappointed by the big reveal at the end. It felt so cliche. Most frustrating of all, that build up took away from "between the sheets" time. Come on, we all know we read these books for those scenes.

Anyway, therein lies the reason I gave High Heeled Wonder a three star rating rather than a four. I loved the premise, and the characters, but wasn't perfectly satisfied with the execution. Still, if you're looking for a fun and flirty read? One with a delicious male lead? High Heeled Wonderis a good one to get lost in.



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, February 10, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Star Catcher by Stephanie Keyes


Today was such a busy day that I almost forgot to get this blitz up! Which would have been a shame really, as The Star Catcher looks like a book that a lot of you are going to love. Ready to check out the magic?

Magick and destiny intertwine as he fights to save his kingdom and the goddess he loves.

Her kiss…the feel of her skin…the beat of her heart…For seventeen-year-old Kellen St. James, each memory is marred by a single sentence on a lone strip of paper.

Cali has been taken…

Armed with an amulet that channels the ultimate power of Faerie, Kellen searches for his love. However, control of the amulet’s energy comes with a price, and Kellen soon learns that Cali’s captor has plans for the stone. With the threat of the Star Catcher’s evil looming above Kellen and his kingdom, he’ll have to free the Heart of Faerie and break the curse the binds the Children of Danu to the darkness. But before that, he has to find his real father, the king. No pressure, right?

Kellen and Cali will battle bewitched armies and unknown foes as they fight to stay together. Will Kellen embrace his immortal destiny? Or will his world, and the man he is fated to become, be destroyed by The Star Catcher?

Isn't that cover just lovely? I declare it utterly swoon-worthy. Now please enjoy both a trailer and a teaser! I don't really know how you could ask for more but, in case you are, check out the bottom of this post for both a sale and a giveaway!

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing | Pages: 421  | Release Date: November 10, 2013
Grab it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

**********************



EXCERPT

“I thought I’d never see you again.” Cali’s voice sounded small.

“There’s so much to tell you, I don’t even know where to begin.”

“I know.”

“Marry me. For real this time.” The words came out in a rush, but I’d never wanted anything more. I didn’t plan on being apart from Cali ever again. “No Faerie attacks, no fleeing the country.” I didn’t know how to sum it up properly. “Just be mine.”

Cali smiled and pushed her warm body even closer against me. “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” Her yeses jumbled together as we kissed again. “I will marry you. I will.”

We had so much more to share, but I wouldn’t think past this moment, past today when I had Cali in my arms, finally, with our never-ending life lying ahead of us. I asked her to marry me. Promised it, in fact. I would keep my promise. Somewhere in the middle, I’d have to tell her the rest of what had happened. But today, in this infinitely glorious time, we were finally together again.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, February 9, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blogger Backstage Pass: Stefani from Written Among the Stars!


Ready to meet another amazing blogger? I'm sure you are!
It's a new month, and that means it's time for a new edition of Blogger Backstage Pass!

Each month I'll pick a new blogger and host them here on the blog! You'll get a chance to nab all their contact info and learn more about them. Best of all? They stay in the sidebar all month long! So if you ever forget a face, come on back and visit again.


This month's featured blogger is...

Written Among the Stars reads anything that contains words, sometimes pictures too! I'm not picky. Okay, fine, I occasionally throw in some movie reviews and food posts too. I'm also not soft spoken or subtle, be prepared for much snark and sarcasm.
Find Stefani on: 

Take some time to read her interview below, and don't forget to visit her!


********************

1) Hi Stefani! Welcome to the blog. Let's start out by getting to know you with a lightning round! Fill in the blanks:

One book I read can read over and over is ( Ancestor by Scott Sigler ).
My favorite place to curl up with a book is ( in a hot bath ).
( Scott Sigler ) is an author that I just love!
As a blogger, I'd describe myself as ( witty, sarcastic, and painfully blunt ).


2) How did you find the book blogging community, and what prompted you to start your own blog?

I found it through other bloggers. These were people that I had gotten to know on social media through our shared love of reading and through reading their blogs I figured out, hey this is something I’d love to do to!


3) What would you say has been your favorite part of being in the blogging community?

Meeting all the wonderful people who are my fellow bloggers, authors, and visitors to my page. I love talking to everyone and reveling in the written word.


4) What three books would you absolutely recommend right now?

Not even a tough pick.

Renegade by J.A. Souders. It is one of the creepiest books I think I’ve ever read. Just thinking about it now is giving me goosebumps. And the antagonist, holy crap you won’t be able to get rid of the creepies she gives you!

Ancestor by Scott Sigler. It is just so inventive and creative. It’s from my author, which never hurts. The characters are great, the story is great, and the science is so well fleshed out that you almost believe this could actually happen.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett. It is one of those books that I was interested through the whole thing but not over the moon about it, but the ending was so spectacular. I spent a good long time just gaping at my book like a fish out of water it shocked me so much.


5) Do you have a favorite genre? Or do you read whatever strikes your fancy?

I do a little bit of both. I definitely have my favored genres like horror, sci fi, urban fantasy, and dystopian fiction. But I am willing to read just about anything that catches my eye. Most of my book choosing is based on the cover rather than genre, if it has an intriguing cover I might pick it up without even reading the blurb.


6) Any final words?

Keep reading and never be afraid of your own opinion. Even if you are the lone voice in the wilderness it doesn’t mean you’re wrong. So come by my blog and share yours, I love hearing opinions. Also, I do accept author requests for reviews so come on by and read my review policy and send me a message if you’re interested.


********************

Thank you Stefani for being a featured blogger!

I totally agree on the fact that you should never be afraid of your own opinion :). Opinions are what make the blogging universe such an amazing and diverse place! So cheers to being you!

If you'd like to be a featured blogger, click on the Book Blogger Backstage Pass link under "Features" in the navigation bar and fill out the form!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Review: Etched on Me


Media Type: Ebook
Title: Etched on Me
Author: Jenn Crowell
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: Paperback; 336
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Source: Publisher
-------------------------------------------------
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy books with vivid characters dealing with tough issues.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
On the surface, sixteen-year-old Lesley Holloway is just another bright new student at Hawthorn Hill, a posh all-girls'; prep school north of London. Little do her classmates know that she recently ran away from home, where her father had spent years sexually abusing her. Nor does anyone know that she's secretly cutting herself as a coping mechanism...until the day she goes too far and ends up in the hospital.

Lesley spends the next two years in and out of psychiatric facilities, where she overcomes her traumatic memories and finds the support of a surrogate family. Eventually completing university and earning her degree, she is a social services success story—until she becomes unexpectedly pregnant in her early twenties. Despite the overwhelming odds she has overcome, the same team that saved her as an adolescent will now question whether Lesley is fit to be a mother. And so she embarks upon her biggest battle yet: the fight for her unborn daughter.

Etched on Me deserves a round of applause. Honestly, it does. It deals with situations that most of us shy away from talking about, but it does it in a blindly honest and raw way. Things like childhood sexual abuse, depression, self-destructive behaviors, and just plain loneliness are all touched on. Lesley Holloway's story may be fiction, but the book speaks to those who know these feelings are real. Jenn Crowell shows that traumas like these have both the power to break us down, and to push us into the arms of the people we need to build us back up. It shows the reality of the long, hard climb back into the light.

In terms of the fictional side of it all, Lesley was a brilliantly written character. Sexually abused from a  young age, we meet her as she has finally had the courage to escape from her abuser, and find the help she needs. What I loved about Lesley was how realistic her character felt. She isn't perfect. She's petty, jealous, loving, confused, hate-filled, and every other emotion there is out there. I eagerly followed her journey as she fought to make a life she could believe in. I cried with her, laughed with her, and felt all the bumps along the road as if I were her. Jenn Crowell has written one amazing character in Etched on Me.

In fact, that's what I loved about this whole story. The raw, gritty feel that it has to it. Lesley's recovery is brutal. It's filled with people who both lift her up, and dash her back down to the ground. She makes mistakes, stumbles and falls, yet still manages to pick herself back up. Everything about her journey made me feel like I was right there with her. This story shows us how much strength we all possess inside us. It reminds us that hope is out there. That help can be sought if you know where to look. That no one is perfect, but we can damn sure try to be our best selves. That fighting your way out of the darkness isn't easy.

I'm so glad I agreed to read Etched on Me. While I haven't had to deal with anything of this magnitude in my own life, I had no problem feeling everything Lesley felt. I honestly feel that Crowell's book has the power to change lives. To remind those out there who might be silently dealing with abuse, self-harm, or anything of that nature, that there is a voice for us all. Even if it's one told through fiction. Huge applause for this book. Highly recommended.


 

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.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails