Saturday, June 30, 2012

In My Mailbox #37

Saturday, June 30, 2012 with 12 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a weekly meme where we all get to brag about the books and swag we got in the mail, for review, won in contests, etc.

So, apparently, I wasn't done with my book-buying binge.  Here are all the books I purchased this week:

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - review
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - review
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - audiobook
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost - audiobook
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson - free for Nook and Kindle


I already had the hardcover of CoLS, but I don't know when I'm going to find time for it, so I went ahead and downloaded the audiobook.  I only have a couple hours left of it, so expect my review soon.  :)

That freebie of Peaches also comes with an excerpt from Tiger Lily, which releases on Tuesday, but you can also find the first half of Tiger Lily here.  HarperTeen is offering this sneak peek this weekend only, so if you want to give the book a try before you buy, do it soon.

Okay, that's my haul for the week.  What did yours look like?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

Thursday, June 28, 2012 with 3 comments

I just love this time of year.  Summer.  Family.  Fireworks. 

A girl in school once told me that I was one of those "perfect" girls whose favorite holiday was probably the Fourth of July.  Yeah, so what if it was?!?  (It isn't, but I do really enjoy it.)

I digress.

Anyway, to celebrate this glorious time of year, I'm participating in the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Mundie Moms.  Here's what I'm giving away:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title:  Something Like Normal
Author:  Trish Doller
Series:  stand-alone
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date:  June 19, 2012

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.  My review can be found here.  It's such a great summer read.  Not too fluffy -- it does deal with PTSD, among other things -- but there is a too-sweet romance and a realistic male POV that I was instantly drawn to.  If this sounds like your kind of read, be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  US residents only.  Winner has 48 hours to respond to the notification email before another winner will be selected.

Good luck & thanks for entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you've entered on my stop, check out the other great giveaways on this hop:

Awhile on the Pile/From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday but was also inspired by Rachel at My Reading Pile/Fiktshun. The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review -- or any book that you own and really want to read/review -- but haven't yet got around to reading in order to give the book some extra publicity.

Here's the book I chose to give some extra love this week:

Title:  Brightest Kind of Darkness
Author:  P.T. Michelle
Series:  Brightest Kind of Darkness #1
Publisher:  Patrice Michelle
Publication Date:  June 27, 2011
Source:  copy received from author for review

Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

The author contacted me for a review back when I'd first started blogging and didn't realize there was a time limit on these things.  The book's premise sounded interesting and I planned on getting to it eventually, but here it is, a year later, and I still haven't read this book.  And yet I've read some amazing reviews for it and my curiosity is always piqued whenever someone mentions the book.  I really need to make the effort and read it because it'll probably end up being one of those books where I ask myself, "Why did I wait so long to read this?!?"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

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Title:  Necromancing the Stone
Author:  Lish McBride
Series:  2nd book in the Necromancer series
Publisher:  Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date:  September 18, 2012

With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right? Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?

Why I'm waiting:  I just finished the audio for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and had I known it was only book one in an unfinished series, I might not have picked it up yet, if not for the recommendation of a Goodreads friend.  I thought it was a stand-alone, and I'm really enjoying that feeling of accomplishment and sense of resolution I've been getting from the stand-alone contemporaries I've been reading.  But I guess only having to wait a few months for book two isn't so bad...I could have found Hold Me Closer when it was first released almost two years ago in October 2010!

Anyway, Sam is just great as the hero in this story.  I adore most books told from a male POV, but I especially enjoy the ones with sarcastic, witty guys who just don't know when to shut their mouths.  I would totally have crushed on Sam when I was younger.  And his hilarious gang of friends make for interesting reading.  :)  If you liked Holly Black's Curse Workers series, you should definitely check out these books.

What are you waiting on this week?  Share the link to your pick in the comments so I can stop by!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from the following book:

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Title:  Pushing the Limits
Author:  Katie McGarry
Series:  stand-alone
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  July 31, 2012
Source:  Netgalley

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My teaser:
"I think I missed your answer to my previous question.  If you're on a date, why are you out here sharing dinner with me while Luke's in there fondling himself?" -- p. 131 of galley
Bahaha.  Love that Noah.  But I do have a thing for the bad boys.  Hypothetically, at least.  ;0)

Leave the link to your teaser in the comments!  Happy Tuesday!  :D

Monday, June 25, 2012

Today on the blog, I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt from Courtney Cole's new YA novel, Dante's Girl, which released yesterday on Amazon.

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Title:  Dante's Girl
Author:  Courtney Cole
Series:  1st book in The Paradise Diaries series
Publisher:  Lakehouse Press
Publication Date:  June 24, 2012

I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring.

Until this year.

And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:

1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes.
2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.
3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.
4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise.
5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.

Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis. I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots. See the difference?

But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl.

My heart just might be crazy.


     I don’t lie to myself.  I might stretch the truth for my parents from time to time when necessary, but never to myself. And I’m pathetically fascinated by this boy.
     Finally, the aircraft shudders a bit and noses forward and I startle, gripping the arms of my seat. My fingers turn white and I am certain that I am leaving permanent indentions in the cracked vinyl arm-rests.
     “Don’t worry,” Dante says quietly, unpeeling one of my hands and grasping it within his own.  “It will be fine.”
     The feel of his hand distracts me.  Strong and warm, it cups my own carefully, like he is holding something very fragile.  I close my eyes and enjoy the feeling. I only have a couple of minutes to soak it in, however.
     As the plane moves down the runway in preparation for take-off, something happens.  Something isn’t right. 
     Our plane rocks a little, then quivers, like it is being moved by a strong gust of wind.  I feel it a brief moment before Dante tightens his grip on my hand, a split second before light explodes from outside of my eyelids.  I open them to discover fire tearing down the runway past my window.  Before I can react or even scream, all hell breaks loose.

About the author:

Image courtesy of the author's website
I am a YA novelist who loves thunderstorms, Autumn, Harry Potter books and picking all of the cookie dough out of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

I am the author of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds), The Moonstone Saga (Soul Kissed and the upcoming Soul Bound), The American Princess Series (Princess and the upcoming Glass Castles) and Guardian.

I'm a writer. I love all words....not just the well-behaved ones.

Find out more about Courtney Cole and her books:  website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Be sure to check out The Autumn Review because Autumn is giving away a copy of this ebook!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title:  Before I Wake
Author:  Rachel Vincent
Series:  6th book in the Soul Screamers series
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  June 26, 2012
Source:  purchased

I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...

Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life...

OH. MY. SWEET. TOD.  I lost count of how many times I exclaimed that while reading Before I Wake.  If you thought If I Die was full of revelations and earth-shattering changes, you haven’t seen anything yet!
I’m going to write this review assuming anyone reading it has read the rest of the series.  So, if you’ve haven’t, you might not want to read any further for fear of spoilage.
So, my first thought while reading was, “Why is the onus all on Kaylee?”  I love her character…out of all of Rachel Vincent’s books, she’s my favorite heroine.  She’s down-to-earth, honorable to a fault, and so selfless.  And with Before I Wake, we get to add completely tortured to the list.  Not only is Kaylee dealing with her death, as well as her newfound position with the reclamation department, but her arch-nemesis is still after her and he’s pulling out all the stops to get at Kaylee’s soul.  And, of course, she feels guilty for the way things ended with Nash and began with Tod.
But that Tod showed her she wasn’t alone in all of this.  Nash was the boy she fell for and deeply cared for, but Tod was the man who proved his devotion and undying love.  (Heh.)  Honestly, I don’t think I cared much one way or the other before If I Die, but man, that book changed things.  Tod was reckless and obstinate, but when it comes to Kaylee, he is a changed man.  He would risk life and limb for that girl.  If there was ever a question of which guy deserved Kaylee more, I think it’s definitely answered in Before I Wake — assuming it could even be questioned after Until I Die.
As always, Vincent kept me on my toes.  With some series, I find myself easily predicting where the current novel will end and where we’ll be left hanging until the next installment.  Not so with the Soul Screamers series.  My mouth was literally hanging opened when I turned the last page.  I love that feeling, but I also hate it.  At any rate, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the seventh and final novel in the Soul Screamers series, due out in April 2013.

Rating:  Photobucket

Saturday, June 23, 2012

In My Mailbox #36

Saturday, June 23, 2012 with 4 comments

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a weekly meme where we all get to brag about the books and swag we got in the mail, for review, won in contests, etc.

Rising temperatures mean being lazy and using the lazy time to catch up on reading, right?  Does around my house, anyway.  Of course, it might help if I'd actually catch up instead of adding to the pile.  Oh,'s what I received this week:

For Review:

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole

Thanks to Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins) and Courtney Cole for providing review copies.


Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown, signed copy won from author/Shane at Itching for Books
Let it Bleed by Jeri Smith-Ready (no cover available)


Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent, obviously for the Tod
Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London, because of Andrea's review on The Bookish Babes
Everneath by Brodi Ashton, for read-a-long with Chele at A Belle's day, lol

And that is my bookish haul.  What did you lovelies find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, June 22, 2012

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! In this weekly feature, Ginger poses a question to her followers and then asks everyone to link up at the end of the post, sharing their responses.

This Friday's Question:

Authors Are Our Celebrities: Have you ever contacted an author you admired? How did that experience go? If not, which author would you love to have a chat with?

I love interacting with authors and bloggers alike.  I'm not the most avid tweeter, but I do enjoy the occasional over-zealous tweet about a new release or a contest or what-have-you.  I do, however, stalk a ton of authors on Twitter, as well as on their blogs, on Goodreads, and anywhere else I can track them down.

In my year or so of blogging, I've only been to one actual signing, and I drug my then 3yo daughter along with me.  I don't have many real-life bookish friends, so it was just me and my Katiebug off to see Lauren Kate.  And was Ms. Kate ever the nicest, sweetest person!  She even posed for a pic with the Bugster!  (Katie's kinda shy, can you tell? Hehe.)

As for actually reaching out to authors, sure, I've done that on Twitter, and to my amazement, they are always so, so nice and pretty much just excited that you're reading or interested in their book(s).  After reading Fracture by Megan Miranda, I wanted to spread my love for that book so hard, so I contacted the author for an interview and signed swag for a giveaway, not expecting much because her book had just released and I was sure she'd be too busy for lil ole me.  But Megan was beyond pleasant and was so quick to respond whenever I emailed her.  It was defnitely a blog-changing experience, meaning because of it, I'll be much more likely to contact authors in the future.
Upon discovering the Shade series, I also discovered that Jeri Smith-Ready is like the most awesome author ever.  I told her this in an email the other day, and she assured me all authors were that full of awesome, but I still have my doubts.  Sure, they're all really great, but JSM is beyond great.  She makes loving her books even more fun that it would normally be.  She's a very involved author, and her interactions with her fans is one of the things I love best about her, after creating Zachary, of course.  :D  If you ever have the chance to read her books or chat/tweet with her, take the opportunity.
So, yeah, authors are my celebrities, for sure.  My sis talks all day long about this starlet and that actor and in turn, I respond with, "Yeah, well, COURTNEY SUMMERS just thanked me for including This is Not a Test in my Teaser Tuesday post this week!  Do your celebrities even acknowledge you exist?"  Yep.  I love my celebrities because they write the books I love and make me feel like a rock star.  :0)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Awhile on the Pile/From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday but was also inspired by Rachel at My Reading Pile/Fiktshun. The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review -- or any book that you own and really want to read/review -- but haven't yet got around to reading in order to give the book some extra publicity.

Here's the book I chose to give some extra love this week:

Add to Goodreads
Title:  I Hunt Killers
Author:  Barry Lyga
Series:  Jasper Dent #1
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  April 3, 2012
Source:  ARC from publisher

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

I've heard amazing things about this book from sources I trust.  I scored my ARC at ALA Midwinter, and I can't believe I haven't managed to get to it yet.  Have you read it?  If so, what did you think?

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