Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Let It Snow

by
John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors - John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle - the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

My Thoughts:
My previous read was a little tough, so I was in the mood for something light and fluffy. Saw this collection on a few other blogs and it seemed perfect! Don't think you can go wrong with anything including John Green or Maureen Johnson, and I was curious about Lauren Myracle. And I was right! This was exactly the fast, fun read that I needed!

The Jubilee Express, Maureen's story, starts us off by introducing us to Jubilee, who is about to have the worst Christmas ever. Her parents wind up in jail while waiting in line for a limited edition collectible, so she's shipped off to stay with her grandparents. Her train is stranded near a small town during the worst blizzard in 50 years. Worst. Christmas. Ever.

Jubilee leaves the train to take refuge in a nearby Waffle House, where she meets Stuart. Stuart offers to take her to his house and, desperate to get away from the gaggle of giggling cheerleaders who've overtaken the Waffle House, she agrees. Stuart is a really nice guy, but Jubilee already has a boyfriend. Who doesn't seem to want to talk to her when she calls to tell him about her horrible adventure. Yep. Worst Christmas ever!

John Green's A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle is next. Keun is working at the Waffle House and calls his friends Tobin, JP, and the Duke to get there ASAP as the restaurant is filled with cheerleaders! The very cheerleaders that Jubilee was so anxious to get away from. But to a bunch of teenage boys, it's a cheertastic miracle indeed!

So Tobin and his friends set off in the middle of the blizzard to get to the Waffle House. The Duke loves adventure, so she joins their quest. They need to hurry because the other two workers at The Waffle House also called their friends and only the first group to arrive will be allowed inside. The race is on!

The final story is The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle, featuring Stuart's friend Addie.  Addie broke up with Jeb a week ago, and has regretted it ever since. We met Jeb on the train when Jubilee shared her dinner with him, right before they were stranded, and know that he's trying to get back to Addie. Too bad she doesn't know it. There's a miniature pig involved, which is always a nice touch.

Really enjoyed how the stories were connected and took place in the same place, at the same time. Think that Maureen's story was my favorite, but I really enjoyed all three! 

If you're looking for a light, fun, fluffy holiday read, I highly recommend this one!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Book Haul (12)

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My Book Haul seems like a good choice for showcasing new books. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.


For Review:

This was a nice surprise that somehow managed to track me down from NJ! Not sure how, but thank you UPS and William Morrow! Sounds like a thrilling read!

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon

Bestselling author Jennifer McMahon is back with a gut-wrenching mystery about an architect whose troubled mother has been found 25 years after being kidnapped-by a killer who is still on the loose.


Contest Wins:

Was hanging out on Facebook and answered a trivia quiz from the Popcorn Factory. So excited when I was one of the winners, as I love their popcorn! And they included a cool Christmas cookbook from The Dead Celebrity Cookbook folks!

and
Butter popcorn sample from The Popcorn Factory

The toast of Christmas past is back and not a moment too soon! In "The Dead Celebrity Christmas Cookbook," Frank DeCaro serves up culinary delights from Edmund Gwenn's Christmas Cup to Bing Crosby's Sugar Cookies and celebrates the best of the season's movies, TV specials, and music.


Purchased:

This was a Free Friday title over at Barnes & Noble not too long ago. I usually don't pay attention to those as I don't want to be tempted, but I remember hearing so much good buzz about this one that I couldn't resist!

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.


Receive any awesome gifts for the holidays?
Leave me a link and I'll swing by to check them out!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Secret Santa & Holiday Card Exchange goodies!

Really enjoy sending (and getting) cards and gifts during the holidays, so took part in both a Secret Santa and a holiday card exchange this year. 


Took part in the Cold Nights & Warm Books Holiday Book Swap hosted by Squeaky Books and Emily's Reading Room. Love Secret Santa exchanges, but limited myself to only one this year. There's nothing better than getting books in the mail!

This book has been on my wishlist for ages, so very happy that my Secret Santa chose this one for me!
Unwind by Neal Shusterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end.

She also included three prints, ready for framing! I especially love the one that says "The Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about". Too cute!

There was no card included so I'm not sure who my Secret Santa was. And when I tried to google the name on the return address, there were over 12 million results! Not quite 12 million hits on Facebook or Twitter, but still couldn't narrow it down. So thank you very, very much Katie, wherever you are! I love my gifts!

***


Also too part in the Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange, as I love exchanging holiday cards. I debated whether or not I should take part as we're in the middle of a move and all of my bookmarks are in storage. I like to include bookmarks with my greeting cards, but had to skip that this year. 

Received three beautiful cards in the mail! The snowman card is from Ashley at Book Labyrinth. The handmade Christmas tree card in the middle is from Cassandra. So cute and clever! And the Christmas tree card on the right is from Belle at msbookish.com. Aren't they gorgeous? And they all had great bookish notes inside!

I also received some cool swag with my cards! There was one more bookmark, but DH already claimed it for the book he's currently reading. And bonus - the Rachel Vincent postcard is signed! Major squee!

So very happy I decided to take part in the card exchange! And a special thank you to Judith from Leeswammes' Blog and Courtney from Stiletto Storytime for hosting! 

Looking forward to seeing what everyone received from their Secret Santas around the blogosphere, be they gifts or cards!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!


Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

Wishing all of my blogging buddies a very happy holiday season!
Hope that the Book Fairy is good to you!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

by 
Jennifer Estep

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes - the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki - the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
It's no secret that I'm a huge Jennifer Estep fan! Love all of her books, and am incredibly impressed that she's able to write urban fantasy (the Elemental Assassin series), funny paranormal romance (the Bigtime series), as well as her YA Mythos Academy series. And they're all awesome! So when I saw this one on NetGalley, well, it was a no-brainer. Had to request it ASAP! There may or may not have been some squee-ing involved when I was approved, but that's between me and my nook....

We start off with Gwen and Logan at a coffee shop, on their first official date. Those two have been through so much together that it was a little surprising to realize that this was actually their first "real" date. Naturally, Gwen being Gwen, things don't run smoothly and poor Logan winds up with a lap full of coffee! Then things really start to go downhill from there.

Gwen is arrested by The Protectorate, charged with aiding the Reapers. The Protectorate are sort of like the police force of the magical world, and Head Protectorate just happens to be Logan's father. Who is not happy with his son's choice of girlfriend. Poor Gwen just can't catch a break!

Didn't really like how The Protectorate were so ready to throw Gwen under the bus and believe the awful charges against her. Can't help thinking that Logan's dad had something to do with that, as he was already prejudiced against the entire Frost family. And the entire student body didn't have Gwen's back the way I had hoped they would. I mean honestly, how many times does this girl have to prove herself?

Lots of action in this one, and Gwen is literally fighting for her life as well as her friends! The Reapers are not messing around and make really nasty bad guys! Love that Gwen is able to think on her feet and is growing into her powers. Even with the disadvantage of not growing up in the magical world, Gwen continues to prove her worth as Nike's Champion.

I'd recommend reading this series in order, as Gwen does evolve in each one. I also love watching her relationships with her friends blossom and grow. That's one of the things I love about Jennifer's books - the strong friendships. Nice that no one has to save the world by themselves.  

Mythos Academy Series
Prequel novella - First Frost
Book 1 - Touch of Frost
Book 2 - Kiss of Frost
Book 3 - Dark Frost
Book 4 - Crimson Frost

eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday

Desperatly Wanting Wednesday, hosted by Parajunkee's View
Desperately Wanting Wednesday is hosted by Parajunkee and was inspired by the meme Waiting on Wednesday (created by Breaking the Spine). But, unlike WOW, Desperately Wanting Wednesday is not only for releases that we're waiting on, it’s also for released novels that just haven’t been purchased yet, or might be sitting on a shelf that we want to read, but just haven’t gotten there yet. These are the books I want to read, what about you?

I hadn't even heard of this one until I stumbled across a character interview on Julie Kagawa's blog. Julie is one of my favorite writers, and this has to be one of the best character interviews I've ever read! I immediately added it to my wishlist, as it sounds awesome!

Starling by Lesley Livingston

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name - the Fennrys Wolf. 

His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family - with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods - is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action. (Goodreads)



See what I mean? Seems to have it all: a mysterious stranger, amnesia, a strong heroine! If it wasn't for my stupid book buying ban, this beauty would be mine right now!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions: Dear Santa....


Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Hosted by Karen at For What It's Worth and Pam at Midnyte Reader,  a new question is posted the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month to answer, comment on, and discuss. 


This week's question:

Dear Santa! What would you put on your blogging/bookish wish list if the sky was the limit? A new blog design? A house filled with new bookshelves? Even MORE books?


Hmmmmm.....that's a tough one.

If the sky was the limit? I'd want a new house with a library like Neil Gailman's! And if Neil and his dogs hung out there, even better!

Neil Gaiman's library

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Mia's Heart

Blog Tour & Giveaway:  Mia's Heart
There's just something about amnesia that's fascinating to me, so couldn't resist the opportunity to review Mia's Heart and take part in the blog tour! This is the second book in the Paradise Diaries series, but it reads as a stand-alone title. I never felt lost or wondered what was going on, which is a nice change for a series book!

If you want to read them in order, check out Dante's Girl (book one in the Paradise Diaries Series) at Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Mia's Heart by Courtney Cole
by
Courtney Cole

My name is Mia Giannis.
I am seventeen years old.
I live in Valese, Caberra.

This has become my mantra and my lifeline, having recently lost my memory due to a scary natural disaster. Yeah. I have amnesia. Messed up, right? You don't know the half of it. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
Mia is the daughter of a very important man, on a small island nation, so there is intense pressure on her to be a good girl and conform. Mia does not want to conform, but just wants to be left alone and allowed to do her own thing. To tell the truth, Mia seems like a bit like a spoiled brat at first. Having grown up as a politician's daughter, she really should know better at her age. Then she loses her memory.

Liked that we met Mia before her head injury, as most of the amnesia stories I've read start when the main character wakes up. This gave us a nice before/after comparison, especially since her mother isn't completely honest at filling in the blanks for Mia. Despite what her mom insists, Mia was not a joy of a daughter. Thank goodness her friends aren't afraid to fill her in!

This was a fast, fun read, as it's a pretty short book. Mia grew on me, especially after taking her friend's advice to just go with the flow and that she was still the same person, even without her memories. Found this an interesting idea, as people put an awful lot of stock in their past making them the person they are today.

Enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading book one so I can see how Dante and Reece got together! Really liked Mia and her friends, even if they are all beautiful rich kids!

Giveaway
During the Review Tour,  Courtney offers one signed copy of Mia's Heart to one lucky winner! US/Can only.


*CLOSED*


Kismet Book Touring
eBook received from Kismet Book Touring in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review: Love Devours by Sarah Diemer

by
Sarah Diemer

We're all afraid of monsters. They coil in our subconscious, slither along the edges of thought. Still we creep to the crackling fire to whisper their stories. Love Devours is a collection of new fables for queer women, extracted from the bones of the dark: ominous fairy tales, sinister myths, dystopias rife with nightmares. But in the midst of monsters, love still struggles to find the light. (book blurb)

My Thoughts:

Short stories are one of my favorites. And fables inspired by mythological monsters? Color me intrigued! Here's a quick recap of what I thought of each story:

Far - Mana and Far are a couple, who live in a city with no name. Far is unhappy and asks too many questions, which makes Mana nervous. Mana brings Far back from the After, then disappears. Can Far find her? This one didn't really work for me, as I had to read the ending more than once to try and understand what had happened.

The Witch Sea - Meriel is a witch, tasked with maintaining a curse to protect the world. It is a lonely life, until Nor shows up on her island. Nor was sent to try to get Meriel to remove the curse. Enjoyed this one as Meriel and Nor are both interesting characters, and I really liked the ending!

Seek - Seek is a Lady Knight, on a quest to win the beautiful princess Ella. She goes to a powerful sorceress for help in getting a tale fit for a king from the Sea Muse. Really loved this one, especially the ending!

Our Lady of Wolves - Kelly's village is being attacked by shadowy monsters, so she makes her way to the abandoned church of Our Lady of Wolves to plead for help. Triste shows up the same night, when no stranger has visited the village in over 30 years. An answer to Kelly's prayers, or coincidence? Very satisfying story!

We Grow Accustomed to the Dark - The Rapture happens as Kate and Celia are walking home from school on a Tuesday afternoon. At least, they assume it's the Rapture as people simply disappeared, leaving behind little piles of clothing. But if it was the Rapture, what's going to happen to those left behind? Another good addition to the collection!

The Forever Star - Elaine is a star maker. After watching star after star burn out and die, Elaine decides to leave her sister world-makers. Maggie is a mechanic, doing her best to protect her city from her world's dying sun. The city's reactor is failing, so it's only a matter of time. Then Maggie finds Elaine, unconscious in an alley, and takes her home to protect her from the next solar flare. This one had a simple beauty that I really liked.


Overall, I really enjoyed this collection and think that Sarah is a talented writer! Even the first story wasn't bad, it was just that the ending was a little confusing for me. 

These stories all feature lesbians, but there aren't any gratuitous sex scenes and I liked how the relationships are so matter of fact. Yeah, they're lesbians, but there's no preaching so I hope that doesn't stop anyone from enjoying the stories.

All of the stories are wonderfully original, but think that Seek and The Forever Star are my favorites. Glad that I gave this one a chance!

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Book Haul (11)

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I was in need of a new way to showcase titles, and finally decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

I try to stay away from the temptation that is NetGalley, but I was curious to see the new titles available. This one sounded interesting and I put in a request without noticing that it was a Disney book. They don't usually approve bloggers, so I was very excited when my request was approved!

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction - which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses. (Goodreads)

***

Another NetGalley title. See why I don't go on very often?  I see too many titles I can't resist! And I was only on for a couple of minutes!


In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young. (Goodreads) 

***
As a former call center gal, I really enjoyed Lisa's first book "Confessions of a Gal Center Gal" and was happy to get the opportunity to review her latest!  

She's the Boss by Lisa Lim

The Devil Wears Prada meets The Office. Twenty-something Karsynn is now a boss but she's not so much The Devil Wears Prada as she is The Angel Wears Payless. With a brighter career, things should be going better for Karsynn, right? Wrong. (Goodreads)


What did you receive this week? Leave me a link and I'll swing by to check it out!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Review: Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Trapped by Kevin Hearne

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge - but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists. (Goodreads)


Favorite Quotes:

This is awesome! If I wasn't already involved, I would totally want a bag of popcorn right now. ~Oberon

Am. Uh. I mean. Granuaile. That's me. Oh, gods! Hi. So handsome. You, and. Wow. Sorry! Can't breath. ~Granuaile, upon meeting Nathan Fillion at Comic Con 

A squee welled up in my throat because I felt cool again - impossibly, inhumanly cool, like Laurence F*cking Fishburne - but I suppressed it savagely: if I squeed out loud, all the cool would be gone. ~Atticus

Lie down and offer your throat. No, wait, that's how dogs submit. I know! Give her your wallet! ~Oberon


My Thoughts:
As much as I love Atticus, my heart truly belongs to Oberon. How could you not love a bacon-loving, movie obsessed, smart aleck hound with an attitude? The visual image of him rolling on the ground laughing at Granuaile's first Druid adventure is priceless! Love that dog!

As for the story, it's a great addition to the series! Atticus and Granuaile have finally finished their 12 years of training and are searching for a proper place to bind Gran to the Earth and make her a full-fledged Druid. Unfortunately, they keep getting interrupted. At first Atticus thinks he is simply being paranoid, but then discovers that it's not paranoia if everyone really is out to get you! And they are! In droves! Poor Atticus.

Kevin just keeps getting better and better as a writer. Gave this one a 5/5 as I just couldn't put it down, then went back and reread favorite parts! Needless to say, it was a long night.

I'd recommend reading these books in order, just because the journey is so much fun! The writing is amazing, characters are awesome (I want to adopt Oberon!), the plots are all well-paced, and I can do nothing but gush about this series! If you haven't read them yet, what are you waiting for???

eBook from my personal library

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blog Tour: Whispers in Autumn - Review & Excerpt

Was delighted to be offered the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, as the synopsis grabbed my attention immediately! This is the first book in what promises to be an excellent new series. Check out the info below and I'll bet you'll be hooked just like I was! Trisha Leigh is one of my new favorites, as I can't resist a story that grabs me on the first page and won't let go!

In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what. And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good. (book blurb)


My Thoughts:
This book was incredible! Hooked me on the very first page, when Althea wakes up and we slowly begin to piece together her strange existence.

Despite her odd past, I really liked the way that Althea didn't give up no matter what. It must have been really hard on her, not really knowing why her life was the way it was and why no one seemed to really be able to see her. Until she meets Lucas that is....

Althea is a refreshing main character, in that she doesn't have all of the answers and isn't confident in herself or her abilities. I get really tired of MCs who claim they don't know what they're doing, yet become superheroes in the blink of an eye.

Really enjoyed this one, as it had great characters, good pacing, and Trisha is a talented writer. Have already downloaded Winter Omens and looking forward to reading it! Check out this excerpt and you'll see what I mean:

Excerpt
It’s early morning. It always is. The sound of movement on the floor below forces my fists to unclench, releasing the garish orange comforter wrinkled inside them. Last night I fell asleep at the Hammond’s house, where the bedding is green and spring crept toward an end. I never get used to starting over like this, but as my travels grow more frequent, a kind of numbness settles in. My feet find their way out from under the heavy down and settle into the slippers beside the bed.

As if I never left.


I shuffle across the thick, brown carpet and kneel on the padded window seat to peer outside. The trees are bright splotches against the vivid blue sky - some crimson, others a sunny yellow - with a few fiery oranges scattered about. Their bold colors verify my suspicions.


It’s autumn now.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Raised by a family of ex-farmers and/or almost rock stars from Northeastern Iowa, I’ve always loved to tell stories. After graduating from Texas Christian University with a degree in Film, I began to search for a way to release the voices in my head. When I attempted my first YA novel, which would become Whispers in Autumn, I was hooked. I knew then my heart lay with telling stories about and for young adults, and for anyone who loves to read and recapture those fleeting “first” moments.

My spare time is spent reviewing television and movies, spending time with my large, loud, loving family, reading any book that falls into my hands, and being dragged into the fresh air by my dogs Yoda and Jilly.

You can find Trisha on her website, Twitter:  @trishaleighkc, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook

Thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for hosting this blog tour!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions: Book budgets - yea or nay?


Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Hosted by Karen at For What It's Worth and Pam at Midnyte Reader,  a new question is posted the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month to answer, comment on, and discuss. I've seen this meme on several different blogs and thought it looked like fun, so am jumping in!


This week's question:

Do you have a monthly book budget? How has it changed since you started blogging? Do you get more free books now that you have access to publishers/authors/other bloggers or is your book buying budget even higher than when you started?


I've never really been a very good budgeter and have never had a book budget. I've been on a book buying ban for the last few months, but that's because my TBR piles are threatening to topple over and bury me, not because of overspending.

Even before I started blogging, I borrowed most of my books from the library and didn't spend much on books. What's funny is that the longer I blog, the less I use my library.

Between NetGalley, review copies, and blogger contests, I found that I have more than enough to read! Add BEA and Comic Con, and I think that I'm spending less than ever on books (except for ebooks, but those don't count because you can't see them....shhhhhh, don't tell).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Release Day to Mia's Heart! (+ Giveaway)

Today is the book birthday for Mia's Heart by Courtney Cole!

This book sounds incredible, as Mia has amnesia and can't remember anything about her past. There was some sort of natural disaster, but something doesn't feel right to Mia, so she tries to figure out what really happened. Check out the below excerpt to see for yourself!

Excerpt
I flip over and suddenly, I’m terrified.
I’m panicky.
The sea is so very vast.
And I’m so very alone.
I scream. I can’t help it. And as I do, I accidentally gulp in a huge mouthful of water. Everything that follows is a blur.
I start coughing and flailing my arms and even though I’m wearing a life-jacket, I’m thrashing around like a lunatic. I hear the boat motor start up and then I feel the wake of the boat as it crests up to me. Gavin is next to me and before I know it, he’s hauling me over the side of The Shining.
I’m in his lap, on the floor of the boat and he is holding me and I am shaking.
OhMyGod.
I’m such an idiot.
I’m such an idiot.
And I must be repeating it out loud, even though I don’t mean to, because Gavin is telling me, “No, you’re not.”
But I am.
I really am.
“I don’t know why I got so afraid,” I tell him. “I think I had a panic attack.” My voice sounds pathetic and I hate it.
Gavin tightens his grip on me, his strong arms are wrapped around me and I suddenly realize that his skin is pressed against mine and it feels really, really good. I push into him harder and clutch him to me.
Because for some insane reason, I’m still unnerved.
“It’s okay,” he tells me softly. He’s stroking my back and I’m trying to catch my breaths like a normal person. “You’ve been through a lot. I shouldn’t have let you float like that alone. You seemed like you were doing fine, so I climbed up onto the boat to watch you and I must have fallen asleep. I’m so sorry. This is my fault, Mi.”
I look up at him. He’s so sexy and concerned and my heart melts.
“It’s not your fault that I’m insane,” I tell him firmly. “I don’t know why I panicked. I can’t even explain it. Everything just all of a sudden felt so big and I felt so small and alone. I guess I kind of freaked out.”
Understatement of the year.
Gavin’s dark eyes are soft as he stares at me. He brushes a thumb across my cheek and says that he is so very sorry.
“It makes sense, Mia,” he tells me. “You can’t remember who you are. So you feel sort of alone in the world. And when you fell asleep while you were floating and woke up, the sea felt big. And everything came down on you at once. It’s okay. I get it. But you’re never alone. I want you to know that. You will always have me. You always have and you always will.”
My heart swells until it might burst.
It feels so incredibly, amazingly good to have this beautiful boy tell me that. To know that he has always been my friend, that he knows me inside and out. And then I do something unexpected.
I lean up and kiss Gavin.
On the mouth.
Sweet Angel of Mercy.
His lips are soft and warm from the sun. I can taste the sea on them and I weave my hands into his hair, pulling him closer. He tightens his grip on me and kisses me back; hard, hard, harder. He tastes like fruit and smells like sunshine.
It’s really nice.
Wonderful.
Amazing.
My heart is doing flip-flops when I finally pull away.
Gavin stares down at me in shock.
“I’ve always wondered what that would be like,” he admits. “Kissing a firecracker, I mean.” I smile.
“And?”
“It’s really too difficult to say from just one kiss,” he says, his dark eyes twinkling. “We should try it again so that I have more to go on.”
He cups my face in his hands and dips his head, his lips meeting mine.
He tastes of butterscotch and man.
Twenty-five beats of my heart later, he pulls away.
“And?” I breathe.
“You’ll do,” he grins.



See what I mean? Does that sound awesome or what?


About Courtney Cole
website | twitter | facebook | facebook fan page

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.
Learn more about Courtney and her books at www.courtneycolewrites.com

Giveaway
During the Release Blizz, Courtney is offering one signed copy of Dante’s Girl to one lucky winner! (US/Can only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out Dante's Girl - the first book in the Paradise Diaries Series
goodreads | amazon | B&N



Friday, November 30, 2012

What's In A Name 6

Can't believe that the 2013 reading challenges are already being posted! Wait a minute...I'm still working on my 2012 challenges! Not doing very well, so need to get busy!

The What's In A Name 6 challenge is hosted again this year at Beth Fish Reads. I like this one because it's unusual and lets you be as creative as you like when choosing books for each category. I love the categories she's come up with for next year, and am already thinking about what titles I already have that might fit!

Details:
Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories:

  • A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title: Deep down True, The Girl Below, The Diva Digs up the Dirt
  • A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title: Loose Lips Sink Ships, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Breadcrumbs
  • A book with a party or celebration in the title: A Feast for Crows, A Wedding in Haiti, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
  • A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Burning for Revenge, Fireworks over Toccoa, Catching Fire
  • A book with an emotion in the title: Baltimore Blues, Say You're Sorry, Dreams of Joy
  • A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: The Book of Lost Fragrances, The World We Found, A Discovery of Witches

The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Hoping 2013 will be a better year for me blogging-wise, as I sort of ran out of steam this year. And if you know of any other cool challenges out there....please don't tell me, as I won't be able to resist signing up! *L*

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: Edge of Oblivion

Edge of Oblivion (Night Prowler, #2)
Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

In a dark underground cell, Morgan Montgomery waits to die. A member of the Ikati, an ancient tribe of shape-shifters, Morgan stands convicted of treason. And Ikati law clearly spells out her fate: death to all who dare betray. But there is a glimmer of hope. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
We first meet Morgan in the dungeon, on the day of her execution. We learn that she did something horrible, is considered a traitor, and has been condemned to death. Why, I'm not sure. This is the second book in the series, and I admit that I was a little lost at times.

Things pick up after the Queen offers her a chance at redemption. Sent to Rome to discover and infiltrate the clan's sworn enemy, Morgan has a two week reprieve. The catch is that she's accompanied by the Ikati's most feared enforcer, Xander. If Morgan fails, it's Xander's job to carry out her death sentence.

Naturally, they are both smoking hot and sparks start flying almost immediately!

Really liked Morgan, as she's a strong, intelligent woman who isn't afraid to fight for what she wants. I have a weakness for this type of heroine, and she didn't disappoint! She has an awesome gift of the power of suggestion, but I didn't get the feeling that she abused her power. Maybe she did and I just didn't notice, but I found myself really liking her!

There is an awful lot going on in this book! We have the main story with Morgan and Xander, but there's also Xander's Syndicate brothers, the Brotherhood of the Bellatorum, a burgeoning romance between two secondary characters, an unexpected enemy, and Morgan's search for the Expurgari. While this story is action packed and bounces back and forth between all of the different sub-plots, it wasn't hard to follow and most of them were really interesting!

Have to admit that it took me a few chapters to get used to the author's style, as she is very descriptive. I'm not a huge fan of overly descriptive prose, but I got used to her style and it didn't distract from the rest of the story. Think it's just a matter of preference, as I know several readers really like this style. Me? Not so much.

Overall, this was a good read and the epilogue set things up nicely for the next book. I'd recommend reading Shadow's Edge, the first book in the series, before this just so there's no confusion. Will definitely keep an eye out for the next book, as I'm curious to see what happens next!


ARC received from Wunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sit Down & Write 2 - The Wrap Up


Well, my first write-a-thon is over. Wasn't a major fail the way my read-a-thons usually are, so I'm counting it as a success! Life has been a little hectic these past few weeks with house hunting and all, but I did manage to accomplish more than expected.

My writing tally:
2 book reviews
3 non-review posts
3 posts for my non-book blog, AKA Terri 

So all in all, not bad for my first try! I also managed to visit and comment on several blogs, so am counting that too! *L*

Thanks to Michelle at Stories Inside for hosting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade

Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she’s ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out. When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she’s dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
While this one started off a little slow for me, it soon picked up and I couldn't wait to see what happened next! 

Kate sounds like an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life, with no hint of what's to come. The only thing unusual about Kate is that she's been having horrible nightmares for years now, always about losing the love of her life in some horrible way.

That changes on a camping trip with her sister and best friend. Following a strange light (that reminded me a little of a will o' the wisp), she discovers an underwater cave in her favorite swimming spot. Why she is so anxious to explore it is beyond me. Has she never read any fairy tales at all? You never follow a strange light! That's almost as bad as checking on a strange noise in the basement when you're all alone in the house! *shakes head*

Anyway, Kate and company discover that the cave the light lead her to is actually a portal into another world! Brutally attacked after arriving, Kate soon finds herself face to face with the man from her dreams!

She does an admirable job of adapting to this new world, but I couldn't understand why Kate's mother didn't prepare her for her foretold destiny, or at least teach her anything useful. Why she would keep her daughter in the dark is more than puzzling, and this omission really bothered me. I can usually ignore plot holes or inconsistencies if the story draws me in, but couldn't get past her mother's huge dereliction of duty! I still enjoyed the story, but was very annoyed with Mom....

All in all, I think this is a good start to an exciting new series and am looking forward to seeing what happens next! 





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange 2012


Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to receive mail. I do a little happy dance every time something personal shows up in my mailbox, so I'm very excited to participate in the Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange this year! It's hosted this year by the lovely ladies from Leeswammes’ Blog and  Stiletto Storytime

The Book Bloggers Holiday Card Exchange is an event in which book bloggers send each other a holiday card around the Christmas period (the end of December). This isn’t just for people that celebrate Christmas though, as everyone can join in the fun!

Details:
1. Sign up for the exchange by November 30, 2012.
2. Emails with partner info go out December 3, 2012.
3. You have until December 13, 2012 to send your card(s).
4. Since it’s a book-lovers card exchange, you have to include something book-related in your card. Some ideas:

  • Write about a book you've read recently.
  • Give a few book recommendations to your partner.
  • Tell a book-related story.
  • Something else book-related that you think up yourself.

5. Since this is a book blogger holiday card exchange, you need to be a blogger who blogs at least sometimes about books to participate.
6. The swap is open internationally. It’s too cumbersome trying to pair up people who do/do not want to send internationally, so everyone must be willing to send internationally.
7. You can exchange up to five cards. You won’t always get a card from the same people you send your cards to. It will nevertheless be an awesome thing.


I signed up to exchange three cards, and am looking forward to picking out just the right cards! And I love that it's international, so it's open to all! Can't wait to see who I get!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Darkness Falls Tour & Contest

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she's ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out....

Book One - Wilde's Fire
Book Two - Wilde's Army
Book Three - Wilde's Meadow

About the author:
Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers - who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas - sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute? Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

You can find out more about Krystal on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Excerpt:  Wilde's Meadow 

"I am sure they miss you as well, Kate, but this is where we are supposed to be." He clenches his teeth but climbs in beside me, taking my hands in his. Arland moves closer and closer, until we're both standing under the constant stream of hot water, bodies pressed together. "Our people need us. They depend on our ability to save their lives. Being here is not any easier on me - I have family fighting in this war, too - but we are here, together, for a reason."

He presses me against the cold tile walls, leaning his strong, well-defined body against my bare skin, and touches his lips to mine. My heart races. So much time has passed since we were this close, since I felt his love, his intensity. I love him; I need him. Now. Every day. Forever.


Contest Info: 
Every host on the tour will have a daily giveaway, managed by Rafflecopter.

Today's daily prize: win a signed copy of Wilde's Fire in paperback (US/Canada only)


Entries into the daily giveaway count towards the grand prize giveaway of a Google Nexus 7 and a set of all three books signed! Grand Prize Contest open to US/Canada only.


Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the full Darkness Falls tour schedule for more chances to win!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sit Down and Write 2


Michelle from The True Book Addict is hosting her second Sit Down and Write write-a-thon at her Stories Inside blog! I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo, but am going to use this as motivation to catch up on my backlog of reviews.

While I'm usually a massive failure at read-a-thons, I love the idea of a write-a-thon! I participated in something similar awhile back and it really helped me catch up on reviews.

It runs from November 12 - November 25.

You can find out more details and sign up here.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Still here (sorta, kinda....)


I'm still here....sorta.

Things have been pretty hectic lately. We got out of town just ahead of Hurricane Sandy, but I spent several hours days glued to the TV watching updates as I was worried about my friends back home. Our house closing was delayed because, well, it's hard to close on a house when no one has power. But we finally closed! Just in time for Athena to hit the area. Whew! Don't know what Mother Nature has against the East Coast, but glad we're finally out!

I know, I know, what does this have to do with books? Nothing really, just wanted to explain why I haven't been around lately. I haven't read a book in over two weeks. Think that's the longest I've ever gone without reading. Feels weird. 

So life has been busy with exploring the area and house hunting. And it feels kind of rude to read in front of DH for some reason, which is strange because I never had this problem before.

Anyway, I am slowly dipping my toe back into the blogging world and have started visiting blogs again. Need to work up the energy to start writing reviews, and need to start reading. 

Feels a little like everything is on hold until we find a permanent place to live, and I seem to have no energy. But to quote Monty Python - I'm not dead yet! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winner - Run the Risk contest



Congratulations to the winner of Run the Risk!


Beth!


I've sent Beth an email confirmation and am just waiting for her response.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Wrap Up


Goals.
 
They are not fun, but are a necessary evil...
 
 I wasn't able to accomplish all of my Bloggiesta goals in September, so decided to keep working on them until I had everything crossed off my list. I even made a Blog Goals Page on my blog so I won't forget anything.
 
 So without any further ado, here are the goals I managed to cross off my list this month:
 
  • update my reviews on Pinterest
  • clean up my emails
    -create folder for review offers
    -add rule/folder for Shelf Awareness
  • Create new header
  • Create frequent commenter folder in Google Reader
  • Create a Facebook Page for my blog
  • Claim wordpress blog address

Added the wordpress goal, as I read a post that suggested claiming your blog address just in case. I may never use it, but at least it's mine now in case blogger ever drives me away.

Not bad for being in the middle of a move and not having a whole lot of internet time. Once we're settled, hope to cross everything else off my list!  :)
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Tour: Hellfire & Damnation II

Hellfire and Damnation II by Connie Wilson

Hellfire & Damnation II by Connie (Corcoran) Wilson is another tour of the 9 Circles of Hell described in Dante's Inferno. It picks up where the first collection of short stories left off, using the framing device of the sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell in Dante's "Inferno."

Check out the other stops on the blog tour.

My Thoughts:
I'm a sucker for anthologies, so jumped at the chance to take part in a blog tour for a collection of short stories inspired by Dante's Inferno. I've read a few different versions of Inferno, but short stories based on the different levels? How could I resist?

The stories are divided according to the nine circles. There are eleven stories, so some circles have more than one story. I liked that Connie includes a description of each circle, as I couldn't remember what the middle levels were (been awhile since I read  Dante's Inferno).

The first story, Cold Corpse Carnival, was a great way to start off the collection! It reminded me of an old-fashioned horror movie, where it sets the stage and then lets your imagination provide the terror. I could see this as a film, complete with ominous music at the end!

The second story, The Shell, was absolutely horrifying. Very intense subject matter, and had me on the edge of my seat! Another standout was Room Service, because one of the characters is an author on her way to BEA. Nice! And A Bridge Too Far had a nice tip-of-the-hat to American Idol type shows.

Short story collections are tough because some will be hit or miss. While I really liked several of the stories in this collection, had deja vu on a couple and one fell flat for me. Overall though, I enjoyed the collection and was impressed that one author could write in so many different styles!


eBook review copy received from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours in exchange for an honest review