Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black

  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

My Thoughts

Being a fan of Holly Black's Curse Workers Series, I knew I had to read this book!! Not to mention, it just sounded awesome. Also, she's a local author which is super cool so I feel the need to read anything she writes. With all that being said, I really enjoyed this. I thought that the take on vampires and the world that they live in was really cool. I liked that the humans not only knew they existed, but it was also kind of a glorified thing to be a vampire. Oh, did I mention that the first Coldtown, which is where they go, is also a town right near where I live. Yeah, total bonus points for the story taking place near my area. Okay, so on with this review. I'm getting sidetracked.

Tana was a character who annoyed me, but I also liked her. We first meet her while passed out in a bathtub which is quite funny. It's also very realistic to kids her age. I mean, I never personally got drunk and passed out in a bathtub, but I had my nights to remember (or not) when I was her age, so yeah. She then finds everyone dead, but is able to somewhat keep her head about things. I suppose when you live in a world where vampires can come at any moment and infect you it's not hard to believe it would happen. She then makes a few stupid decisions, but I can see why. She really has a good heart. She's a bit abrasive at times, totally tough, and bad ass, but she's also willing to help people. Perhaps a bit too trusting, but that's not necessarily a bad trait. Even though I wanted to knock some sense into her a few times, I think had I been in the same situations, I might have made a lot of the same dumb decisions she did.

Gavriel is the moody vampire who against everything, Tana begins to fall for. That was kind of a given. Saw that coming from the beginning, but it didn't change my enjoyment of things. It wasn't an insta-love thing. She actually knew she was crazy having thoughts of kissing him. She knew how dangerous he was. He is in and out of the story, but any scene he was in, he seemed to take center stage. He was very entertaining for me to read. Not that he's particularly funny or anything, there was just something about him. Of course he is all secretive and has some things he's hiding, but that's just the way these things work. For a scary vamp, he was pretty awesome and I came to really like him.

This was really great. It wasn't fast paced, but it was a good steady story. I never felt bored with it. Even when the story seemed slow, I was still enjoying the characters and what was going on. This was a really great take on vampires. I loved how it wasn't just vampires and humans, but an in between. The infection or disease that the vampire bite will cause, but won't turn you to a vampire. It will drive you mad with blood lust though. I can't go into it any more than that, but it I liked it! There are so many vampire novels out there that it's hard to stand out among them, but I really think Holly Black created a fantastic vampire story. It was gory and awesome and I fully enjoyed it!!






*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blog Tour: Rogue by Gina Damico - Scavenger Hunt and Swag Giveaway!!


Hello everyone!! Welcome to my stop on the Rogue Blog Tour. This is really fun!! Gina Damico wanted to set up a fun way to get word of the third and final book of this series out and thought a photo hunt would be exciting. So, I won't wait any longer. I present to you... Gina Damico!!


Hey hey Croak fans! Welcome to my blog tour / photo hunt / Roguestravaganza! 

From now until ROGUE's release on September 10th, each stop on the tour will reveal an image that represents a chapter in the book - could refer to setting, plot, an important object, mood, or whatever other diabolical visualizations with which I feel like tormenting my dear readers. Each image also contains a hidden letter...though really, they're not that well hidden. (If you have eyes, you should be able to spot them.) Collect the letters every day, and at the end of the tour I'll hold a contest, the winner of which will receive signed and annotated copies of the complete trilogy. (For a complete description of the contest, tour schedule, and links to the stops you might have missed, check out the blog tour page on my website.)

This photo is for Chapter 12. I will let the image do the talking.


Thanks for having me! Good luck everyone!

Synopsis for Rogue

Teenage Grim Reaper Lex’s power to Damn souls is getting out of control. She's a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they're joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it.

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed...but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice.

Trailer:


Links: 


Giveaway:
Croak prize pack 

3 signed bookmarks
3 signed bookplates
3 magnets
a scythe pendant
(Open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Audiobook Review: White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio (Gallery Books)
  • Publication date: 7/16/13 (audio) 7/9/2013 (paperback)
  • Format: Digital audiobook
  • Read by: Grace Grant
  • Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
  • Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Simon & Schuster

 A word-of-mouth bestseller that’s captivating readers with its honesty, grit, and headstrong heroine, White Trash Beautiful is a story for anyone who has ever felt trapped in life, cheated by love—and longed for something more . . .

Cass Daniels isn’t waiting for her knight in shining armor. She knows that girls like her don’t get a happily ever after. Not if you live in a trailer with your mom, work at a greasy spoon diner, and get leered at by old men. Maybe that’s why she puts up with Jackson—her poor excuse for a boyfriend, who treats her like dirt. Cass has learned to accept her lot in life. That is, until he walks into her diner. . . .



His name is Tucker White, and he’s different from any man Cass has ever known. Tall, tattooed, and bad-ass gorgeous, he’s the lead singer of the rock band Damaged. From the moment they meet, Tucker sees something in Cass he just can’t shake. Something beautiful. Something haunted. Something special. And he’s determined to find out what it is—if only he can get her to open up and let him in. . . .

My Thoughts

Talk about a heartbreaking story!! This book just beat down my emotions slowly and surely and it was so devastating and beautiful. I have never wanted so much to be able to jump into a story and help the characters as I have with this. I think that I would have loved this book either way, but Grace Grant is such a fabulous narrator and she really brought the book to life for me. I was hooked on the story and the characters, and I wanted them to find happiness somehow. This was a truly emotional ride for me. I was bothered about some things in this, but it wasn't enough to make me not enjoy it.

Cass is stuck in a life that she wants so badly to escape. She is supporting her drug addict mother and her abusive also addict boyfriend. She lived in a crappy trailer in an unhappy, terrifying life. She wants nothing more than to help her mother and boyfriend though. As much as she wants to escape, she doesn't want to do it alone. She does want them by her side, but only if they will get help and get better. My heart broke so much for her. I wanted to scream at her for letting herself be treated the way she is, but at the same time, I understood that she was scared and had no way out. She won't leave her mother, and Jackson has been there for her and as terrified of him as she is, she wants to help him be a better person. When Tucker White comes into her life after going to the dinner where she works, things get more complicated. She can't understand why he keeps coming back, why he wants to protect her, what he wants from her. When her life starts to spiral out of control, I wanted to hold her, help her, do anything I could to make things better for her. Cass is a very tough chick. Sadly, it's because she has to be or else she will just fall apart.

Tucker was a character I instantly liked, but didn't understand. He seems to zero in on Cass almost immediately and I just didn't understand why he would go out of his way for her when she wasn't interested and had a boyfriend. I get that he wanted to protect her when he saw her boyfriend being a jerk, but he went above and beyond what a normal person would do. I'm glad he did, and now knowing more about him I get where some of it was coming from, but I still think it was unrealistic. But, that's why it's a book. With that said, I thought he was really a great guy and I loved how much he really wanted to get Cass out of her bad situation. He has some major skeletons in his closet too and I enjoyed getting to see them come out and know who the real Tucker White was underneath.

The romance was very gradual and I thought that it had a very real feel to it. Not at the beginning, but after they start to get to know each other more. It wasn't perfect and all happy. In fact, it had such a bleak feel to it that I wanted it to happen, but I had no hope of it. I think that is how it's meant to be. The desperation, the hurt, the need for what they can't have. It was done so well.

Grace Grant was the reader for this and she did awesome!! She is very good at distinguishing between characters so you always know who is talking and what is going on. She did the southern accent really well. And as always, the emotion she puts into the story comes through so well that you really feel what the characters feel. It's easy to get wrapped up in the story with her narrating.

This is not your typical girl and boy have issues, meet and fall in love book. There is so much more and though there is resolution, it's not a super tidy ending.  This is one heck of a ride. It's tough to read at times. I was aching with the realness of the situations happening. I thought that the topic of addiction and abuse were addressed very well. This is very raw and gritty. No sugar coating in Cass and Tucker's story at all. In fact there are some very harsh and tragic events that happen through the book which act to both push them apart and together at the same time. They care about each other enough to do something completely unselfish for the other, even if it might hurt themselves in the process. Overall, this was a beautiful and tragic story and I can't wait for the sequel, White Trash Damaged, to see where the story will go next.




* A digital audiobook of this was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Promo Post: Spencer Hill Presents - Win a Frikkin' Cruise!!!


The Triangles

Win a Frikkin' Cruise

Sweepstakes!!

The Grand Prize Winner gets to go on a cruise!

Two runners-up will win $50 gift cards from Amazon (in US) or Book Depository (Worldwide).


What do you do?  

Buy Triangles! 


 
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess? 




Send confirmation of purchase 

(receipt, pic with book, drawing with book, you get it the idea) 

with this form to Spencer Hill Press!  

They MUST have it by September 14th. 

Drawing on September 16th.






Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (68)


Happy weekend everyone. So, a lot has happened since my post last week. For one, I finally got to meet the incredibly awesome Giselle from Xpresso Reads!! Yes people, she does exist in real life, and she's super awesome!! I feel like my life is complete now. I have finally met my soulmate in real life!! I also got to see DeAnna from Mommy's Reading Break again. I met her previously at the Pitch Dark Days event in February. Also, on Tuesday/Wednesday I went to the midnight showing of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I thought it was great!! But... the best part about it was I met Holly Black!! Yes, for real!! She was in front of me at the concession stand and I was totally freaking out on whether to ask her if she was her, but I did, and she was super nice! She even posed for a pic with me and signed my movie stub since I had nothing else to sign with me at that point. Lol!! I have a lot of books this week, so I apologize about the long vlog. Between fan girling and my books it's a bit long. Oh, and I totally said in my video that I was going to add the pic of me and Holly Black, and a pic of the ticket stub she signed, but I forgot. Sorry.




Books Mentioned

Review
Won/Gifted/Trade
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • Gated by Amy Christine Parker  (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins (Surprise from HarperCollins, this is my 3rd copy, second finished copy,   so I will most likely do a giveaway)
  • The 100 by Kass Morgan (from Giselle @ Xpresso Reads)
  • The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton (Audiobook) (Won from Heidi @ YA Bibliophile)
  • The Mortal Instruments Movie Poster (from the theater people for waiting in line for hours!)
Thanks so much to HarperCollins, Edelweiss, HarperTeen, Heidi, Random House, Simon & Schuster Audio, Harper Audio, Rhiannon, and Giselle.

Weekly Recap

Search Terms
  • pieces michelle davidson argyle free epub - Seriously people!! These search terms drive me nuts. Buy the freaking book!
  • patrick flores-scott jumped in review - Yes, I reviewed this a few days ago. It was really good!
  • shadowhunters and downworlders - Eeep!! I saw The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones on opening night!!
  • "the school for good and evil" exam - I have taken it. It was really cute. I don't know the direct link since I went to it through a link on twitter.
  • 60 reasons why you're a great mom books - I don't know of any specific ones, but I'm sure they are out there.
  • aiden's pov deity - You can find it most likely on Jennifer L. Armentrout's site.
  • audiobook narration wallbanger - I loved this book, the audio was a bit... awkward at times, but it was good.
  • best adult sex novels - I don't know. I don't read a lot of it. I do read a lot of adult romance (that can get pretty steamy), but rarely read erotica.
That was my week!! Talk about epic! And the books were great too. ;) Anyways, leave me your link and I will stop by as soon as I can. I will be at a birthday party all day Sunday, so it won't be until Monday most likely. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - Least Favorite Things About Blogging


Hello everyone!! Happy Saturday!! This week our Book Girls topic is things we like least about blogging. Really, mostly I love it. I should love it or why would I do it? But with everything, there are always things that aren't fabulous. I have three things that I like least. One is out of my control, but the other things I can control. Don't forget to check out the other posts from the other Book Girls.

Other Book Girls Posts
Giselle

Oh, the Drama

This is one that is out of my control, but I can't stand drama in the blogging community. No matter what kind of drama it is, I don't like it. I try to stay out of it unless it directly affects me or one of my close blogger friends. The thing with drama is, even if it has nothing to do with you, it reflects on the blogging community in general. I don't like having to walk on eggshells, and when there's a lot of drama going on it makes me question why I do it. It all comes back to my love for it. It will take more than some shitty drama to get me to quit.

Keeping Up With Being Social

I am a very social person. I always have been. I'm not shy at all. I love interacting with people, and I try to always comment back. I also love to visit my favorite blogs and comment regularly. I would say that I like this least, but it's hard to keep up with sometimes. I get upset with myself and worked up about it. I know that everyone understands that people get busy, but I feel like such a fail as a blogger when I am not commenting regularly. I want all my readers and my favorite blogs to know that I love them and I want to interact. When I get behind, there have been times where I have spent over 3 hours just catching up on commenting on my favorite blogs. I love commenting, but sometimes it gets overwhelming keeping up on it.

All the Books!!

This one is totally on me, but I take on books and books, and then don't have time to read books that I want. I told myself that this year I wouldn't do that, and of course I did. The thing is, all the review books I take on are books I really want to read too. I just sometimes want to kick myself for not leaving myself enough me time to get in books I have been wanting to read. Then, there's the keeping up when I suck and take on too much. I need to become better friends with my planner and make sure to not over schedule myself. Once I get behind it's almost impossible to catch back up.

So those are the things that are my least favorite, but I still love it!! I just have to remember to not let myself get stressed about it. It's something I love to do, it's an important part of me, I wouldn't change anything about it other than how I do things or view things. What are your thoughts?
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Wings of Nestor by Devri Walls - Interview and Tour Giveaway!



Hey guys!! Welcome to my tour stop on the Wings of Nestor Blog Tour!! I am so excited to have an interview with the lovely Devri Walls on my tour stop!! I will be posting my review for this soon also! For the full tour schedule click on the banner to be taken to the tour site.

  • Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
  • Publication date: 6/24/2013
  • Series: Solus Series , #3 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Kiora needs answers. Who is the Shadow? Who is Jasmine? Are they connected? And even more pressing: how can she stop Shadow from using Kiora’s dreams as a map to find them? They have escaped three times, but are living on borrowed time—and everybody knows it.

Her search for help will push her closer to Alcander, send her to the dragon mountain of Toopai, and straight back to Meros—where magic will finally return to the land of no magic. Answers will be uncovered and plans unearthed that have been waiting for thousands of years.

But with the Shadow’s forces gathering, it looks like the land’s path is hurtling towards one outcome: war with the Shadow and death to all rebels. Armed with knowledge and hope, Kiora is determined to change that path. But will fate allow it? Or will it deal her a hard lesson about following ones own destiny?

Interview

How did you come up with the idea for the Solus series?

The original book, Wings of Arian was inspired by our societies exposure to things that would have made people horribly uncomfortable 100 years ago. Everything we see coming though our television on a day-to-day basis. I wondered what it would be like to be exposed to all of this at once instead of being slowly desensitized and how traumatizing that would be. From that Meros, and Kiora were born.

This was originally only going to be a trilogy right? What made you decide to expand the series? Not that I'm complaining. I love getting lost in the world you've created!

My dear editor, Miss Ellie Soderstrom, is the one to thank for that. I sent her the draft for book two and she responded with, “It’s great, I love it. But…you sent me two books, it needs to end about 200 pages before you did.” Sooooo, 200 pages moved over to book three. After we did that I just did not have enough time to finish it all up in the third book.

I know that I for one am not happy about the added love interest (but I'm sure that I will be eventually). Was that always planned or did it just kind of happen?

Oh man, I am trying to figure out how much to say without giving spoilers! Ok- no, Alcander was never planned. Originally the story line I had in mind was much different. But, after I had finished book one and was plotting book two I realized that not only did I need another character, since we were leaving so many behind in Meros, but that I had also created a situation between Emane and Kiora that I couldn’t fix without being a cheese-headed author. And nobody likes a cheese-head author, right? The “situation” is discussed throughout the series so I can’t say anymore than that. Lips are sealed!

The world you have created is so intricate and I love the detail while I'm reading. Did you make a map of it or do you just kind of see it in your head?

Thank you! I write the story and create the world as I go, flying be the seat of my pants. I decide which type of landscape I want and then I let my imagination run wild. However, much to my chagrin, it got a little too intricate and I was forced to draw out a map to make sure I didn’t mess up directions for those of you who notice such things. And by ‘map’ I mean a doodling that looked as if my 7 year old had drawn it—my artistic skills leaves much to be desired. I should have published it in the back of the book for sheer entertainment value.

How did you come up with the names of the characters? They are so unique?

Google is my best friend. I looked up unique names, unique baby names, and names by origin. Many of the ones I was drawn to were Celtic, some Greek. It was taking me so long to come up with names every time I created a new character that I finally spent a day just going through names. I then made a list to pull from with each new addition to the team. As far as the names of the places and creatures in the book, I usually just muddle around with sounds until I find something I like.

Do you have any particular writing habits or places you have to write?

It depends what stage I am in but it always involves comfortable furniture and never a table or desk. For the rough draft I like to find a big comfy chair or chaise at a coffee shop and plug in a set of headphones. After that, the edits take place at home on my couches, because I need it quiet and I am usually talking to myself. ;)

After the Solus series is done do you have any ideas of what you will write next? Are you thinking of a different genre or will you stick to fantasy?


I have a whole bunch of ideas, but the first one will be fantasy. It will have a much different vibe than the Solus series—darker, no creatures, lots of magic. After that I have some paranormal ideas that I am dying to get to.

I look forward to your future works!
 
Favorites:


Color?

Blues


Food?

Do people really just have a favorite food? That flabbergasts me. Um, I like variety. I love Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and Sushi. Yes, I cheated. I’m a total foodie, it can’t be helped.

I love sushi and Thai. those are probably my favorites!!
 
Snack?

Oh! I think I might have this one. My go to is usually Almonds.

Place to read?

Bath- until the water gets cold. Then I move to the bed.

Place you've visited?

Going with California, just because I could sit on the beach (if I could manage to find one that wasn’t packed with people) and watch the ocean for hours. Amazing.

Show?

Les Miserables.

Fabulous pick!! I have seen it on Broadway twice and have the DVD!
 
Movie?

This might change tomorrow, but for today I am saying Lord of the Rings.

Activity or Hobby?

Singing. I am a trained vocalist and aside from writing it is my favorite thing to do!

That's really awesome!! I like to sing, but I don't think I'm very good at it lol!!

Thanks so much Devri!! It's always a pleasure to feature you and your books!!


 About the author

Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head. Her first novel, Wings of Arian, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Apple. The second book in the Solus trilogy, Wings of Tavea is scheduled for release Nov 2012.




Other books in the series so far:


 Wings of Arian buy links: Amazon | B&N


Grand prize giveaway
Prizes:
A 25.00 Visa gift card,
A signed paperback - their choice of volume
A signed poster of Wings of Nestor,
Signed bookmarks 
Open to US/Can


 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours

 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Authors Are Rock Stars!! - Interview with Tiffany Truitt


Hello loves!!! Welcome to my stop on the Authors are Rock Stars Tour Stop!! I am so excited to be featuring the lovely Tiffany Truitt, author of The Lost Souls series!! See my review of Chosen Ones here, and Naturals here. And, super exiting guys!! Both ebooks in the series on are sale August 23-26.

Purchase Chosen Ones: Amazon | B&N
Purchase Naturals: Amazon | B&N

I will start by telling you why I think Tiffany is a rock star. There are so many dystopian novels out there today. You walk into a book store, go to an online book seller, even the grocery store, and you will find numerous dystopian novels. So, what makes Tiffany Truitt stand out among those? Well, for one, the absolute desperate and bleak feel of the setting that some of them lack. Then, the awesome character development. You really care what happens to the characters. And beyond anything else, the believability of it all. I could see something like this happening way in the future. Tiffany is creative and brilliant, but she is also really sweet and friendly. She is more than happy to engage in twitter conversations and make friends with you. These are just a few of the reasons she is a rock star author to me!!


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:

Interview


Hi Tiffany!! I love your books and am super excited to be hosting you for the Authors Are Rockstars event! Thanks for doing this interview.

Thanks for hosting me! I am excited to stop by.

When you aren't writing what are your favorite things to do?

I adore going to concerts. It’s defiantly my writing escape and my biggest inspiration at the same time. I was lucky enough to go to the Firefly Music Festival this summer. Three days of music from every genre was exactly what I needed to regroup before I enter the editing cave for book three.

What would your perfect vacation be?

Anywhere. I’m pretty much up for any kind of travel. Last summer, I went to Boston, Delaware, and Chicago. The summer before, I went to China. This summer, I spent a week at the beach with my extended family. I’m pretty much up for any vacation where I get to escape from the laptop and spend time with people I love.

What is a typical day like for you? Do you have a routine?

Right now, I am on summer vacation (the perks of being a teacher). Usually, I wake up, attempt to teach the children of the world, come home and snack it up (I have a horrible junk food addiction), travel to my favorite local coffee shop (Café Moka), meet with my writing partner or attempt to create something worth reading, and then watch Netflix until sleep. I have always considered writing a second job.

How did you come up with the idea for The Lost Souls series?

For awhile, I was making a six hour drive to visit a friend at college every other weekend. Needless to say, I had a lot of time to think. I am huge fan of television and music scores, and the idea just came to me while driving and listening to the greats. I wish I could pin point the exact moment it all came to me, but I think it was a collection of random ideas and questions. The story has changed so much since its original draft!

Did you have the whole series planned out before you started writing, or does it come to you as you go?

I def had a general outline. I don’t think my publisher would have offered me a three book deal otherwise. But, the story has definitely changed and evolved in ways I never saw coming. I think that happens as you write and edit. A story is like a child. You can guide it through life, but, eventually, it has to take on a life it chooses for itself.

Do you have any writing habits? Music, snacks, certain places you like to write?

I can’t write in silence. At all. I usually go to my favorite coffee shop, put in the ear plugs, and listen to lyric-less music. Coffee is always a must.

Who would you want cast as Tessa and James if the series was to be on the big screen?

I’ve always said I would like Saoirse Ronan and Ethan Peck.

If the world were really like the world in this series, would you go along with the rules, or would you try to escape?

I’d like to think that I would rebel, but that is always easier said than done. My characters tend to lose a lot for standing up for what they believe in strongly. Something everyone has to weigh when they are faced with difficult choices. Needs vs Wants. Loss vs Gain.

Are you working on anything else other than The Lost Souls series?

I currently have a standalone YA book out on submission with my agent. It’s kinda edgy and the characters are soooo imperfect. I really hope it finds a home. I am also working on what my writing partner and I are calling a pre-dystopian-dystopian. It’s so cool, and if we can manage to get it done, I think people will really dig it.

What books are on your reading pile right now that you hoping to get to soon?

I tend to stick to YA because that’s what I write. My fav of the summer has been The 5th Wave.

Random:

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate for coke floats. Vanilla for everything else.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee for writing times. Tea to relax.

Oceans or Mountains?

How about ocean surrounding by mountains?

Quiet night in or night on the town?

I like both!

Skirts or Pants?

Skirts.

Hair down or up?

Usually down.

Okay that's all I have.

Thanks so much! It was a pleasure to interview you. You are a rockstar!! :)


Check out the first two books of The Lost Souls series!!

  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?




  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013

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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott

  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Sam has the rules of slackerhood down: Don’t be late to class. Don’t ever look the teacher in the eye. Develop your blank stare. Since his mom left, he has become an expert in the art of slacking, especially since no one at his new school gets his intense passion for the music of the Pacific Northwest—Nirvana, Hole, Sleater-Kinney. Then his English teacher begins a slam poetry unit and Sam gets paired up with the daunting, scarred, clearly-a-gang-member Luis, who happens to sit next to him in every one of his classes. Slacking is no longer an option—Luis will destroy him. Told in Sam’s raw voice and interspersed with vivid poems, Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a stunning debut novel about differences, friendship, loss, and the power of words.

My Thoughts

I'm not a big poetry person, but this sounded really interesting so I decided to give it a try. I'm really glad I did. I actually loved getting to know Luis through his poems, and I loved seeing Sam open up a little and finally let people in. This book tackles many different issues. Stereotyping, friendship, family, and learning to find yourself. This was a book I was very unsure about and ended up really enjoying. It was a pleasant surprise.

Sam is the type of person who keeps to himself. Abandoned by his mom, and expecting her to return to bring him back to his old home, he never wanted to get close to people. Didn't want to form relationships with anyone if he was just leaving soon anyways. After it was apparent his mom wasn't coming back, he just didn't care to be friends with anyone. It's easier for him to just be by himself. He won't have to ever subject himself to that feeling of loss again. It isn't until Luis becomes an unexpected and unwelcome part of his life that he starts to see things differently. He finds an unlikely friendship with Luis. He discovers that his stereotyping may have been wrong, and that people aren't always who they seem on the outside.

I found the writing in this to be fabulous. At first I wasn't sure about hearing Sam tell us a bit about what is happening, then getting a poem written by Luis, but soon it really flowed and I was flying through the book. I wanted to know more about both of them, about where their story was going. I loved that this tackled the issue of stereotypes in such a cool way. I loved that everyone was so much more than meets the eye. Besides Luis and Sam, I loved all of the characters. I thought they were all well developed, especially their English teacher. Every character had a reason to be part of the story. There were no side characters just for the sake of moving the story along.

Upon finishing this book, I was surprised how much I felt. I started off not really feeling any sort of connection or emotions at all, and I'm not sure when they developed, but by the end I was aware of all the feels I had. It really caught me off guard, and I love that! This book was just so well rounded. It covers so many issues, it's so real, and it also gives a few little lessons on poetry that I found really cool. I think this is the type of book that all high school (or even middle school) kids should read. I am so glad that I decided to read something different from what I usually do. This was a great book.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

  • Publisher: Harper Children's 
  • Publication date: 8/20/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

 
My Thoughts

I went into this thinking it would be a creepy and atmospheric read, but was very disappointed to find it was nothing like I was expecting. It was ridiculously predictable, not atmospheric, and the characters drove me insane. I was hoping that they would discover I was a criminally insane serial killer so I could be the one to kill them all off. But really... I always feel bad when writing reviews for books that I didn't enjoy because I know I come across a bit harsh. I wish I could be positive about it, but sometimes I feel like I am punishing myself by continuing on. The one thing that I thought was good about this was the photos, though since I had an eARC not all of them were in it. I am a visual reader, so those little snippets I got were actually good. I could somewhat get a sense of how things were. That was the only redeeming point for me.

The story is told from Dan's POV and I wish I could have liked him, but I just didn't. He wasn't a bad character, but he was just that, a character. I didn't care whether I got to know him, there was no emotion, no feeling. Also, it's like right of the bat, he's convinced that someone is after him. I mean, dude, paranoid much! And he is BFF's with these two random people he just met instantly. I make friends easy too, but not BFF's overnight. That's extreme. I thought that he should have been more developed than he was too.

I won't go into the other characters separately since I don't have much to say. I definitely couldn't stand Jordan. Right away he just rubbed me the wrong way, and then he turned into a super jerk. I don't know if I just missed over the reason for his mini meltdown/freak out stuff, or if it wasn't actually brought to our attention, but I never really understood why he turned the way he did. (Unless of course he was just sick of Dan and Abby like I was) Then Abby was crying or getting pissy every other minute. She's very bossy and easy to fly off the handle also. The whole friendship, then not friend, then BFF's who all love each other again just didn't make sense to me. It's not like they have known each other since they were kids. They just met at this college prep course. It seemed very far fetched.

If I go into all the reasons this didn't work for me, I will spoil it for anyone who wants to read it. I just thought that the reasons behind everything didn't make sense, and it was too easy to know where the story was going very early on. I wanted a creepy mystery type story enhanced with photos, but what I got was a predictable story that I wasn't able to get into, with characters I didn't like or didn't care about. I think that this book will have it's audience that enjoys it, but I wasn't one of them.






*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Book Spotlight and Author Interview: Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert

Hello loves!! So this was supposed to post yesterday, but I suck, so it's going up today. I have a book spotlight and interview with the author for you!! First I will give you the book info. 

BREAKING THE REINS
Genre: NA contemporary romance
Word Count: 100,000
Release date: August 14 2013

Horses, mansions, tea parties, and lies are twenty-year-old Hannah Taylor’s life. To others, her family and her relationship with Eric is perfect. But she knows the truth. She lives it.
 After a fire takes her grandma's life and kills her horse, Hannah's immaculate life spirals out of control. Her father disapproves of her decision to run her grandma’s ranch instead of focusing solely on learning the family business; Animal Control brings her Argus, a mistreated horse that she can't turn away even though she's not ready for another horse; and her boyfriend, Eric Bennett, a world famous polo player, becomes possessive and authoritarian. Despite her best efforts to disguise it, Hannah grows wary of him.
 Then, Leonardo Fernandes struts onto the polo scene. A cocky rookie with a messy life of his own, he’s drawn to Hannah and isn’t afraid of showing it, even when Eric makes it clear she is his and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Hannah suffers for Eric’s jealousy. The abuse only gets worse when Leo steals the title of best polo player in the world from Eric.
 But the title isn’t enough for Leo. He wants Hannah too, and she can’t deny her attraction to him either. Somehow, she must find a way to break free from abusive Eric before he breaks every bone in her body.



Purchase:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes&Noble | Apple | Kobo | Goodreads | Pinterest
(As soon as the links for B&N and Apple are up, I will update them)

Interview

New Adult is a relatively new classification of genre. What made you want to write New Adult? 
I like to think New Adult is a new category that has lots of genres within.
Writing New Adult wasn’t a conscious thing. I’ve been writing it for eight years – I just didn’t know how to call it back then ;)

You now are about to have 4 books out, how does that feel? 
Strange? Lol
Most days, I don’t feel like an author, just a writer who hides behind her laptop.

Breaking the Reins sounds very emotional. Was it hard to write some of the scenes in it? 
It was. Ask the girls of my local writing group. They caught me crying and laughing several times while I was writing it – it may have looked easy, but it certainly wasn’t.

Do you ride horses or play Polo? From the synopsis I get the idea that it's a big part of the book. 
When I was younger, my family owned a farm –  it was a plantation kind of farm, but we had horses in it. No, I’ve never played polo but I always thought it was cool. My cousin jumps to this day (horse jumping) and I tried doing it with her for about 2 or 3 months when I was a teenager, but it stole time from dancing (I was a ballerina) and I didn’t love it enough to reduce my dancing hours … but it was really cool, though.

I see that you used to live in Brazil and now live in Connecticut. That's got to be a major change. How do you handle the cold and the snow?
I lived in South Carolina and Ohio before living in Connecticut. I don’t mind the cold, I actually prefer winter to summer. What I don’t like is cleaning the snow from the driveway - but that’s my hubs job, not mine =P

You have quite a list of WIP's how do you go about working on them? Do you ever find you are working on one thing, but then want to work on something else instead? 
Most of those WIPs are written, but it has been a long time and my writing got a lot better since then, so I should probably rewrite them.
I tried focusing on one book at a time. I only start working on something new when my manuscript is out with the editor –  that’s the only phase when I work in 2 manuscripts at the “same time”.
Shiny new ideas pop in my mind almost every day –  or I get the urge to rewrite one of those old WIPs asap, but I get a hold of myself. If I don’t finish what I’m working on right now, when will I do it? One thing at a time - it’s hard, but that’s how it works for me.

You are Co-founder of NA Alley. What made you want to start that? You have so much that you are working on. I think it's fabulous by the way. :)
I had just met other authors/writers who wrote New Adult, and after getting to know them, I started thinking about inviting them to come up with a blog dedicated to NA. However, Victoria was faster. She had already talked to Jaycee and they sent me an email asking what I thought about it – my answer was “dude! I was going to ask you the same thing!” It was funny.

You Write New adult books, but have you ever thought about writing YA or Adult?
I tried writing YA after I received too many rejections that said there was no place for my book on the market, and they (agents and editors) suggested I lowered my characters age and made it YA. But it didn’t work. My voice wasn’t of a teenager, and my characters wanted a bit more freedom than teenagers have.
So I stuck with New Adult, even knowing it might take a while for the category to be recognized.

Anything you would like to say to my readers? 
It’s so nice to meet you all! I hope you come say hi on twitter and facebook, and in the comments here. I’m a little shy in the first five minutes, but I love to chat!

Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. 
Thank you!



I also have an excerpt and a nice pic teaser for you from the book!!

Excerpt:
We exited the stable, and I worked up the nerve to invite him to stay longer, to have dinner with me and talk a little.
I opened my mouth, but he spoke first.
“I should get going,” he said, his tone low.
My heart sank. “Oh. Okay.”
He turned to the path leading to the parking lot, and I caught up with him.
He showed me a lopsided grin. “Are you doing the guy thing? Walking me to my car?”
I shrugged. “It’s my house. I can do whatever I want.”
His smile was gone, and his eyes were serious. “And you want to walk me to my car?”
I returned the stare. “I want to,” I said, not sure where this bold feeling was coming from.
As we approached his car, butterflies assaulted my stomach. What was I doing? I was encouraging him. Perhaps I should stay behind and say goodbye from the path.
I couldn't make up my mind, and then we were standing by his SUV’s door.
Every nerve in my body came alive when he turned around and stepped too close to me, his body hovering inches from mine, his intense eyes on mine. His gaze flicked down to my mouth, and I inhaled a sharp breath.
Groaning, Leo put his hands on my waist, whirled us around, pushed his hard body on mine, and pressed me against his car.
“You said you wouldn’t try anything.”
“I tried to resist,” he said, his voice breathless. “I told you. It’s hard. Especially when I notice you don’t want me to resist. I cannot resist it.”
I put my hands on his chest with every intention of pushing him away, but the muscles of his pecs under my palms caught my breath, and I melted. I was melting, and there was nothing I could do.
“You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now,” he said, his breath brushing against my lips.
I shivered. “I think I do.”
“Please, morena, tell me I can kiss you.” His hand clasped around my nape. “I need to kiss you.”
Intoxicated, I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him down to me. I kissed him. Without wasting one millisecond, Leo kissed me back. I felt him relaxing in my arms, as if he had finally won a fight and now could celebrate the victory. He moaned when I entangled my tongue with his. His hand on my neck slid up, his finger entwining in my hair, and his other hand slipped under my tank top and clutched my waist. He took control and changed the rhythm of the kiss, his soft lips slowing down against mine, but his tongue going deeper. It was erotic, and my body was on fire, screaming for his.



 
About the Author:

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.