Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Undead by Kirsty McKay

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  • Publisher: Chicken House (Scholastic, Inc.)
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Source: eARC from NetGalley/Publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!

My Thoughts

This is one of the few reviews that I actually changed my rating while writing my review. I thought I liked it more than I did when I finished it, but when I sat down to put my thoughts on paper (or screen) I realized all of the things that I didn't like about it. I still enjoyed the book enough though. I was really excited for this book due to the synopsis. I thought it sounded pretty awesome, except the synopsis is not a great judge of the book. It's not an exciting all out thrill ride with crazy zombies lurking around every corner like it would suggest. So unless there were some major changes between the ARC and the final copy, I wouldn't go by that at all. I am a sucker when it comes to zombie books. I also love humor and this sounded like a great combination of the two, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

I liked Bobby and her snarky, don't give a crap attitude at first, but it got old quick. She has just moved back to the UK with her mother (Thanks to her moms work) and is the new girl who doesn't fit in. Total cliche, I know. This book is full of the typical cliches, I think it's supposed to be part of the humor. She stays on the bus to be alone away from all the other kids and gets stuck on there with Smitty, the bad boy and the bus driver. He attitude doesn't really improve much for most of the book. She tries to put on the tough girl act to prove she's not a helpless weak girl. She does some selfless things and really does try to do what she can to help their growing group survive, but in general she wasn't that likable. I just didn't feel her character. 

So onto the actual storyline. School trip, zombies, stumbling upon other get the point. Now these people who are nothing alike have to work together to survive and try not to kill each other. They manage to travel to a gas station, then a parking lot, back to the cafe, so and and so on until they get to a castle. I get that we are trying to be on an adventure here, but it was just sort of okay to me. Th ere were a few funny lines here and there, and some interesting things that happened. And lets not forget the plot twist...was that supposed to be surprising? Are we supposed to feel shock? I felt like I wanted to be finished with this book already. 

So maybe I am just getting more picky with my reading, but this just didn't entertain me as much as I would have liked. I wasn't expecting a blow me away, awesome book, just fun entertainment. I know this review seems pretty negative, but I did like the book, I just thought that at times it got a bit lame and there was a lot of unnecessary things going on. Maybe if I had been able to connect with the characters, or at least like them I would have liked it more. I just didn't get that. The characters started to annoy me and the plot was not keeping me engaged. What saved this book for me was the small amounts of entertainment I got out of it. 3 out of 5 stars.

**Hop on over to The Bookish Brunette for her fantastic 5 stiletto review of this.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

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  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Source: Borrowed from the library
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart. Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

My Thoughts

I have been wanting to read this book forever and now I am wondering why I waited so long. This book was so fantastic.I love the paranormal element, the characters, the story, everything!! I was instantly hooked! I couldn't get enough of Aura's story. I even enjoyed the love triangle, and I don't typically like them. If anything they usually make me want to stab my eyes out, but this one works. 

Aura was born post shift which means she can see ghosts. Everyone born post shift can, while no one pre-shift are able to. She always wishes that she couldn't see them until her boyfriend Logan dies at his birthday party. Now she is having a hard time letting go. She can see him and talk to him, but knows that he is dead and she can't actually be with him anymore. To complicate things more, Zach makes her feel all sorts of things too. Aura is a tough chick, but she has a lot of conflicting emotions going on. I really felt for her. She also is trying to uncover secrets from her past. I loved getting to know Aura. She is very easy to relate to and understand. 

Oh Zachary!! *Swoon* Right from the moment we meet him, I think I am in love. He is good looking, charming and has an accent. Does the boy own a kilt too?!! *wink wink* Okay, so besides that, he is really great to Aura even when we find out about some of his little secrets I still couldn't help but adore him. He is sweet, patient, and understanding. Yup, what every girl dreams of. He was born pre-shift so he can't see ghosts, but there is a bit more to him.

This starts off with a bang. We get introduced to Aura and find out a bit about her ability, then we meet Logan, his siblings, and her BFF and things get interesting after that. I was totally hooked on this book. I was wrapped up in what was happening with Aura and seriously rooting for Zach to win her over!! I loved their undeniable chemistry, but I also admired her strength to try and do what she believes is right in her heart. She still loves Logan, and him being around as a ghost doesn't make it any easier for her to get over him. And Zach doesn't want to come second to anyone dead or alive. He deserves better than that. This book was fantastic and amazing! Oh, and the ending?!! Ahhh I really need to read Shift now!! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Spotlight: Michelle Monique Photography

On the blog today I am going to feature some of the trailers from photo shoots that Michelle Monique has done. She is a very talented photographer and she has done some really great book covers like Rift by Andrea Cremer, The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski, and Unleashed by Nacy Holder.

This is the trailer for her Rift photo shoot. (I can't for the life of me get this one centered! Ugh!)

Next is the trailer for Sucker Punch Babydoll Photoshoot

And last I will show you Scorpion Queen Behind the Scenes photoshoot

What do you think? I think she does fabulous work. If you want to check out her photos, or more videos, click on her links below.


You will find the full tour schedule below.

22: Raschel's Reads: Interview -
23: TK Knox: Interview -
24: Andrea Heltsley: Promo/Interview -
25: Jessy: Art Show/Interview -
26: Jessica Redmerski: '10 Weird Things' -
28: Devon Ashley: Top 10 -
29: Beverly Sharp: Artwork Feature/Bio -
30: Amy Fournier: ___ -
31: Inna: Art Feature -

2: Kassondra Leigh: Musical Inspirations -
3: Urban Fantasies: Teenage Garage Sale -


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marrisa Meyer

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  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Read by:  Rebecca Soler
  • Source: Borrowed digital audiobook from library
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


A wicked mash-up of fairy tale and Terminator—set in a Star Wars kind of world—Marissa Meyer's Cinder is a fresh and fiercely ingenious futuristic retelling of Cinderella

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Thoughts
My first thought is why did I wait so long to read this? My second is, I loved it!! I am a sucker for fairytale retellings and Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales. I knew I had to read this. Marissa Meyer's creativity is just amazing. I have never read a retelling quite like this. It's unique and totally addictive. I listened to this on audio and I think that my iPod was glued to me. I didn't want to stop. The plot, the characters, and the setting were all fantastic!

Let's talk about Cinder a bit. She is a cyborg. She can feel emotions and she is a real person, not a machine. Yes she has unnatural parts, but she is still very much human. I think she is more human than even most of the "real" humans around her. I felt an instant connection with her. The way her emotions are portrayed, how she treats others, the way she thinks. Through every crazy thing that happens to her, she does well holding it together. If anything every time something goes against her, it makes her stronger. By the end of the book I totally loved her. 

Prince Kai is another character I adored. He is just so wonderful. Not that he is without flaws, but he really just wants to do what is right. What he thinks he has to to save the people. He also doesn't abide by what he should do or who he should be seen with and talk to. He is very smitten with Cinder. You go through the book hoping that no matter what he will continue to care about her. Even if he does discover her secrets. 

Now the secondary characters are pretty amazing too. Whether I loved them or hated them, they are done so well. I absolutely despised Adri. I found myself getting angry and frustrated at times. And Queen Levana, now that is a villain you love to hate. The Dr. is one of my favorite characters and I hope that we get a lot more of him in the next book. 

As far as the story goes, I can't say that the revelations really surprised me. I pretty much figured it all out in the beginning, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. I still loved getting to know the characters and going through everything with Cinder and Prince Kai. I was overflowing with emotions while listening to this book. At times I would get so frustrated that I wanted to shout at Adri or Queen Levana. Call them inappropriate names and maybe throw them down the stairs. I love it when a book can bring that level of emotion out of me. 

This audiobook was fantastic. I loved the reader. She did the voices well and was able to pull me in. I was able to know who was talking without it saying who, just by the voice she used for the characters. I would have loved this book either way, but if you are looking for a great audio, this is it. She reads with such emotion and really convinces you of how the characters are feeling and what they are thinking. Overall I really loved Cinder. It was such a creative retelling. I can't wait for Scarlet!! 5 out of 5 stars.

Waiting On Wednesday 8-29-12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine  to share what book you are highly anticipating the release of.

This week I am doing two books, one a YA the other a MG book. I really want to start reading more MG since I tend to really like them.

The first book for my Waiting on Wednesday is Naturals by Tiffany Truitt. I really enjoyed Chosen Ones and I am really looking forward to where the story goes next. That was quite an ending!!

 *WARNING!! If you haven't read the first book in the Lost Souls series, the overview is a bit spoilery!*

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  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Series: Lost Souls

 Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

The next book for my Waiting on Wednesday is The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver. I have not read her MG book Liesl and Po, but I have read Deliruim, Pandemonium, and Before I Fall and I love her writing. I think that I will really like this book.

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 256

One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.

When Liza’s brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.

She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.

To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers’ nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests—or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.

From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.

This sounds really great! It sounds like a great and entertaining book full of adventure. I am definitely looking forward to reading this one!!

So what books are you waiting for? Leave me a link and I will hop over to your blog. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cover Reveal: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

I have another cover reveal for all of you today!! This is for Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland. This cover reveal was organized by AToMR Tours.

Book Description

The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge…no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? 

As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Expected Publish Date: April 2, 2013

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Doesn't this sounds fantastic? I am super excited for this book! I love the cover too. Very cool!!

Preorder: Amazon | Indiebound

Book Spotlight: Their Promise by Brina Courtney

Hello everyone!! Today I am spotlighting Their Promise by Brina Courtney! Yesterday was the official book birthday for it and it sounds fabulous. Besides that Brina is a sweetheart, so I just feel awesome trying to pimp her book.

Book Description

One moment can change your life forever.
One moment to find love.
One moment to lose it.

This is a young adult contemporary romance novella at just under one hundred printed pages. 

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 Totally loving the cover for this and it sounds awesome!! I am looking forward to reading it very soon!! Check out the book trailer for it!


And because Brina is so awesome, she is also doing a tour wide giveaway for an I LOVE TO READ bracelet, Bookmarks, and Sticker. Please follow the terms and conditions listed on the rafflecopter form. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton

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  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 432
  • Source: eARC from Netgalley/Publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Paranormal romance fans who are looking to up the ante will be drawn to this tale of horror, fantasy, and romance. For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It's all she's ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose—she's connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. Mab will do anything to keep the ancient practice alive and guard its secrets. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab's magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But secrets that were kept from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and Will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.

My Thoughts

After reading Blood Magic last year I was super excited about reading The Blood Keeper. This is a companion novel, not a sequel. I was hoping to love this as much as I loved The Blood Keeper, but unfortunately I didn't. I did still like this, but I didn't really feel the characters and it took a long time to get into. I liked the creepiness and the magical aspect of it, but I felt really distracted by a lot of the other things going on in the book.  This book goes from present day in Mab and Will to a letter that Evelyn had written to Arthur. It was pretty disorienting at first. I did eventually get used to it, and the story picked up, but honestly it was about 200 pages into the book before I really started to get into the story. 

We get to know Mab a little bit first. The book starts with her bringing a doll made out of the earth in the rose garden to life with her blood and a crows sacrifice. Awesome way to start out the book. She is the Deacon since Arthur is gone. She is very talented with her blood magic, but still young. As the story progresses we learn a bit more about her and her background. I did like Mab, but I never connected with her. She is smart, brave, and wise beyond her years, but she still does have some typical teenager traits. I liked her interactions with Will, but they weren't convincing to me. 

Will was interesting, but kind of boring. His family is a military family. His father, and both of his brothers. That is not the path he wants to choose though. Losing his brother Adam really made him realize that he wants to make his own choices and do what he wants. He doesn't want to join the Marines or the Navy or whatever just because he's expected to. He ends up getting linked to Mab in a crazy sort of way and they actually help each other besides the whole magic thing. I never felt like we got to know Will though. He was there, and we knew what he was going through, but I never felt like we got to know the real him. 

So don't get me wrong, the writing is good and there is all sorts of stuff going on in this book, but I felt like so much of it was dragged out and the important things weren't really pushed enough. I felt bored reading a lot of this book and though I was interested to see where everything was going, it wasn't a page turner for me. I wanted to love this, I really did. It just didn't grab me the way that Blood Magic did. There is still some really cool and dark magic that I really enjoyed reading, but the characters were bland and the story was slow. Perhaps at a different time I might like it more. 3 out of 5 stars.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blog Tour: A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand Review and Excerpt

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  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Source: Finished copy from the publisher for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


 When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, "Trust me. This is gonna be awesome."

Of course, you probably wouldn't believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone's leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I've seen it. It can happen.

And when there's suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that's just gonna be a really bad day ...

My Thoughts

OMG this book was hilarious!! First off, the FAQ that is in the beginning of the book was really funny so I was instantly excited to dive in. That is just the tip of the entertainment this book contains. I was literally laughing out loud at some points thinking to myself that Jeff Strand is awesome!! The whole book is one heck of a crazy ride. It's hilariously awesome from the first pages all the way through to the last. 

Tyler is just a normal kid who goes to school, has a pretty and smart girlfriend, dislikes his teachers, and has a psycho friend. Like really loopy, crazy friend. He goes along with Adams voodoo doll thing just to make him happy since apparently Adam went through a lot to get the voodoo doll of his teacher Mr. Click. (To get revenge for a bad grade which wasn't even Tyler's fault) Adam does not believe it will work, but when he pokes the doll with a pin and Mr. Click's leg explodes off of his body, that it just the start of a super, horrible, bad day for voodoo. 

As if things can't get any worse than blowing off his teachers leg and then accidentally snapping his neck, his psycho best friend freaks out and takes off instead of helping with the situation. When they finally meet back up Adam has a voodoo doll of Tyler to use as leverage against him so Tyler won't go to the cops. (like he would have anyways) Anything and everything that can go wrong pretty much does. They know they need to return to the woman who made the doll to fix this somehow. On the way they get their car stolen with the doll in it and then the true hilarious adventure starts. They get attacked by numerous people in different situations and have to go through tons of stuff to try to get the Tyler voodoo doll back before someone kills him with it. 

Okay I will not really go into the book because a lot of what they go through is right in the synopsis. Just trust me when I say that this book will have you laughing out loud. It is a quick and super entertaining read. I couldn't put it down. I had to know what in the world could possibly go wrong next for Tyler, Adam, and Kelley. I wanted to know if they would get the doll back and if they could even take away it's power if they did. There's even a really great twist in the story that makes things even more interesting. It's all so ridiculous and awesome that there was no way I couldn't love this book. It's was just really, really, fun!! This was non stop adventure. 4.5 out of 5 stars


How To Read A Bad Day For Voodoo While Doing A Hostage Negotiation

It's going to happen to a bunch of you. You'll be sitting on the couch with your brand new copy of A Bad Day For Voodoo. You've got a glass of cold milk and a plate of chocolate chip cookies that you've baked just for this special occasion. You open the book, giggle with anticipation, and prepare yourself to enjoy the very first word on the very first page...and then you get called in to negotiation a hostage situation. Aw, bummer!

Well, your afternoon won't be a total waste, because if you follow the below pieces of advice, you can do both! That's right, you can read the book and save innocent lives!

1. Purchase a customized bulletproof book sleeve.  If the bullets start flying, one or more of them could puncture your book and obscure important words. And let's face it, there's nothing worse than reading "And then his [Unreadable Due To Bullet Hole] exploded!" and not knowing what exploded! If you can't afford a special book sleeve, just cut a book-sized piece out of your bulletproof vest.

2. Don't let your boss see what you're reading. Your boss knows that you're a loose cannon who plays by his own rules, but that doesn't mean he won't get mad if he sees you reading on the job. That's why, for the low price of $39.99, your copy of A Bad Day For Voodoo can include a special cover attachment that reads Hostage Negotiation 101.

3. Share really funny parts with the captors. When one of the bad guys tells you that you've got thirty seconds to comply with their demands before they start shooting hostages, people are going to be tense. But nothing diffuses tension like a good laugh. Pick up that megaphone, read a paragraph or two, and watch those murderous frowns turn into smiles!

4. Remember that, in the long run, human lives are more important than A Bad Day For Voodoo. In a worst-case scenario, you may actually have to put the book down and actively try to talk the villains out of killing people. In that happens, just take a deep breath, wipe away a tear, and remember that you can still read the book when you get home. It's a pretty good book, but let's not get carried away.

Okay, so Jeff Strand is absolutely hilarious and I recommend this book to anyone wanting and entertaining read. I want to thank Sourcebooks for letting me participate in this tour!

Cover Reveal: Naturals by Tiffany Truitt

Hello!! Happy Monday!! Guess what I have for you today? A super fabulous cover reveal and let me tell you, it's gorgeous!! Book #2 in The Lost Souls trilogy, Naturals by Tiffany Truitt. It's so, so pretty!!!

Book Description

Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

NATURALS is the second book in The Lost Souls trilogy, and follows the dystopian hit CHOSEN ONES.

Expected publish date: April 9th, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen

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How fabulous is this cover? I love it. I am super excited about this book too. Chosen Ones was really great and I am looking forward to where the story will go. 

About the author:

Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of  one McDonald's and Banana Rats (don't ask) she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).

Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The OutsidersSpeakNight, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger GamesThe GiverThe Uglies, and Matched.
Tiffany around the web:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekly Recap/Stacking the Shelves (18)

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

It's that time of week again! Another Weekly Recap and Stacking the Shelves. I got a lot of awesome stuff this week!! It's also my hubs Birthday today, so I won't be around, but promise I will comment back tomorrow. :) 

Ugh!! Awesome freeze frame. Lol!

Books Mentioned
People Mentioned
Big thank you to Andrea @ The Bookish Babe, Ashley @ The Bookish Brunette, Loretta @ Between the Pages, Evie @ Bookish, Hachette, Shane @ Itching for Books, Penguin/Dial, Tara Fuller and Miranda Kenneally. Love the books and swag!!
Weekly Recap
Search Terms
  • Twelve Months by Steven Manchester - Got a few of these. I had an excerpt of his book posted. 
  • On the Island book excerpt - Love this book and yes, you can find two different excerpts on my blog for this book. 
  • 15/736 new yorker dress - I have no clue what this is????? Hope you found what you were looking for. :)
  • Carrie Jones Endure spoilers - You won't find any spoilers here peeps!! I try to keep everything spoiler free around here. You may find a tease, but no spoilers. Sorry! 
  • A bunch looking for Book Loving Mom - Yup! that's me. Welcome to my blog!! 
This is the first week in forever there wasn't a single search for anything Jennifer L. Armentrout. I was kind of sad. I like when her searches come up. :)

I hope you all had a great week and I will comment back tomorrow. I will probably not be on at all today since it's the hubs Birthday. Love you all!! Leave me a link. ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Hollowed by Kelley York Review and Guest Post

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  • Publisher: Kelley York
  • Publication date: 8/13/2012
  • Format: eBook 
  • Source: eBook provided by the author for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn't supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she's turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah's secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister...who died years ago.

(Didn't she?)

The city's body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she'd lost.

My Thoughts

When I heard that Kelley York had another book coming out I was so excited for it. I took part in the cover reveal for this and knew I had to be part of the blog tour. I loved her book Hushed and was eager to read more of her books!! This book was great. The characters really pull you in, the story keeps you interested, and the mystery of it was fun to try to figure out. I sometimes wish that I wasn't so good at solving mysteries, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. I was so interested in how everything was going to pan out. I also really loved the pacing of the book. It had action, but not constant. You were able to take a breather and try to piece things together.  

Briar is a wonderful character. She is funny and sarcastic. She may not make the smartest choices all the time, but it makes her more likable. She knows that she messes up sometimes. She takes things pretty well I think. At first she totally doesn't believe she is a vampire, but eventually she realizes that Cole and Oliver aren't lying to her and she needs their help. She still doesn't really trust them, but I like that she slowly gets to know then and let them in. She is also hurting that her boyfriend Noah now hates her because of what she is. She needs to try to get him to see that she isn't really a  monster, and find out why he seems to know exactly what she is before she actually tells him. I felt my heart breaking a little over the whole situation with Noah and with the mystery about her sister. I really started to connect with Briar and loved her character. 

The secondary characters are really great too. Oliver took a little while to grow on me, but once I got to know him I understood him better and really liked him. His interactions with Briar were pretty awesome at times. Daniel is another character I totally loved. I wanted to get to know him more. He is very interesting. there has got to be a whole lot more to him. Then of course Noah, I went back and forth with him. I wasn't sure whether to trust him. At times I did and at other times I didn't I can't really say much more about him except that he does play quite a large role in the book. 

I really enjoyed getting to know Briar and slowly getting to know some things about the other characters. I loved how the story progressed and how the mystery unfolds. I enjoyed that there are more than just vampires and how it incorporated other paranormal beings. I loved the settings too. I could really imagine walking through the park or the other places. This book is fabulous!! 4 out of 5 stars. 

I also have a guest post for you. Since Kelley had previously had a book go the traditional route, (Hushed was published by Entangled Publishing and she also has another book coming out that will be published by them.) I asked her about the process of going self pub. So a big welcome to Kelley!!

Guest Post

Self Publishing Process

After making the decision to self-pub I ran in circles for a while, unsure where to start. I had friends who had gone the SP route, so I was clumsily trying to follow their example. I had a vague idea of all the things I needed, and it all seemed really daunting and scary. My steps went something like this:

1. Cover design.
Even when doing this myself, I still had to pay for the image I used, so it wasn't free. (Thankfully, much cheaper than paying someone else to do it.) I also arranged a cover and blurb reveal.

2. Editing.
Hollowed had been edited many, many times already, but I hadn't touched it in nearly six months, so I was able to go in one last time and see things with fresh eyes.

3. Formatting.
By far, the most time consuming part of my process. I followed the Smashwords formatting guide to a T. Let me tell you, even if you aren't pubbing through Smashwords, that style guide is invaluable. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. I didn't have a single formatting error with spacing, indents, centering, my table of contents, or anything else when I was done.

4. ARCs and Blog Tour.
Also time consuming, but totally worth it. I sent out e-ARCs (which I made myself using Sigil and Calibre) to anyone who helped with the cover reveal, and those who were participating in the blog tour. For the tour, I kept a spreadsheet with every stop, their website, date, and what kind of post they were doing (so that I knew if I had a guest post to write for them, or interview questions to answer).

5. Release date and pricing.
I went back and forth on the pricing for Hollowed for a while, and researched what the "sweet spot" was for self-published books. Because SW, B&N, and Amazon don't let you schedule a release date, I uploaded everything two days ahead of time, just in case I encountered some kind of error. Thankfully, all that prep-work ahead of time made the entire process run smoothly. SW went live immediately, and the other two were live within 24 hours.
All in all, I think my process went pretty smooth. It was tiring, but a lot of that exhaustion came from learning. I bugged Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry several times for advice, and fumbled my way through the rest. Google was my best friend.
I think my biggest piece of advice for anyone considering self-publishing: do your research. Know what you're getting into. Self-publishing is a lot of learning, a lot of patience, and a lot of work. Nothing about this process is easy. However, it has the potential to be extremely fun and rewarding.

Thanks, Amy, for letting me stop by!

About the author

 Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a fascination with bells, adores all things furry – be them squeaky, barky, or meow-y – is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.
Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. She loves stories where character development takes center stage.
As of January 2011, Kelley is a proud member of the Young Adult writers group blog, YAtopia, as well as For the Love of Contemporary. She is currently unagented. Her YA thriller, HUSHED, is now available via Entangled Publishing. She has two upcoming novels: HOLLOWED (August, 2012) and MADE OF STARS (Fall 2013).

*image and about info taken from Kelley's website

Find Kelley around the web

And lucky you!! There is also a tour wide giveaway going on too!! Just fill out the rafflecopter below.

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Cover Reveal: Blood Doll by Georgia Cates

Hello!! Another day, another cover hehe! I love cover reveals. I mean, aren't we all a little cover obsessed. The cover I have for you today is for Blood Doll by Georgia Cates and it's fantastic!!

Book Description

Solomon Alexander has faced huge obstacles during his existence, but they’re nothing in comparison to the one he’s about to hit head on. As leader of The Savannah Compound, part of Sol’s new position in the Coven of Landra is to guide the transition of fledgelings, newly turned vampires. It’s his job to save the unsavable. Being a Landra is what he’s done for over a century and he’s damn good at it, but everything he knows, practices and teaches is threatened when he is forced to drink from Avery Ferrand, a Blood Jewel.

The Blood Jewel is enshrouded with mystery, but one fact is known. There’s never been blood more desirable or addicting than Avery’s and there are consequences for any vampire that drinks it...including Solomon Alexander. Although he adamantly denies his need to feed from her, Avery suspects he’s lying but she has secrets of her own about the night he drank from her. She wanted him to and now she finds herself being drawn to Solomon in a way she shouldn't. As Avery’s desire to be closer to Solomon grows, she finds herself considering something more dangerous than being found by the dangerous covens hunting her...asking Solomon if she can become his Blood Doll.

Expected publish date: January 2013

Add to Goodreads
Isn't that really pretty. I kind of love the dress too. I want it!! I haven't read the first two books in the series, but it sounds really good. I think I should read them before this one comes out in January. 

About the author:

Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent thirteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author.

Blood of Anteros, Book One in The Vampire Agápe Series, was her first novel and it was released in September 2011. She decided to briefly step away from the paranormal genre to try her hand at a young adult contemporary romance when she wrote Going Under, but returned to the paranormal romance platform to complete the second book in The Vampire Agápe Series, Blood Jewel.

Her current works in progress are Shallow (A Going Under Novel) which will release on September 27th and Blood Doll (The Vampire Agápe Series #3), to be released in January 2013.

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