Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire


Walking Disaster
(Beautiful # 2)
By: Jamie McGuire
Pub. Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 448
Source: Netgalley

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.
I was a huge fan of last years Beautiful Disaster and I could not wait to read Abby and Travis' story from Tarvis' point of view, but the story ended up disappointing me. I felt that some of the scenes weren't all that different from when we read it from Abby's point of view. I was hoping for a little more, a little more insight into these characters, especially Travis. We already know how complex of a person Travis is, and I was hoping to learn more about him in Walking Disaster, but that didn't happen. I feel that I know Travis the exact same amount as I did before I read his story.

The writing was very slow for me, and parts just seemed to drag on. I found myself skipping passages. While on the other spectrum, other parts just felt so rushed.

The epilogue was a nice touch, but even that felt rushed. Basically, I think I would have been happier with some scenes being taken out, while other scenes being written a little better.

I know this review makes it sound like I completely hated Walking Disaster, but that isn't true. I still thought that the concept was a good one. I think I just expected a little more. I was really hoping to get a lot more insight into this man then I did.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Sins & Needles by Karina Halle


Sins & Needles
(The Artists Trilogy # 1)
By: Karina Halle
Pub. Date: January 25, 2013
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Pages: 331
Source: Bought

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.
Sins & Needles is one of those stories that I went in with such high hopes and expectations, but unfortunately those expectations were not met. It started off really, really good. But as I learned more about the characters, that is when the story started to fall flat for me.

Ellie Watt is a con artist. She learned everything from her con artist parents. When a con goes wrong, she returns to the only home she has ever really known. While there she meets up with Camden, the "weird" boy from high school who was her only friend and also the boy she embarrassed in front of the whole school.

Camden is the quiet tattoo artist who grew up being bullied by the kids in school and beat by his father, who the entire town respects. Turns out he never really got over what Ellie did to him back when they were teenagers and he definitely doesn't trust her.

I thought the story line was very interesting, and I really enjoyed the cliffhanger, but it really was the characters that turned me off. I found Ellie to be mean, stupid and annoying. Her only redeeming quality came at the end. Camden was a whole other story. Don't get me wrong, I love a bad boy, but Camden was just crazy, like certifiably crazy. I just didn't like him at all, and I can't say those reasons because they are spoilers.

While I did not like the characters, I did like the plot, and I do plan on reading the second book, Shooting Scars, which comes out in May. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Hard To Love by Kendall Ryan


Hard to Love
By: Kendall Ryan
Pub. Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Self
Pages: 227
Source: Bought

Cade’s always taken risks…

Cade takes cares of his sick younger sister by doing what he does best--cage fighting and starring in adult movies, his newest harebrained moneymaking scheme designed to pay for his sister’s growing medical bills. But when his latest gig finds him admitted to the ER sporting an erection from hell, thanks to the little pill given to him by the director, he can’t get the pretty little nurse who treated him out of his head, even though he knows she’s so far out of his league it should be illegal.

Alexa’s always played it safe…

Tired of being pigeonholed as the sweet, innocent one, hardworking nursing student Alexa has been looking for ways to break out of her Goody Two-shoes image. When her friend suggests the outlandish idea of losing her virginity to the sexy and sure-to-be-skilled porn star, Alexa is mortified. But then when Cade refuses her proposition, she finds herself pissed off and embarrassed. When she tracks him down to give him a piece of her mind, she isn’t prepared for what she finds. Watching him care for his little sister tugs at her heart, and suddenly it’s no longer just about losing her virginity, but about helping Cade. Because Lord help her, she might actually be falling for a porn star…
The moment I read the synopsis for Hard to Love, I could not wait to read it! It was a great read that was filled with wonderful characters. Hard to Love is witty, fun, and fast paced!

Cade is only 22 years old, but has experienced things no one should have to experience. Between his crappy parents giving him up, and his grandparents death, he is extremely independent. He doesn't do relationships, but he will do anything he has to do to support his 5 year old sister, Lily, who he has sole custody of, including staring in a porno movie.

Cade meets nurse student, Alexa one night at the ER. The two of them are as different as night and day. Cade is the bad boy with a hard past, and Alexa is the good girl from a rich family. But the two of them share a sizzling connection that I just could not get enough of!

I think my favorite part of this book was the relationship between Cade and Lily. I loved the way he was protective and loving of his sister. I also loved Alexa and Lily together. Lily needed that mother figure and it was sweet how much Alexa cared for Lily.

Hard to Love is not to be missed! It was told in duel POV, which I'm always a fan of. The character development was beautifully done. I would have liked more knowledge of Cade's background, but other then that, I was very happy with it. Get yourself a copy today!! 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand


Boundless
(Unearthly # 3)
By: Cynthia Hand
Pub. Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 438
Source: Bought

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

2013 is the year of my favorite series coming to an end, and the Unearthly series is no exception. I have grown with these characters and each of them hold a place in my heart. I have felt their pain, and experienced their joy right along with them.

Boundless begins a few months after the events of Hallowed. Clara, Christian and Angela are at the same college, Tucker and Clara are broken up and he's back at home on his farm, and Jeffrey is dealing with everything that happened, far away from everyone else.  Despite being freshman in college, the final battle is coming up soon, prompting Clara and Christian to start training even harder.

I loved watching these characters come into their own. Each of them grew even more from the last book. I enjoyed watching Clary and Christian finally be able to start dating, but I did miss Tucker. We got to see him a few times, but he was always sad or angry.

I really had no idea how this story was going to play out, or what the ending held for these characters. All I knew was I wanted all of them to be happy.

My only main issue was the last few pages. I would have liked more of a resolution for one character in particular, but other then that, I loved how this story ended.

I read Radiant, an Unearthly novella set between books 2 and 3 before reading Boundless, and I highly recommend reading it that way. The trip that Angela and Clara take to Italy is mentioned many times, and we meet a guy that turns out to be a very important character.

I have never been a big fan of angels, but this is one angel series that is definitely not to be missed! Plus the covers are gorgeous! 




Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cover Reveal: Body & Blood by Amanda Harvard


Body & Blood
(The Survivors # 3)
By: Amanda Harvard
July 23, 2013

The game has changed.
 
Fresh from her first brush with mortality, a fragile Sadie Matthau is playing human with Cole Hardwick while the Survivors endure unimaginable tragedy. Wrought with the first deaths of their own kind, a tyrant who will torture them, and an opponent more terrifying than anyone could have foreseen, the Survivors are facing their end.
 
Told from three points of view, The Survivors: Body & Blood is a bloodcurdling, mind-bending, heart-stopping ride. As Sadie and the Winters uncover more enemies, more history, and more answers, they find themselves brought closer together and ripped further apart. And all the while, a haunting Alexander Raven lurks at the edge of Sadie’s lifeline, at the darkening fringes of her mind.
 
As the Survivors descend into chaos, Sadie realizes a painful truth: the deepest of secrets leave the darkest of marks.

Caught between a terrifying fantasy and her own grim reality, Body & Blood is the story of Sadie’s dance with her demons, future, past, and present.


About the Author: 

Amanda Havard has been telling stories since before she could write. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her first book was published in her elementary school library at age 7. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Vanderbilt University. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her baby grand piano and more story ideas than she could tell in one lifetime.

Links:

Twitter

·         Authors & Series

·         Characters

Facebook

·         Author & Series

·         Characters
o   Mark Winter
o   Ginny Winter

YouTube
·         www.youtube.com/amandahavard

Goodreads
·         www.goodreads.com/amandahavard

Pinterest
·         www.pinterest.com/thesurvivors
·         www.pinterest.com/amandahavard

Tumblr

Websites
·         www.amandahavard.com
·         www.thesurvivorsseries.com
·         http://www.chafiecreativecom


Friday, March 22, 2013

Cover Reveal: No Attachments by Tiffany King




No Attachments
By: Tiffany King
Publisher Date: April 30, 2013

Ashton Garrison walked away from a privileged life in order to hide from the one thing she's not willing to face. She knows she left behind a trail of pain, but in the long run, her betrayal will hurt less than the truth. She now has one goal: Live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. She has high hopes that a move to new surroundings will provide the escape she desires, but what Ashton doesn't count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan. Sometimes, when love comes knocking, the pull is too strong not to answer. Suddenly, what she thought she wanted to escape from is what Ashton now wants more than anything.
 
Nathan Lockton has one mission: find his target and complete the task he was hired to do—no attachments and no emotion necessary. He's done it over and over again. What he thought was a typical lost-and-found job has turned into a life examining moment as Nathan is forced to deal with something he has always ignored--his feelings. Now faced with a decision, Nathan must choose to either follow his heart or complete the job.
 
Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?

About the Author: 


Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.
 
She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad,chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Links:

Twitter- @AuthorTiffany
Facebook- Tiffany King
Pintrest- Tiffany King
Goodreads- Tiffany King





Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman


Just One Day
(Just One Day # 1)
By: Gayle Forman
Pub. Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 368
Source: Bought

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
I love Gayle Forman. She is a truly talented writer. I would read anything written by her, but after I read the synopsis, I was even more convinced that this book was going to be amazing, and it was!

Allyson has never done anything in her life that would cause a problem. She is an innocent and sheltered girl, and she's happy being that way. While in London with her best friend, she meets Willem and decides to spend one day in Paris with him. During this day, she becomes "LuLu", a girl who isn't afraid of life and of taking chances. When the day ends, Allyson will never be the same again. She spends the next year being a girl opposite who she originally was. She lies, she does bad in school, and she hurts her friends and family.

Allyson knows she can not continue like this, and even though Willem left her without any sort of explanation, she knows she has to find him again. All by herself, she goes to Europe in search of him.

I really liked the before Allyson, and I especially liked "LuLu". I could not stand after Allyson. She was annoying, immature and selfish, and I really didn't see any need to act like that. I loved Willem, and I am really looking forward to reading his story, Just One Year, which is out later this year.

The setting was a character all on it's own. Gayle described everything with such specifics, I felt like I was there with them, experiencing these new things with Allyson at the same time she was and I loved every single minute of it!

Just One Day comes highly recommended! 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar


The Art of Wishing
By: Lindsay Ribar
Pub. Date: March 21, 2013
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Pages: 314
Source: Netgalley

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver--not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless--can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.

But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him--someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.
I am obsessed with genie books. You don’t see too many, especially in YA, but when I see one, I make sure to read it. The Art of Wishing looked and seemed really different then the other genie books that I have read. I was so excited when I was approved on netgalley. It definitely lived up to my expectations (until the ending that is).

When Margo finds a ring in the girl’s bathroom, she has no idea what it could mean. It isn't until Oliver, the boy who is taking pictures for the yearbook shows up and then magically disappears, does she realize something strange is going on. Turns out Oliver is a genie, and he is definitely not like any genie we have ever seen!

Oliver loves being a genie. He loves pleasing his masters, and will do anything and everything in his power to grant their wishes in the best way possible. The title fit so perfectly with his story because there really is an art to wishing and granting those wishes. I really loved learning about Oliver’s story, from how he became a genie, to some of the things (good and bad) he was forced to do as a genie.

I really liked Margo too. She was a little dramatic, but most teenagers are. I think she was very realistic and easily relatable, which I love in female characters.

When Oliver and Margo get together, Oliver knows Margo will be his last master for a while, if not forever. Someone in his past wants him dead. This storyline really added to the plot. I couldn't help but feel for Oliver as well as the bad guy. Was the bad guy even bad, or was he just delusional?  I enjoyed trying to figure him out.

My main issue was the ending. All of a sudden this intense and crazy thing happened and then the story just ended. I would have loved an epilogue or something. The ending made me think of the entire story differently, and I ended up being disappointed. The rest of the book was so amazing, which is probably why the ending bothered me so much.

The Art of Wishing was a cute and fun read, and I would definitely recommend it!  



Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally


Things I Can't Forget
(Hundred Oaks # 3)
By: Miranda Kenneally
Pub. Date: March 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…
I usually stay far away from stories where religion itself is a character. But I am a huge fan of Miranda Kenneally other novels, Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker and decided to read Things I Can't Forget despite my reservations. I did not enjoy this one as much as the other ones though, mainly because I had HUGE issues with the main character, Kate. I could not stand her. Her best friend said it perfectly, "you are a judgmental bitch!" Kate was just way to judgmental for me. You can be religious without being a bitch. When she helped her friend get an abortion, she stepped outside her belief system. She put her beliefs aside for her friend, which I command her for. But the fact that she kept bringing it up bothered me. Her need to always pray also bothered me. It was just too much religion thrown my way, and it took away from the rest of the story.

Besides the fact that Kate was religious, I also thought she was a horrible friend. A Christian should help those in need, and when she finds out her other friend is being abused by his father, she does nothing to help him, because she could get in trouble. What she does do is lecture him though, because that is apparently what he needs. Ugh, I'm sorry. I'll stop talking about Kate.

I did enjoy seeing Parker again. She had her own problems last year, and you can see that she still has trouble trusting people. But I liked how she and Kate became friends. I also liked Kate's love interest, Matt. He was a sweet guy. The perfect blend of being able to have strong beliefs, while never judging others for theirs.

Maybe we were supposed to hate Kate as first. A good story makes you feel, but a great story really stirs up your emotions, like this one did! Kate grew up a lot during her summer at Cumberland Creek, and she definitely changed for the better! I am excited to read Kenneally's next Hundred Oaks book, Racing Savannah


Friday, March 15, 2013

Exclusive Content: The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

Today on the blog I am so excited to reveal an exclusive scene from The Edge of Always, the sequel to last years The Edge of Always. First up, the beautiful cover!


The Edge of Always
(The Edge of Never # 2)
By: J.A. Redmerski
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Expected release date: November 5, 2013


He was taking the long road. She was taking the road to nowhere. It just so happened that they led to the same place…

Five months ago, Camryn and Andrew, both dealing with personal hardships, met on a Greyhound bus. They fell in love and proved that when two people are meant to be together, fate will find a way to make it happen.

Now, in the highly anticipated sequel to THE EDGE OF NEVER, Camryn and Andrew are pursuing their love for music and living life to the fullest as they always swore to do. But when tragedy befalls them, their relationship is put to the ultimate test.

As Camryn tries to numb her pain, Andrew makes a bold decision: To get their life back on track, they’ll set out on another cross-country road trip. Together they find excitement, passion, adventure—and challenges they never could have anticipated.

Sexy. Daring. Dangerous. THE EDGE OF ALWAYS takes you on a ride you won’t forget.

Exclusive Content:


Camryn shrieks and I start laughing as we dash away from the cows and toward the car.

“Awww, shiiiit!” I yell when I step in a huge pile of it.

Camryn cackles with laughter and we both practically stumble the rest of the way through the field, me trying to scrape the shit off the bottom of my shoe while running at the same time and Camryn’s flip-flops getting caught on the ground trying to keep up with her feet.

“I can’t believe that just happened!”

Camryn laughs as we finally make it back to the car. She arches her body over forward and props her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath.

I’m out of breath, too, but I still relentlessly scrape the bottom of my shoe on the asphalt. “Dammit!” I say, rubbing my foot back and forth.

Camryn jumps up on the hood of the car, letting her legs hang over the front. “Can we finally say that we did it?” she asks with laughter in her voice.

I stand still finally and catch my breath. I look at her, at how beautiful and bright that smile of hers is and I say, “Yeah, babe, I think we can safely mark it off our list.”

“Good!” she says.

Then she points behind me. “Do it on the grass,” she says with one side of her mouth pinched into a hard line.

“You’re just spreading it around doing it like that.”

I hop over into the grass and start rubbing my foot back and forth again. “Since when did you become an expert on shit?”

“Better watch your mouth,” she warns, getting into the driver’s seat.

“What are you going to do?” I taunt her.

She starts the Chevelle and revs the engine a few times pressing on the gas. There’s a cruel gleam in her eyes. She props her left arm across the top of the open window and next thing I know she’s driving slowly past me.

I give her the warning eye, but her grin just gets bigger.

“I know you won’t leave me here!” I shout as she goes past me.

Surely she wouldn’t….

She gets farther away and at first I call her bluff and just stand here, watching her get smaller and smaller…

Finally, I take off running after the car.

About the Author:

J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of THE EDGE OF NEVER lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC's The Walking Dead.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Orleans by Sherri L. Smith


Orleans
By: Sherri L. Smith
Pub. Date: March 7, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley

First came the storms. Then came the Fever. And the Wall.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.

Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
Orleans will hook you from the first section, "Before". The story is definitely a thrilling and exciting dystopian novel. The Gulf Coast area, especially New Orleans have been destroyed by the worst hurricanes humans have ever seen. If you thought Katrina was bad, that was nothing compared to the sister hurricanes that came through the gulf a month apart, or Jesus, that killed 8,000 people in 2019. The citizens in this area couldn't rebuild. People got sick with fevers and medications were limited. Between the plumbing problems, the sicknesses and the bacteria, a new virus formed, known as Delta Fever. Things got so bad that the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas were actually taken out of the United States to save the rest of the country. Now the year is, 2056 and Fen lives in Orleans a place plagued by disease and where blood is treated like gold.

Fen is 15 years old, an O positive (like me!) and has learned to adopt to this cruel world. She knows about the Outer States (the former U.S.) but has never been there or met anyone from there. That is until she is captured and meets a scientist from the Outer States who was also kidnapped. Daniel traveled over the wall to find a cure for Delta fever, which also affects people on the outside, like his little brother who died from it. Orleans just hits the surface with these characters. I don't feel like I knew them at all. But I think that was the point. The character we were supposed to know was Orleans and the dystopian world they live in.

I really enjoyed Orleans. The fact that New Orleans is one of my favorite places, the cover alone freaked me out. At this point, I am not sure if this will be apart of a series, or if it is a stand alone, but I am excited to find out! 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cover Reveals: Two Young Adult Fantasies!!

Today on the blog I am excited to participate in TWO cover reveals! 


Clicks
By: Amy Evans
Pub. Date: May 2013

Born and bred to win, Cami’s family expects her to join a secret society called The Guard, marry one of the two identical twin boys next door, and stay on Pinhold Island for the rest of her life. Home to perfect waves, black sand beaches, and the world-famous Surf Carnival, Pinhold seems deceptively perfect. While visitors are jealous of the few hundred people who get to live there, Cami feels stifled. Thanks to the intense link she shares with her own twin, Mica, she can't even be alone with her thoughts. While Cami's more than happy to be a lifeguard, a lifelong commitment to the endless summer feels like a trap. For mainlanders, success in the Surf Carnival means a place to live on Island constant access to the huge, perfect waves that crash just off shore. Cami sees it as a way out til a seemingly small injury turns her world upside down and prevents her from the first competition.
 
Descendants of the ten families who originally settled on the Island, Cami and Mica are part of a new generation, the most perfect example of what nature and time can create. This summer was their time to prove that the years of training have paid off, but it's not going as planned. It's suddenly impossible for Cami to resist the magnetic attraction between her and Blake, one of the twins next door.  Just as the Surf Carnival competition starts to heat up, the best swimmers start going down. Something is pulling them to the ocean floor where they wind up in comas and can't be woken up.  When Mica goes down too, Cami can no longer wait for those in charge to figure out how to help him.
 
With her twin link silenced, the clicks that she used to get from her brother start coming from somewhere else. Can she trust her instincts and learn to listen in enough time to save her friends, or will she lose them along with the island home that she loves?

About the author:

Amy Evans is a writer, game producer and interactive technology evangelist with fifteen years of experience. In 2000, she co-founded HIPnTASTY Inc., a mobile marketing and entertainment company known for creating content that merges communication and entertainment, using technology to connect users with stories, devices, and the world at large.
 
Amy has designed and launched many transmedia and mobile applications including Mobile Hunt, a location based scavenger hunt that took place  in twelve cities for Lollapalooza, Name That Ringtone with BMI Music and Ringtone Trivia for Rogers AT&T.
 
In addition to designing content, Amy served the company as President, licensing HIPnTASTY technology to  clients and partners including Marvel, Verizon, Ericsson, gurl.com, to name a few. As an early evangelist of mobile marketing, she consulted with a number of advertising agencies including McCannErickson, Footsteps Inc and J. Walter Thompson to help their brands break into the mobile marketing space.
 
As executive Producer for Immersedition, Amy is responsible for licensing technology, creative development and product launches.

LINKS:



Silent Orchids
By: Morgan Wylie
Pub. Date: Summer 2013

A dying realm.

The ancient evil of the Droch-ShĂșil has been unleashed.

The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long?

Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.
 
Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.

About the Author: 

Morgan Wylie has been writing on and off throughout her growing up years, but started seriously working on her first novel in the Spring of 2009. 7 months pregnant with her first child, she didn't start off with a lot of focused writing time. But Morgan had an epiphany, if you will, and the story flashed before her so she began to write. And she’s still writing. Her debut Young Adult fantasy, SILENT ORCHIDS, will be out this summer.

LINKS:

Friend Morgan on Facebook or Goodreads



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt


Going Vintage
By: Lindsey Leavitt
Pub. Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow.

Lindsey Leavitt perfectly pairs heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.
It’s been a while since I read a fun, cute contemporary read. Going Vintage was just what I needed to get out of my bad mood.

When Mallory finds out her boyfriend was cheating on her in his online game (think the Sims), she gets pissed and vows to go back to simpler times when there was no technology. While helping her grandmother move, she finds a list that her grandma wrote in 1962-when she was 16. Mallory decides to accomplish everything on the list, but the first thing she does is she gets rid of her cell phone.

I had so much respect for Mallory refusing to use technology. There are days that I wish I could shut the world off too, but it’s so hard! I can only be without my cell for an hour before freaking out, and this is the sad society we live in, because I am sure that I am not the only one who can’t be without it.

I really enjoyed the way Mallory found herself. There was a lot of character growth. She realized that she didn’t need a boyfriend, even if there are guys that like her. I also enjoyed the friendship she had with Oliver. I thought it was sweet and realistic.

My favorite character would have to be Ginnie, Mallory’s younger sister. Where Mallory was serious, Ginnie was fun. She was so supportive of her sister, and I loved the dynamic between the two.

Going Vintage is definitely a cute read that I will be adding to my bookshelf when it comes out in March. I highly recommend you pick this book up as well. It is just what the doctor ordered if you are feeling down. 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton


Shadows in the Silence
(Angelfire # 3)
By: Courtney Allison Moulton
Pub. Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 469
Source: Bought

Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

In this final installment in the Angelfire trilogy, Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing bright conclusion.
It is always sad to see a beloved series, and the Angelfire series is no exception. Ever since I opened up the first book, I have been obsessed with Ellie, Will, and the rest of the gang. The last installment was a fast paced, action filled story. There was friendship, romance and mystery.

After the cliffhanger at the end of Wings of the Wicked, I would have given my left arm to get my hands on Shadows in the Silence. I NEEDED to know if Will, one of my favorite YA guys was going to be ok.

Ellie has always been an awesome heroine, but in this one, she was total kick ass. She really came into her own, and the end totally blew me away. Sad, sweet, Will has always been a favorite and my heart broke for him in this one. I just love how protective he is of Ellie, and how selfless he is when it comes to her. To top off this amazing set of characters was Caden. I have been intrigued by him since we first met him, and I loved getting to know him even better. Despite his past, he really is such a good natured guy, and really is trying to get away from the evil things he has done.

I would have liked a little more explanation at the ending. Maybe an epilogue for the epilogue? That was my one real complaint. Other then that, this is a wonderful series, that I highly recommend. It is so much more then an angel series! 



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Celia on the Run by Sarah Mandell


Celia on the Run
By: Sarah Mandell
Pub. Date: February 29, 2012
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Pages: 173
Source: ebook from Publisher in exchange for an honest review


Nick Novaczek is a cautious soul, a 17-year old with a boring life, a predictable future, and a quiet thirst for danger. On the eve of his beloved grandmother's funeral, danger finds him by the motel swimming pool. Her name is Celia and she's everything he's not. This foul-mouthed beauty is hitchhiking across the country to make amends with her estranged father and doesn't carry an ounce of fear or hesitation in her tattered suitcase. She's bad news all around, but for a rule-follower like Nick, she's intoxicating.

Twenty-four hours after speaking to Celia for the very first time, following one extremely lucky night, Nick is hopelessly hooked and "borrows" his parents' car to join her cross-country mission, even though her story is full of holes. It's the mistake he's been waiting his whole life to make. Together, they dodge a train, jump off a bridge, and scam everyone in their path. Nick is blossoming into a teenage fugitive, just like Celia, and he's never been happier. She may not be who she says she is, but she's got his vulnerable heart.

After weeks of detours, with hundreds of miles left to go, their wild adventure starts to unravel. The money dries up, Celia's dark secrets begin to surface, and it's clear they both want vastly different things out of this partnership. Celia is all about no strings attached and severing whatever they may have between them once they reach their destination, while Nick is head over heels in love and wanting a future with the girl in his passenger seat. They seem to reach a new low on a daily basis, but she won't turn back, no matter how desperate things get. After all, this is her trip and Nick is just the driver. Celia's got a charming smile to pay her way, a willing accomplice, a hidden agenda, and an endless supply of lies. Not to mention a gun.
I love books that involve road trips, so I was very excited to start this one. Celia on the Run is a fast paced and exciting read. I never knew what was going to happen next and I was on the edge of my seat for most of it!

Nick is 17 and has never done anything rebellious his entire life. He has never stayed out late, never tried a cigarette, and never gave his parents a headache. How many teenagers can say that? On the eve of his grandmother's funeral he meets Celia at the motel that he and his parents are staying at. Celia is a runaway that Nick saw hitchhiking earlier that day. Nick wants to know this girl. He wants to know everything about her. He decides that for the first time in his life he is going to do something dangerous. He steals his parents car, and takes Celia across the country to New Jersey so she can be reunited with her father.

The story had a slow start for me, but once the two of them were on the road, that is when the story really took off. I really loved watching Nick grow from a young, innocent boy, to a man. I also enjoyed learning more about Celia and her past.

The writing was very easy to follow and flowed together nicely. I was impressed with how well the characters were fleshed out. I am excited to read other works by Sarah Mandell! 


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Princesses Don't Get Fat by Aya Ling



Princesses Don't Get Fat
By: Aya Ling
Pub. Date: January 2013
Publisher: Self
Pages: 80
Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review

A fairy tale romance with a plus sized heroine and plenty of dessert.

Princess Valeria of Amaranta is fat, but she doesn’t care. All she wants is to eat a lot and lead an idle life. When it is apparent that she cannot get a husband, her mother decides to send her to the Royal Riviera Academy of Fighting Arts. For a chubby princess who has never picked up a sword, life at the Academy is akin to torture. Worst of all, the food is terrible.

When Valeria decides to improve Riviera cuisine by sneaking into the palace kitchens and giving orders, little does she know that the crown prince would take interest in her kitchen excursions. As they spend more time together, Valeria must decide whether she should become thin and attractive, or stay in the kitchens and remain fat.
Princess Valeria is an eater. All day, every day, she has her cook bake all different kinds of treats for her. While other princesses her age are out slaying dragons and being independent, Valeria stays in the castle and eats. Because of her weight, she has problems finding a Prince to marry, because as her mother likes to tell her, "princesses don't get fat". To help her daughter lose weight, she sends her to Royal Riviera Academy of Fighting Arts, a school where she can learn to fight and lose weight.

I couldn't stand Valeria for most of the story. She was a lazy, spoiled, and immature girl. When we finally got to see her grow as a person, that's when I warmed up to her. I enjoyed watching that evolution of her character.

My only issue was I thought it could have used a little more originality. The author took plot points straight from movies, which turned me off a bit. But other then that I did enjoy Princess Don't Get Fat. It is a cute and short read. It's highly recommend if you are looking for a light and fluffy read. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington


The Dead and Buried
By: Kim Harrington
Pub. Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley

A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
I really enjoyed Kim Harrington's Clarity series, so when I heard she was writing a ghost story I was very excited! I read The Dead and Buried in one sitting! It was so good!

Jade, her father, stepmother and little brother moved from a very small town, something she has always wanted. But what she finds in her new home, isn't all what she expected. There is a glittery girl trying to communicate with her brother. Upon further investigation, Jade learns that it is the ghost of Kayla Sloane, queen B who died last year in the same house. By died, I mean she was murdered. Now it is up to Jade to find who killed Kayla, before Kayla kills Jade's brother.

When I first started reading, I didn't really know what to expect. It was moving kind of slow for my taste, and then all of a sudden, BAM, I was hooked! I had to know who the killer was, I had to know why they killed Kayla and I had to know everyone's secrets that they were hiding.

I loved how everything fell perfectly into place and the ending was completely unpredictable. I know some readers were able to figure out who did it pretty early on, but I was not one of them! I actually didn't expect this person until a little bit before it was actually revealed.

After I got through the slow beginning, the rest of the book was very fast paced. The characters were also easy to connect to. I really liked Jade. She was easily likable and relatable. I could see her being my best friend.

As far as ghost stories go, it definitely wasn't the scariest. It really wasn't scary at all, but it was still enjoyable! I highly recommend The Dead and Buried


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