Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blog Tour: Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle - Review and Giveaway!!

http://xpressobooktours.com/2013/12/05/tour-sign-up-donners-of-the-dead-by-karina-halle/

Today on my blog, I am so excited to be a part of the Donners of the Dead Blog Tour!! The lovely Xpresso Book Tours organized this event and if you would like to see the full schedule, just click on the banner above. I have my review for you and the tour giveaway. Guys! This book rocked so if it's your type of read you should definitely pick it up!

  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Publish Date: February 24th, 2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the tour host for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N (at the time the B&N link is not working, but I will update as soon as it is)

***A Standalone Horror Romance coming February 2014***

A note about this book: Donners of the Dead is set in 1851 – couples were often thrust into marriage together with short courtships, racism was widespread and not overly frowned upon, and women had little to no rights. What wouldn't fly in today's day and age was unfortunately the norm back then - it is worth keeping that in mind when reading this book.


Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive

The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.

What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.

***This is NOT New Adult***
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18524947-donners-of-the-dead?ac=1

My Thoughts

This book rocked!! I loved the creepiness, the goriness, and the romance. It was a fantastic, edge of your seat story. It had me so tense wondering if they would survive and what the future would hold. It was one of those books that once you start, you just don't want to put it down. It's not for the faint of heart. It is full of death and doom. Yes, there is a romance, but that is like the bright light at the end of the tunnel. With so much horror and suffering it's just one little part of the overall story.

Eve is a half-native girl, and back in that time they were not thought highly of. She does have the special ability to be good at tracking, which is of use to the men who come searching for her for that very reason. She is smart, strong, and also very innocent. She lost her father and her mother isn't in good shape. Her Uncle who is taking care of her isn't a nice guy at all. She is lonely with the exception of her one friend Avery. She sets out with the search party in hopes to find the what they are looking for and when terror strikes, she really holds up pretty well considering. She watches in horror as people are after the wanting to consume their flesh. She tries to fight to be seen as a strong person rather than a useless woman, as well as one of the "savages" as they think of Native Americans. As she fights for her life and tries to understand what is going on she becomes a much stronger person and also refuses to give up. I loved her character and I thought that she was so believable.

Jake is one of the men from the search party. He is more than rough around the edges. He is every bit the manly man, and treats Eve like a dirty savage from the start. Even though he has an instant dislike for her because of what she is, he still is protective of her and slowly opens up to her. He has some secrets that hold him back, but he realizes that she is not like the natives he had encountered in his past, and that not all of them should be seen as bad. He is stubborn and rude, but he is also sweet and caring once his outer layers are broken down. He was so complex and I loved the development and unraveling of him that we got to see in this book.

There is romance, but it doesn't take over the story. It weaves in perfectly and it makes the story better. It makes the intensity and the urgency of things hit so much more than if it hadn't been there. It is a bit of a quick romance, but given the circumstances, it makes sense. I never felt like it was rushed even though things progressed quickly, if that makes any sense. It was a natural thing to me. I can't imagine being followed by cannibals and fighting for my life, but I imagine if I had someone there who was like him, I might fall quickly too. 

This moved at a good pace. It wasn't fast paced, but it never dragged on either. Everything that they went though and all the lulls were there for a reason. I didn't feel like this had any wasted space or filler material. I loved how it made me want to read to the very end almost from the start. It was quite a chilling story and gave me the goosebumps more than a few times. It has some pretty disturbing parts as you can guess since it is about cannibals. I am always up for a good horror book and this was just what I needed. This author is fabulous with the creep factor, but keeps the believability there too. This was excellent. It's also a standalone, so it's not another series to invest in. I highly recommend this for fans of this genre!!





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





AUTHOR BIO:
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.


Author Links:


Tour Giveaway

Signed paperbacks of Donners of the Dead, The Devil's Metal and The Devil's Reprise plus a tote bag AND a one-page handwritten story about the winner in a fight with a zombie!
Open to US and CAN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours
http://xpressobooktours.com/
 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Audiobook Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Audio (Katherine Tegen Books)
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Series: Divergent Series , #3
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Read by: Emma Galvin and Aaron Stanford
  • Length: 11 hours and 55 minutes
  • Source: Audiobook provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | The Book Depository

*This is the third book of the series. My review is spoiler free for the series, but continue at your own risk.
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17384001-allegiant

My Thoughts

I know that I am way late on getting to this one, but I wanted to wait until the hype died down a little. Also, I have really loved this series and didn't want it to end yet. This was a bit on the predictable side, but I still loved it. I thought that the relationship between Tris and Tobias was done really well. They have a lot of issues, but they care deeply about each other and are trying to find a way to make it work while also trying to figure out what is going on with their old home and their new one. It's hard to know who to really trust, and if they can even trust each other. This is told from dual perspective, so we get to be in both of their heads. I love dual POV because I feel like we get so much more of the story that way and really get to know the characters better.

Tris has always been a character that I liked, even while being irritated with her at times. She is strong both physically and mentally. She is smart and caring, but she is also very confused and sometimes that makes it hard for her to make choices that are hard. Ultimately, she is a great person and she always chooses what she thinks is best for everyone, even knowing it may not be the best for her. She goes through a lot of personal struggles in this and listening to this on audio made me feel like I was experiencing this all with her. She is lost, angry, and determined for most of this book. Her head was hard to be in at times, but it gave such an emotional impact on the story.

Tobias who is a very complex character was a treat to read. I loved being in his head and seeing things how he does. Sometimes he made me unbelievably angry, but when I stopped to think about it, I understood him. He is a massively broken person. Not that they aren't all broken in some way, but he has had a lot put on him. I do think that his mind gets clouded quite often and he doesn't try to see all sides of things before making decisions. He lets his own personal battles go to the front of his head and block out some of the more important things. He makes some horrible choices in this, but it's not because he is stupid, it's because he is doubting himself and who he is. Second guessing his past decisions and what he needs to do. It's a constant struggle for him in this, and his issues with Tris make things that much harder.

The romance I loved. I always have. It's there, but never takes over the story. You can feel it so much all the time, but it never overshadows the important things. Beyond that, it's real. They care for each other, but they know they can't let it interfere with their mission and what they need to do. They know they will both make mistakes and have to forgive each other. They know that it's not easy, but they care too much about each other to not try. They know it's worth it to be together no matter what obstacles they face. There is a lot working against them in this and their relationship is very strained, but being able to be in both of their heads made you know that they still love each other, even if they don't think their relationship can be mended.

I listened to the audio version of this and it was amazing. The narrators were both fantastic and brought the story to life. I felt like I was living their story. I always enjoy when a great book is made even better by the audio. I would definitely listen to audiobooks by either one of these narrators in the future. They make you feel the emotion, the tension, the excitement, and the horror of it all. I was able to feel everything while listening to this. I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster.

As I said in the beginning, this is a bit predictable, but I still loved it. I thought it was a great conclusion to a series that I have loved throughout. It was grim, but hopeful. Things were always intense and it made me dread the things that were coming. I loved the friendships, the way things were revealed, and how things progressed. Overall this series was fantastic, and this last book was great. The writing was easy to get lost in, and the world though dark, was one I could fully imagine.  I can't wait to see what Veronica Roth comes up with next now this this story has come to an end.





*An audiobook copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. I did not receive any compensation.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Children's Books Reviews!!

I usually post a Stacking the Shelves post on Sunday, but since I only got like two books, I thought it would be fun to post reviews for a few children's books that I have for review. I like to combine them since they are usually short, so I have three books that I will be reviewing. One came out last month, but the others come out in March.

Pink Cupcake Magic by Katherine Tegen

  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Zoe loves cupcakes, especially pink ones, and princesses, especially magic ones. Unfortunately her greedy brother Ralph loves cupcakes too—he spoils everything! One day Zoe bakes a wish into her cupcakes. Suddenly she is a real princess!  But Ralph is still up to his old tricks. Will Princess Zoe finally find a way to give Ralph what he deserves?

Katherine Tegen’s humorous text and Kristin Varner’s magical artwork will satisfy every sister who has ever been plagued by a brother, and every child who believes in the power of magic!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17978106-pink-cupcake-magic

My Thoughts

I think I am a little too critical of children's books. Being a mom, I really try to think of what is a good lesson for children and what isn't. I did think this book was cute and fun, but there were a few little things that bothered me. With that said, my daughter loves it, and that's what really matters I guess. 

I loved how creative Zoe was. She really loved her cupcakes and love playing make believe. And it's amazing how well a little girl can bake!! Like a lot of little girls, she also loves princess's and she makes a wish as an ingredient to her cupcakes to become one. She is helpful and nice to the "kingdom" of animals, but she isn't very nice to her brother.

Here's where things bother me. Well, for one, what is a little girl doing using the oven without a parent around? And also, she calls her brother and his friends names. I get that she's mad that they keep taking her cupcakes, but it doesn't seem like a good lesson to teach kids. Then she gets revenge on her brother and his buddies. Revenge isn't something that should be taught to kids, even if it is just temporary.

This was magical and fun for my daughter, but I did need to remind her while reading that it's not nice to call people names or try to get revenge on them. Otherwise it's a great story. When I asked my daughter what she thought of the book she said "I really love it!". It's an entertaining book for kids and as long as they know correct behavior and to not follow what books might tell you to do, it's all good.  This book also includes a recipe in the back to make Pink Cupcakes!! (Magic not included)





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

Monster Chefs by Brian & Liam Anderson


  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

The horribly horrible monster king summoned his four equally horrible chefs.

"I am tired of eating only eyeballs and ketchup," roared the king.
"Find me something new to eat or you will find yourselves on my menu!"

Trembling with fear, they each set off in a different direction to look for something truly scrumptious. But what, besides eyeballs and ketchup, could a monster king possibly want to eat? A rabbit? A fish? A snake? What one finally brings back may change dinnertime in the kingdom forever.

A Neal Porter Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17555125-monster-chefs

My Thoughts

What a fun book this one was!! I was a little worried about the whole monster thing because my daughter gets scared easily, but she really loved this one. The Monster King is not very nice and he orders this chefs to go find him something new to eat or he will eat them. I liked seeing the different things that they brought back and what The King thought about them.

Each chef goes a different direction to find something for The King. They are all on the verge of giving up when they stumble upon something. Though, when they bring it back, it is not acceptable to The King. When they think the last chef is not going to return, he finally does. He has something that will change the kingdom. It also changes The King.

The King is more than pleased with what the last chef brought back and he actually dances around. My daughter found this hilarious. She also knew that it wasn't very nice of The King to want to eat the other monster chefs because they didn't bring him back food that he wanted. This one was cute, but a little on the gruesome side for girly girls like my daughter. This book also contains a really fun recipe in the back for Eyeball Cupcakes. My daughter keeps begging to make them.





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

When the Wind Blew by Alison Jackson


  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

We all know the story of the old woman who lived in a shoe with her many children. But not everyone knows about the day when the wind blew very hard, and an unexpected guest arrived (cradle and all), setting off a chain of events that involves the three little kittens, Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep, Little Boy Blue, and many other beloved nursery characters. Can the old woman restore order to their world and still manage to get her children to bed on time? But, of course! This is a follow-up to Alison Jackson's strong-selling If the Shoe Fits, told with the same whimsy and charm. A Christy Ottaviano Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17978074-when-the-wind-blew

My Thoughts

I loved how this combined a few well known nursery rhymes into one book. And who would have thought that the wind would have made all of their paths cross in such a way!! My daughter recognized all of the different stories in it and thought it was fun that they were all mentioned in one book.

The wind is mighty strong one day and starts off this book with Rock-a-bye-Baby when the cradle blows away in the wind only to land on the Old Woman's shoe. She then knows she needs to set things right, but as she tries, the wind blows each of the other nursery characters or their items her way. One by one she goes about trying to restore order until at the end of the day things are just right.

This was a cute story about helping others and remembering the things that are important. I love when books have a good lesson for children in them and this one did! It was easy to keep my daughters attention with this one too since there are so many familiar characters from some of her favorite nursery rhymes. I do think this was a little young for my daughter, but she still really enjoyed it. Especially the pictures. The artwork is really great.




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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Flirtilicious Blog Hop!! Two Awesome Giveaways!!


Hello loves!! Welcome to my stop on the Flirtilicious Blog Hop!! The Flirt Squad has been posting fun flirty posts to celebrate the past week. I know that Valentine's Day was a week ago, but I'm not one who really gets worked up over it and I love everyday the same as I would that day. I thought it would be fitting that I posted a week after to keep the love going.

I have to say I am not a super flirty, butterflies in the stomach type person. I love reading about it, I love hearing about it, but that level of flirt doesn't come out of me. I'm an awkward person, so flirting never worked so well for me. I go for funny, which can definitely be flirty, but the super romance stuff has never been my style. Since I have nothing really flirtilicious, I will share with you a great teaser from one of Rachel's books!! I do love reading her awesome flirty romance!!

Teaser from Crazy In Love
(note that this is an unedited teaser so any possible errors are due to that)

Eiffel Tower to open for lunch, and scored private lessons with Cirque du Soleil. But he hadn’t

lied about anything important. Other than his career and hinting at his pay grade, he’d been

completely himself, straight up.

Only more so.

Sherry’s energy was infectious. Her laughter and uncontained enthusiasm for life

contagious. Music meant everything to Tyler, and nothing beat the rush of performing in front

of a packed house—but spending the last eighteen hours with this woman, remembering how

life used to be before the stress and pressure of expectation weighed him down, was a rush of its

own.

“I take it you enjoyed your aerial stunt?”

Sherry’s face lit up in a smile, and he couldn’t help feeling smug. He put that there. Sure,

as far as first dates go, this was extreme. They could’ve easily laid low, gone somewhere simple,

but he’d wanted to spoil her. Growing up, money equaled tension. Struggle. Deprivation. Finally,

he had a bank account that allowed him to be a little frivolous—and he enjoyed taking advantage

of that.

Plus, the private dining room and secluded auditorium kept Tyler from being outed by his

fans.

A look of near awe crossed Sherry’s face. “You know, I’ve always loved dance and

gymnastics, but that…Tyler, holy crap!” She laughed again, and the musical sound was like

oxygen to starving lungs. “We flew!”

She reached out and fisted his long-sleeved shirt in her hands, beaming up at him with

complete gratitude. Not with undeserved adoration, or manufactured, starry-eyed lust, but with

sincere pleasure, and pure feminine appreciation.

That expression was addictive.

It made him feel like he could do anything. Like he was invincible. Worthy. And at the

same time, it nearly brought him to his knees. All the groupies in the world couldn’t replicate the

satisfaction coursing through him at that moment, and suddenly, nothing mattered more, there

was nothing he wanted more, than to kiss her.


About the Author

Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother and staying up late sneak reading her mom's favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and loves watching reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!

Connect with the Author

Twitter  

No hop is complete without a giveaway!! 

The first one is the author giveaway, (sorry since I posted late it's almost over and could be over by the time you read this) the second one is my own personal giveaway.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

For my giveaway I am giving away one ebook copy of Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris, and one ebook copy of Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris. These are for Kindle, Nook, or Kobo. I will choose two winners. If you win you have your choice of either Taste the Heat or Seven Day Fiance.

Please read the terms and conditions in the rafflecopter form.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Cursed by Cupid by Wendy Sparrow

  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Flirt imprint)
  • Publication date: 2/3/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Dear Reader, this letter is to inform you of Cupid’s curse, which will fall upon you if you don’t pass this email on to three friends within three hours.

Tilly Morrow didn’t believe in the curse and now she hasn’t had a second date in three years…because all her first dates end in disaster. In fact, she just accidentally punched a guy in the face, leaving her without a date for Valentine’s Day!

Bryant Murphy isn’t sure if the curse is real or not, but if dating Tilly means occasionally getting assaulted with a chocolate shake or nearly electrocuted, it’s worth the risk. Armed with more lucky charms than a bowl of cereal, Bryant will have to battle flying swords, Russian mail-order brides, and shrimp linguini if he’s going to win the girl.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20517290-cursed-by-cupid?ac=1

My Thoughts

This was a short and fun read. Though it was totally predictable, and a bit cheesy, it was a perfect read for around Valentine's Day. I thought the whole chain letter thing (I remember real chain letters that you actually had to send in the mail) was a fun way of making this "curse" on Tilly. The characters were fun and the story moved quickly. I found myself smiling or laughing pretty much the whole time.

Tilly believes that she is cursed for not passing on this chain letter email. She never has more than a first date with anyone because something always goes wrong. She is really funny and I liked her personality. Yes, the whole curse thing was a bit ridiculous, but Tilly is totally the type of person I would hang out with in real life. She is definitely attracted to Bryant, but she knows that it will never go anywhere because of the curse of the chain letter. She continues to try and fight what is happening with them, but he won't give up.

Bryant was a little too straight forward to me. He is in flirt overload when he first meets Tilly. It's actually quite funny how they meet, but you need to read it to find out. He isn't afraid to say what is on his mind, and he wants Tilly from the start. He does some really sweet things to try to prove to her there is no curse, or to try to help get over it. I loved that he was willing to help so they could be together.

Yes, this is totally insta-love material, but it's a novella about Cupid's curse, so that's expected. As much as I prefer gradual build up to a romance, this was fun and sweet. I don't read a lot of standalone novellas, but this hit the spot. I needed a silly, cheesy romance that was fast and easy to fit into my schedule. If this is your type of thing, it's worth a read!


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

Book Promo: Ruined by Jus Accardo on Sale!!




Hey Everyone! Have we got a treat for you!

RUINED is on sale for 99 cents on all eBook platforms! If you haven’t grabbed this steamy paranormal New Adult book by Jus Accardo now’s your chance!

Need more of an incentive? Here’s what some award winning and bestselling authors have to say about RUINED!

"RUINED rocked my socks! Fans of Kresley Cole and Jeaniene Frost will love this paranormal new adult, with its battle of Bad versus Badder, a hot-as-hell hero--and a heroine who more than holds her own. Delicious fun from page one!" -Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of SHADE and WICKED GAME

"Steamy romance and a unique premise, RUINED knocks it out the park with this fresh new adult romance with a paranormal twist." - #1 USA Today & NYT Bestselling author, Jennifer L Armentrout

"A wildly original concept coupled with a hot romance. This is what new adult and paranormal has been waiting for." - K.A. Tucker, author of the Ten Tiny Breaths series

Also Jus Accardo is having a giveaway to celebrate the sale! Make sure to go to her Facebook page for a chance to win an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card! 

Title: RUINED
Author: Jus Accardo
Pub. Date: December 30, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Embrace 
Pages: 325 
Hell is looking for a way to break loose…

Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him.

After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget.

Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.

Check Out the Book Trailer!






About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blog Tour: NIL by Lynne Matson - Review and Tour Giveaway!


Hello everyone!! Welcome to my stop on the NIL Blog Tour!! This tour was organized by Merp Squad Blog Tours. I am so excited to be a part of this and have my review for you along with a tour giveaway!

  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that she has to find a way to beat the clock, and quickly.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18005276-nil

My Thoughts

This book sounded so cool and interesting when I first heard about it and I couldn't wait to read it. I loved the concept of waking up on some mysterious island only to find out if you don't escape within a year you die. That's just insanity!! I loved discovering the island and the secrets it holds. Well, not so secret really, just things unfound yet. The characters were all good and the way that they lived and went about things seemed very realistic to the situations. It wasn't as intense as I anticipated, but it still had plenty of those moments where you almost want to hold your breath.

Charley wakes up on this island completely naked, so of course she is going to freak out. She really does a good job at staying strong and surviving until she meets up with the others from Nil City. She's not doing well when they find her, but she has managed on her own pretty well. She isn't some super tough girl scout with any training in survival, so that's a tough feat. She fits in well with the community, which everyone mostly does. When you are fighting to survive and only have a year to escape, it makes you form bonds quickly. She is also pretty much all about Thad right from the start. I get the attraction thing, but man she gets a bit overkill really quick. Again, not knowing how much time you have to live can speed those things up a bit, so that's what I'm going with. She's very smart though. She starts trying to discover the secret that Nil is keeping. She doesn't believe that it's just luck that you will catch a gate out. She thinks there are clues, some type of way to almost insure you can get out if only you know what it is. I liked her determination to find out.

Thad was broody at times and very single minded on certain things, but he wasn't bad. He was totally into Charley the moment he saw her, and he makes himself her personal guide of the island. He is a leader, and he is very smart and logical, but when it comes to himself he is mess. He lets the island get in his head and mess with him. He gets trapped in his mind when things get bad. He doesn't want to see things for what they really are sometimes and is so focused on the negative. Besides that, he is really caring and sweet. He really cares about everyone, even people who may not deserve it. I liked how brave he was, not only against the dangers of the island, but of facing his fears in the end. He wasn't perfect, he was real and I thought that was great!

While not as action packed and thrilling as I was expecting, this sure was a fun read. There is danger lurking everywhere, and the days ticking down. It really made the book have that sense of urgency knowing that time was running out for some people. There is most definitely insta-love, but I forgive that because really, if I was on an island knowing that I may not survive, I might fall in love that quickly too. I did like the relationship between Thad and Charley. It was very sweet. They were so natural around each other that it was easy to see how they could fall that fast. There was not much gore, but there is plenty of death and near death in this. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone! 


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


Author Bio

Lynne Matson grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. Back then, Lynne would stay up late, reading Nancy Drew books under the covers (with a flashlight . . . a weak attempt at ninja stealth). Now she still stays up late reading books and writing them. When she doesn't have a book in her hand, you'll find her listening to music, messing around with paint, or hanging out with her husband and their four boys . . . or all of the above. 

Links


Tour Giveaway


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Promo Event: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski Teaser!!

Hello everyone!! I have some fun stuff as part of a promotion for The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. There are buy links, the book trailer, and a fun teaser from the book!!

Blurb

As a general's daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin's eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him'with unexpected consequences. It's not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner's Curse is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16069030-the-winner-s-curse

Buy LINKS:



TEASER



Book Trailer: 




Author Information

Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers’ Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alant McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat.



Author Links

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodReads
Instagram ~  @MarieRutkoski


Cover Reveal: Guarding Angel by S.L. Saboviec

Hey everyone!! I have a great cover reveal for you today! Guarding Angel by S.L Saboviec.

Guarding Angel by S. L. Saboviec
(Fallen Redemption #1)
Publication date: April 28th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:
Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—-she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.

When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse still, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.

Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20452254-guarding-angel?ac=1



AUTHOR BIO
S. L. Saboviec grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. Books that captured her imagination include Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series, Sylvia Browne’s The Other Side and Back, and Stephanie Meyers’ The Host. You can find her tweeting random nonsense on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/saboviec), pinning all the awesome fantasy and book pins on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/saboviec), and opining about the latest book she read on her blog (http://saboviec.wordpress.com).


This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (86) With An Awesome Package From Entangled Publishing!!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Hello from the snowy Northeast!! Lol!! Seriously, I am so sick of the snow. I am over winter and can't wait for spring to be here!! And we are supposed to get more snow on Tuesday. I know a lot of you are also having snowy weather and I hope you are all staying safe and warm. I had a great week in books! I also got a fantastic package in the mail from Entangled Publishing that I was over the moon about! 



Books Mentioned

Review
Gifted
 Bought
Thank you so much to Entangled Publishing for the awesome package! Thank you also to Disney-Hyperion, Avon Impulse, HarperTeen, St. Martins Press, and Sarah Darlington!!

 I didn't have a whole lot on my blog this week. I reviewed Something Real by Heather Demetrios and had a Guest Post as part of the Blog Tour, Had a Guest Post from Leigh Ann Kopans for Solving for Ex, took part in the Cover Reveal with a giveaway for The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter, reviewed Vengeance by Megan Miranda, and talked Book Boyfriends for Book Girls Don't Cry.

That was my pretty epic week!! Hope that you all had a fantastic week too!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Girls Don't Cry - Book Boyfriends


Happy Saturday!! So this post was supposed to go up earlier, but I got distracted and wasn't able to do the post until this morning. Anyways, since yesterday was Valentine's Day, what better topic than Book Boyfriends. I am not really sure what I want to write about this, so my post will probably just be rambling and boring. Don't forget to visit Xpresso Reads to see the other Book Girls Posts

There are different book boyfriends for me. There are the typical bad boy type, who aren't really all that bad. They make a fantastic book boyfriend to read, they make me swoon, and they are perfect for the character they are having romantic times with in the book. Example: Kaidan Rowe from the Sweet Trilogy. He is arrogant, infuriating, and someone to lust after...literally. Not my type, and really, not Anna's type either, but they work. It's sweet and it's great to read. I love the chemistry they have. So even though he wouldn't be my idea of a great boyfriend, their relationship makes me swoon!

Then there is the quiet, normal, not super popular guy. Someone who you could just look over and not notice. They don't stand out in any particular way. That is, until you know them. They end up being super sweet, really caring, and pretty much perfect. Example: Patrick from Something Real. He is just a regular guy who keeps to himself. When he and Chloe (AKA Bonnie) get together, you would think he would run away from her wreck of a life. She even tries to spare him, but nope. He is totally there for her and will do anything to be with her. I loved their relationship. I thought that he was probably one of the sweetest book boyfriends I have read lately. He is totally the type of boy that I could have fallen for in real life. 

So I guess that's all I have. I have tons of book boys that make my heart beat faster, but these were the first two that came to mind and happen to be complete opposites. What about you? Who do you think is a good book boyfriend?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: Vengeance (Fracture #2) by Megan Miranda

Hello everyone and Happy Valentines Day!! Hugs and love to everyone!! I don't much give into the hype of Valentine's Day because I think that we should love each other everyday and not just because of some commercialized holiday. On that note though, I am a sucker for a good book that has romance or love in it. Even if it is strained and possibly broken. So anyways, onto my review!!

  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn't matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker's father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can't forgive Delaney until he knows why.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17978132-vengeance

My Thoughts

I enjoyed Fracture, so of course I was going to want to read this as soon as I could!! I am also a huge fan of male POV's and I really loved being in Decker's head. After the events that took place in the first book, and by this synopsis, I knew things were going to be intense. It sure took me on a ride! I kind of knew what was coming, but there were a few surprises thrown in that I didn't catch. Even with some of the characters driving me nuts, I still really liked this one.

Decker goes through a lot in this. I already really liked him from the first book, so it was nice to be in his head and really get to know him. He is still struggling with what happened to Delaney, his friend, and then on top of that, his father. Add on the betrayal he feels from the girl he loves and he is a total wreck. He has a lot of anger. It was definitely tough being in his head when he felt so much pain and anger toward everything, but it also gave me a sense of who he really is. When more weird things keep happening, he doesn't know if it's truly a curse, or if everyone is letting their imaginations getting the best of them. He also struggles with being beyond mad at Delaney, to knowing that he loves her and wants to be with her at the same time. He wants to forgive her, but doesn't know how. It was a war with himself, while trying to figure out what is going on in their town and if someone is after him or Delaney, or both.

Delaney is one tough chick. I already knew that, but she really proves it more in this. She obviously loves Decker, but she puts up a good front of trying to not show the hurt of him not even being able to look at her, of being flat out mean, and of not wanting anything to do with her. She did what she though was right, and is now facing the consequences. She also feels like no matter what she does, or tries to help, she is always making the wrong decision. Through everything that is going on, she doesn't let herself break. She doesn't show weakness. The worse things get, the tougher she needs to be, and she is. I loved that she let Decker know that he couldn't treat her the way he is and was honest about how she was feeling, but she still stood strong.

There is a lot of anger in this book. Not just from Decker, but from the whole group of friends. They are all tense and paranoid. Janna was just annoyingly mean and hateful. It was like they were all falling apart and turning on each other, when really, they need each other more than anything. I did feel that some bits dragged on more than necessary, but in general this was a well crafted story. It was intense, emotional, and had just enough mystery and creepiness. I really enjoy this authors books and will continue to read her books as long as she writes them!




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

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter


Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter's THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We're so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? Not quite yet lets take a look a the first two covers in the series!

First there was ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND...



Then came THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS...



Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!




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On-sale date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Add it to your TBR!  Goodreads

Pre-order your copy! AmazonBarnes & Noble
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  Official book description:

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

About Gena:


Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, the Angels of the Dark, the Lords of the Underworld, and the Otherworld Assassins series. In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple
languages. She lives in Oklahoma with her family and menagerie of dogs, and truly believes love conquers all.
Giveaway Details:

1 complete set of The White Rabbit Chronicles (first 2 sent as soon as the giveaway is over and the winner will get the first hardcover of book 3 when it's available!) US/Canada Only


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Solving for Ex by Leigh Ann Kopans - Guest Post



Hello lovelies!! Today on my blog I'm taking part in the blog tour for Solving for Ex by the awesome Leigh Ann Kopans. I have a guest post from her for you and my review will be posted in the next week or two. Before the guest post, I will give you the book info. Hear what people are saying about the book!!!

Praise for SOLVING FOR EX by LeighAnn Kopans

“Amazing! If you like Sarah Dessen you will LOVE this.”

- Emma Pass, author of Acid and The Fearless (Random House)

"Putting a modern spin on a Jane Austen classic, Solving for Ex proves that brains can be sexier
than brawn. In this complicated equation of high school drama, mean girls, mathletics, and romance,
LeighAnn delivers yet another beautifully written young adult novel that authentically captures teenage
emotions while also capturing the reader's heart."

- Nikki Godwin, author of Chasing Forever Down, American Girl on Saturn, and the upcoming
Falling from the Sky

“Ashley is the kind of girl you want to root for, smart and capable and self-assured, despite of, or maybe
because of, her vulnerabilities. And in Brenden, LeighAnn has crafted a boy worth of such a girl. Through
all the heartbreak and angst of high school, their connection is undeniable and pressing. It's elementary,
dear readers - Solving for Ex is one must-read romance.”

- Jenny Kaczorowski, author of The Art of Falling (Bloomsbury 2013)

“If you only read one book in 2014, make sure it's Solving For Ex! I sincerely doubt that you'd regret
reading it; it's intelligent, hilarious, intense and touching…Honestly one of the most amazing books I
have ever read.”

Luciana Scath, blogger at Figments of our Imagination

Summary of Solving for Ex

1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess

SIMPLIFY.

Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live
with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush
Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the
captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile
foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old
school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.
Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s
also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the
battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she
wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.
SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean
Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18207105-solving-for-ex?ac=1

I have started this book and it's great so far. I can't wait to finish it!!

Guest Post

Hi, Amy! Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog to celebrate the release of Solving for Ex! I was dead set on releasing this book this year, because it’s the 200th anniversary year of Mansfield Park’s publication – and Solving for Ex is a contemporary retelling of Mansfield Park!
Writing a retelling is fun because, after all, I loved the story so much I wanted to retell it! The challenge is in figuring out how it needs to be changed to be compelling and palatable to a contemporary audience. Along the way, I’ve collected a lot of observations on what’s changed since the time in which Ms. Austen wrote, and what’s stayed largely the same. So here we go…

What’s different?
Girls have about a million options for what to be when they grow up.
Back in Jane Austen’s day, girls were a lot of things – writers, artists, actresses – but all this stuff was a hobby OR an effort to “improve themselves” with an end goal of getting married.  These women were definitely “accomplished” in a classical sense of the word – they were taught to play piano or harp, speak romance languages, embroider, draw, and paint. They knew how to manage a household and plan a party. But all this was to groom them for marriage, which was ultimately the main way that women supported themselves – through their husband’s money.
Now, of course, women can hold almost all the same careers as men. When the only goal is no longer marriage, a girl character’s worldview, and therefore her goals, change dramatically. Unabashedly and directly standing up for herself becomes possible, and desirable from our contemporary standpoint.

Teenagers are thrown together for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, in an environment when they’re NOT supposed to focus on hormones and romance.
Sure, back in the Austen day teenagers went to dances and dinners where they often saw one another, but spending as much time together as teenagers do today? Unheard of. Of course this results in new opportunities and circumstances for them to interact, and all the hilarity and angst those entail.

Your social circle is much larger, and as such, you can’t marry your first cousin.
Obviously, the social circle change could be considered good or bad, but I can’t think of any arguments for your cousins being off-limits being bad. (There’s an instance of first-cousin marrying in Mansfield Park, which has a significant squick factor to me.)

What’s the same?


The guys are still clueless.
Without giving anything away, the cluelessness of guys in pretty much all of Austen and in contemporary teenagerdom is about equal. *sigh* Boys.

Emotions still drive our thoughts and actions – it’s human nature.
Emotions – both of the love and hate variety – can make us do some pretty crazy things. That’s what makes the plots of Austen’s stories compelling enough that we want to do read them and retell them. Both human emotions and what they’ll make us do are completely  unpredictable – that’s where the fun is!
We’re still suckers for a happy ending.
No matter the implications or methods of getting there, as long as it’s healthy and safe, two people ending happily in love makes most people smile.

Thanks again for inviting me over, Amy! I hope your readers get a chance to read Solving for Ex and share their thoughts, too!


There is also a fun giveaway as part of the blog tour!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway