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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Run the Risk Blog Tour with Guest Post from Author Lori Foster

Today I have Lori Foster on the blog with a guest post. Her new novel, Run The Risk, is newly released. If you would like to follow the Blog Tour for the book, be sure to check out the Run The Risk Blog Post. I'm pretty excited to be part of the Blog Tour. Lori has written some pretty great books and I can't wait to sink into this one!

Here's a little about Run the Risk:

When Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find Pepper Yates, a potential link to his best friend's unsolved murder, he vows to gain her cooperation by any means necessary. But the elusive beauty is more suspicious—and in far more danger—than he expected. And the last thing Logan needs is to start caring for her….Pepper has spent years dodging the corrupt club owner who will stop at nothing to keep her silenced. She can trust no one, not even the handsome new "construction worker" who's moved in next door. The heat between them is undeniable. But will surrendering to passion bring her the safety she so desires—or will her feelings for Logan draw them both into a killer's crosshairs?

And here is Lori's post.

3.      When you come up with an idea for a novel, do you imagine it as a series or standalone? Do you think in terms of chapters? How do you envision the book?
I never think beyond the first scene that comes to me, or the current scene I’m writing. What happens for me is that I see a situation – see it, like I’m watching a movie - and most times the hero is the dominant force of the scene. From there, the hero tells me his story as I write it. 

In the beginning, I’m only interested in getting that first scene down on paper. Little clues pop up as I need them. The hero – who is always the biggest visual for me – makes himself more known as I go along. It’s really sort of magical how it happens. The characters introduce themselves, popping up when I least expect them. And they tell me the story – what they think I need to know, when they think I need to know it. 

My current series is a little different because four heroes got introduced in the first book! Far as I can remember, that’s the first time that has ever happened. As soon as each guy hit the page, he made it clear he had a story to tell. I don’t know everything about his story until I start writing it, but each one told me they would want a book. 

For timing purposes – because I’m pathetic when it comes to numbers – I pace the length of the book by keeping most chapters around 20 to 25 manuscript pages. That gives me, and the characters, a sense of when the book should be wrapping up.

 Have you picked up Run the Risk yet? Tell us what you thought in the comment section. Haven't read it? What is your favorite Lori Foster book?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Tour: Dark Frost with Q&A with Jennifer Estep

I'm pretty excited to have Jennifer Estep back on the blog. Those of you who have read my reviews, you know how much I love Jennifer's work and have heard me gush about how great her series are. I'm proud to be apart of the Dark Frost Blog Tour and to get to spend some time telling you why you need to read this book. Or the series if you haven't yet. Because it's awesome.

Jennifer let me ask her a few short questions not only about the book, it was hard, I wanted to ask her about so much, but it would have been too spoilery and I'd rather satisfy my curiosity in the next book.

So, here are some questions I got to ask Jennifer.

What was your biggest challenge when writing Dark Frost or other books in the series?

JE: One of my biggest challenges is just finding the time to write. There are so many other things that authors do – answer e-mails and reader comments, keep up with social media, get the word out about our books – that it’s sometimes hard for me to just sit down and make the time to write.

There were also some scenes in DARK FROST that were challenging for me to write. I won’t spoil the scenes here, but Gwen goes through a lot both physically and emotionally in this book. But trying to capture what she goes through and how it impacts and changes her was a fun challenge, and I hope readers enjoy the book.

Things get a bit rough towards the end of this book, do you already have an idea of how the series will turn out, or are you going from book to book?

JE: A little bit of both. I know the big plot points and story arcs and how I want things to end (although that could change a bit as I write more books in the series). I won’t say too much here, but I know how what happens to Gwen at the end of DARK FROST will set up and play out over the next few books. But I am also a panster when I write, so I don’t do a lot of detailed outlines or things like that. In some cases, I just sort of go where Gwen, her voice, and the rest of the characters take me.

Gwen has some pretty great lines in this book. Is it easy for you to come up with these funny, snarky lines?

JE: Most of my heroines have a little bit of snark, sass, and sarcasm in them, and Gwen is no different. I like coming up with snappy things for her to say. Some of them work better than others, but I enjoy trying to give her some witty comebacks.

You write both adult and young adult novels. Do you have a preference when writing? Is it a challenge to go from adult to young adult?

JE: I like writing both adult and young adult novels, and all of my books have a lot of the same elements in them – a strong, sassy heroine, magic, and lots of action and fight scenes. As an author, it’s nice for me to be able to write something dark and gritty with my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and then write something that’s a little lighter and more of a coming-of-age story with my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series.

It’s always challenging to write a book, no matter what genre you are working in. But it was a little more of a challenge for me to do write in a new genre with a YA series and try to capture that YA voice, but you always want to keep growing as a writer, and I think writing the Mythos Academy series has helped me do that.

Are there any other series on the horizon?

JE: Right now, I’m pretty busy writing my Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy series, but I have a couple of ideas for new series. We’ll see what happens.


Jennifer is giving away a paper copy of her new book, Dark Frost! Check out a few rules for entrying.

  • Open to US only
  • One entry per person
  • Must leave your email in your comment
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email before another winner is chosen
That's it! Be sure to leave Jennifer some love in the comments too! I want to thank Jennifer for having me on the tour and for being on the blog today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cornerstone Blog Tour with Exceprt

Well, it seems I've had a bit of trouble getting this one up. My apologies to Misty! But I'm glad to have her on the blog and to tell you guys a bit about her book. It's a bit out of my normal range of genres. But I'm glad I got to read it and I hope that you guys will take a chance on it.

Here's a bit about the book:

CORNERSTONE is the story of Nalena Maxwell, a girl who's been dubbed The Waste at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately needs something to change in her life. But when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) that invites her into an ancient community, EVERYTHING changes- what she knew of her family and her life and her future. While seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life, it is the boy...the one with eyes as clean as Jesus...that steps up to help Nalena figure out what he already knows about her...
 Misty has provided me with an excerpt of her story. So enjoy this enticing piece!

Something big happened.  
    I know it because Cora is waiting for me on the school’s front steps.  Cora is maybe the only friend I’ll ever have at Simon Valley High.  She is the polar opposite of popular and she was one of the girls that used to follow me around, trying to worship me when I first came to the school.  Now, the way things have worked out, she is a step above me on the popularity scale, because even though she’s awkward and a little repulsive in her habits, she’s not considered a freak.  She’s been in the Simon Valley Public School System since kindergarten and due to the familiarity, she’s escaped their perpetual ridicule.  Instead, our peers have granted her the privilege of being completely ignored.  She doesn’t see it that way.  
    I think Cora was delighted when the popular crowd spit me out.  It wasn’t exactly personal, but it meant that there were finally some shoulders for her to stand on instead of being on the rock bottom of the social pyramid herself.  Not wanting to jeopardize any upward mobility on the coolness meter, Cora distanced herself from me along with everyone else and our friendship was reduced to covert waves while passing in the halls.   
    What worries me now is that Cora only wants to talk to me publicly when there is something really big going on.  The last time we talked was about three weeks ago, when she met me at my locker to say that there was a rumor going around that my mother was insane and got carted off to a mental institution over the weekend.  She said she wanted to make sure it was really a rumor.  As soon as I verified that it was, she went off with her mouth shut.  It’s not like she’d go spreading around the truth.  I’ve just come to accept that Cora is the closest thing I’m going to get, as far as having a friend, until I graduate.
    I see her immediately as I climb the steps, sausaged into her usual white button down sweater, even though it is too warm for it.  She pulls a tissue out of her sleeve and dabs her nose excitedly as I approach.  Cora has post nasal drip that makes her a mouth breather.  When she’s excited, the air she sucks in sounds too juicy.  
    She scurries down the steps to meet me and I hear her trying to breathe through her saliva.  Whatever news she has must be really big to have her producing so much spit.  My stomach fills up with an uncomfortable heat as I think about the boy at the library last night.
    “Garrett Reese is asking around about you!”  Cora bubbles.  Literally.  A bubble of spit sticks in the corner of her mouth and she wipes it away with an enthusiastic flick of her tongue.   “How does he know about you?  Were you really kissing in the library?  That’s what Nikki Legarno said, but I told her that couldn’t be right.”
    A wave of hot, rancid stomach soup rolls through me.  Garrett Reece.  The boy has a name.  And he is exactly the worst thing I expected him to be: popular.  I put my hand over my eyes to shut Cora out.  My brain curls into a knuckle.  The boy, with eyes as clean as Jesus, is asking about me.  So, today he’ll find out.  His interest in me will end and what his curiosity will cost me will just begin to tabulate.  I try to steady myself for seeing the words scrawled across my locker again.  
    Cora taps my hand.  
    “Are you okay?”  she asks, but she doesn’t wait for my answer.  “You know who he is, don’t you?  Oh my gawd he’s got the most gorgeous blue eyes ever!   I would die just to have him look at me!  I mean, he’s not all muscley like Jake O’Keefe or Brent Goudreau, but he’s hot.  It’s because he’s really, really good at sports.  Did you know he’s like...all star everything?  He won all kinds of medals for wrestling and track and I heard he could pitch a baseball through the side of an army tank.  I think he’s super cute...even if he’s not all muscley.”  She takes a big, spitty breath.  “He’s super smart too.  Oh!  And he’s a Classic.”     
    I slide my hand up and grip my brow.  “Classic?”  
    “Oh, you know!  The Middleditch twins are too.  They all drive the old clunkers. Well, not clunkers, really.  They all have super old cars in mint condition.  I think Garrett’s is the nicest, though.  You had to’ve seen it before.  It’s the burgundy Riviera...”   
    “Okay.”  Is all I can think to say because I think I’m going to pass out.  Or throw up.  Or both.  The other students are pushing past me, around me, knocking me out of their way to get to their first hour classes.  I’m scared to death to go inside and face my locker.
    “Okay?  What do you mean, okay?”  Cora asks.  “Give me the scoop.  Why’s he asking about you?  Did you know he was going to?”
    “Really?” Cora dabs off her nose and swallows down another breath.  She’s thoughtful for a minute, scanning the grounds and picking through the swarm of students as if she hopes to find this boy.  My stomach rocks.  “What about the kiss?”
    “There wasn’t any kiss.  Last night’s the first time I ever met him.”  I tell her.  I don’t know why I’m telling her anything except that I have to tell someone something.  “I was at the library studying and he came and sat by me.”
    “Sat by you?  Did he say anything?”
    “Not really.”
    “He didn’t say hi or anything?  He must’ve said something.”
    “We talked about finals.”  I’m swaying, even though my feet are flat on the cement step beneath me.
    “You don’t look good.  Are you okay?”  Cora asks.    
    “No.”  I say.  She steadies me by wrapping her hand, the one with the wet Kleenex, around my upper arm.  And I’m grateful.  
    “Well, come on.” She gives me a reassuring tug toward the front doors.  “I’ll walk you in, okay?  Maybe we’ll see him.”
    “I hope not.”  I mumble.
    “Is it because of your house?”  Cora asks.  I don’t even bother to answer her.

Want to know what I thought of it? Check out my review:

I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I first opened this up. To be honest, the whole paper hoarding thing was almost off putting, since my mom is a hoarder, just not a paper hoarder.. But really, it does have a place in the story, and once it starts to all make sense, the book really takes off.

This has a slight paranormal touch to it. This novel doesn't really go into the whole new world, but we learn right along with Nalena. Nalena was interesting. I kept wanting her to stand up for herself, but as things progressed through the novel and we start to see changes in her, I was excited by the time I finished the book. I had high hopes for Nalena and she definitely shows so much potential as she learns her new life.

I enjoyed reading this novel. The book left me with a want to get my hands on the second, while not a cliffhanger, there is still so much to come that I wanted, needed, to know what happens next. This book is well worth the time and money.

 Thanks to Misty for putting on the tour and for letting me review her book. I hope you take a chance with the book and that you enjoy it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Blog Carnival: The Vagabond Booth

Spring Blog Carnival 

Welcome, welcome, welcome! So, now that you spend some time traveling the internet for the Spring Blog Carnival, I have a few travel things I'd like to share with my fellow vagabonds. 

Travel Tips:
1. Baggy clothing might be more comfortable, but when going through security at the airport, train station, etc, it's better to skip on the clothing that makes it look like you could be smuggling something. Fitted clothing is preferred if you don't want a pat down.

2. Make sure you if you plan on buying things to make sure you have enough space in your suitcase for everything. This one I learned the hard way in Paris on our mini trip from London.

3. When visiting a foreign country, there are things you can do to not stand out. Jeans, baseball caps, sneakers and such are American things. This wasn't such a bad thing in the UK for me and the hubs. But in Paris, it got us a few dirty looks from the locals.

4. Don't plan everything down to the very last detail. There will be things that catch your eye and side track you.Try to leave a day of relaxation as well. It's easy to get run down fast when always on the go.

Okay. Now, on to the challenge!

This is pretty simple. It's a scrambler. I've listed a few of the major ports for tourism from around the world. Unscramble the words below.

kynorew (2 words)
rpias (1 word)
ndnolo (1 word)
more (1 word)

So, if you want to win a prize, successfully unscramble the words and post your answers in the comment section below along with your email.  What prize are you playing for?  For this:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Contest is open until May 15th.
Anyone is able to enter, one entry per person. 
Be sure to include your email in with your answers.
Contest is open Internally anywhere Book Depository will ship.
Good luck and happy reading!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out all the other great booths!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

In Too DeepReleased: February 8th 2012
Publisher: Flux
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Wellesley. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.
Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger—forcing me to make a terrible choice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer

Just Your Average PrincessReleased: October 11th 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Jamie Edwards has loved everything about growing up on a pumpkin patch, but ever since her cousin Milan Woods arrived, things have really stunk. Jamie can’t imagine it was easy for Milan to leave her life back in Los Angeles and move to Average, Illinois, population one thousand. But it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for her since (a) Milan’s drop-dead gorgeous; (b) she’s the daughter of two of Hollywood’s hottest film stars; (c) she’s captured the attention of everyone in town, including Danny, Jamie’s crush since forever; and (d) she’s about to steal the title of Pumpkin Princess right out from underneath Jamie!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay by Rebecca Sparrow

The Year Nick McGowan Came to StayReleased: April 8th 2008
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Hill is the girl most likely to succeed. And the girl most likely to have everything under control . . . that is, until her dad invites Nick McGowan, the cutest boy at school, to live with them. Rachel worries that this could only be a recipe for disaster, but her best friend Zoe thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for lurve. Sparks start to fly for all the wrong reasons. Nick finds Rachel spoiled and uptight and Rachel dismisses Nick as lazy and directionless. But a secret from Nick’s past draws them together and makes the year Nick McGowan came to stay one that Rachel will never forget.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday: The Emotional YA Picks

Desperatly Wanting Wednesday, hosted by Parajunkee's View

Desperately Wanting Wednesday is hosted by Parajunkee. If you want to participate, hop on over to her site, grab the button and sign up!

What I'm Desperately Wanting:

There are a few YA books I've been eying that seem to be on the "Tugging on the Heartstrings" side. These are the few I've been looking at and will try to make room for on the book budget soon.

In Honor
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Releases: May 8th, 2012

Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
Someone Else's Life Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
Released: Feb 2nd, 2012

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...

Dead to You Dead to You by Lisa McMann
Released: Feb 7th, 2012
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Released: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Dial
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.
But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.
With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday: On the Preorder List

Desperatly Wanting Wednesday, hosted by Parajunkee's View

Desperately Wanting Wednesday is hosted by Parajunkee. If you want to participate, hop on over to her site, grab the button and sign up!

What I'm Desperately Wanting:

I don't preorder often. Usually I have a stack of books I have to get through before I get to new books anyway, so I see no point in preordering when it will sit at the bottom of a pile. But, there are a few, that I'm excited for that once I receive them, they are on the preorder list and they will not be put at the bottom of the pile, instead, they will bypass my other books to be read straight away.

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would like this series. I went into the first book a bit skeptical. I even had a hard time with the first few chapters. But then the story took off and left me panting when the book was done. Now that I'm a believer, I had to add the second book to the list.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines, Book 2
Release Date: June 12th, 2012

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

I loved Catching Jordan. A lot. So I didn't even hesitate to add this next one to the list. There isn't much of a description yet, but no matter. It's still on my list.

Stealing ParkerStealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Companion novel to Catching Jordan
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
About a 17-year-old girl named Parker who falls for the new 23-year-old coach of the baseball team.

I was pulled into this next series with the first chapter of the first book. I loved it. The drama, the tension, the romance. I'm excited for the final book in the trilogy. The ending of book 2 left me desperate for this one.

This Is So Not Happening (He's So/She's So, #3)This is So Not Happening, by Kieran Scott
He's So, She's So, Book 3
Release Date: May 1st, 2012

After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things will work out that way...again. — It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can't believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor's appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.

But as graduation approaches, things get more complicated as new secrets come out and Ally realizes maybe Jake isn't the guy she thought he was. After everything they've been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship intact?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Released: February 1, 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be---but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend. When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken. From the National Book Award nominated author of Story of a Girl, Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.

Friday, March 30, 2012

ARC Review:The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Released: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer. Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday: Sophomore Edition

Desperatly Wanting Wednesday, hosted by Parajunkee's View

Desperately Wanting Wednesday is hosted by Parajunkee. If you want to participate, hop on over to her site, grab the button and sign up!

What I'm Desperately Wanting:

I read a few books few last years that I've been wanting the sequel to. I won an ARC of Hereafter through Goodreads and I really liked it. A lot. I've read a few ghost stories before, but usually shied away from them in general. This was one that I was glad I read.

Arise (Hereafter #2) Arise by Tara Hudson
Hereafter series, Book 2

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.
 I read Dead, Undead and Somewhere in Between in 2010 and liked it. I didn't feel really feel the romance with Disco (maybe it was just the name) but I really liked Rhiannon. This one may require a reread for the second, since I've read so much since 2010.
The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon's Law, #2)
 The Renfield Syndome by J.A. Saare
Rhiannon's Law, Book 2
Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my.

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.

Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.

After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Released: January 25, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rated: YA
Series: Deviants, Book 1
Buy: Amazon
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Released: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giveaway: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The folks at Zeitghost Media and St. Martins Press are putting up the first book in the Chronicles of Nick up for grabs! This is a series I have been meaning to read since it came out and I'm pretty excited to host this. I hope to get my hands on a copy soon, but until then, I'm happy to give one of you a copy!

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

~The Rules~

  • Leave your email address in the comments for entry
  • Tweet the following for one extra entry:
    Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon is up for grabs at Coffee Table Reviews! Contest ends 4/3 http://www.coffeetablereviews.net/2012/03/giveaway-infinity-by-sherrilyn-kenyon.html @aimeebctp
  • Contest ends April 3rd at Midnight
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond before new winner is chosen
Pretty simple!

Desperately Wanting Wednesday: Grim Reapers, Descendants & Assassins, Oh My!

Desperately Wanting Wednesday is hosted by Parajunkee. If you want to participate, hop on over to her site, grab the button and sign up!

What I'm Desperately Wanting:

Recently, I finally gave in and started reading the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. I bought the first book right after it came out but never got around to reading it. I don't know why. I even sampled a bit of the audiobook and maybe that had something to do with it, since I didn't like the reader. But, I took a chance, and it totally paid off. After I finished, I bought the next two. And now... Now I have to wait until October for the next one! I don't know how I will manage the wait.

Beware, there are season spoilers in this book bio.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones
Book 4 of the Charley Davidson series
Expected Publication: October 30th, 2012
Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.

I first read Jenna Black's Faeriewalker series and loved it. And then decided to try her other series. This is my second favorite (even with only the one book out) of hers. I love anything Greek Mythology. Well, most of the time. If it is well done. While this doesn't stick to strictly Greek, it did strike my fancy. I think the idea of the series was unique and fun. Hence, me (desperately) wanting the next book in the series.

Deadly Descendant by Jenna Black
Book 2 of the Nikki Glass series
Expected Publication: April 24th, 2012

As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backwards may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.

This next one is one of my all time favorites. I love Gin Blanco. Love. The world that Jennifer Estep has set up is one that I haven't seen before or anything like it. I loved that about this series. With the world of vampires and shifters, sometimes novels can blend in and it's hard to pick among the ones that aren't amazing. But this was one that was so much different that I felt like I was there with Gin on her adventures. This is one that I think any Urban Fantasy fans should really get. Although it does have some adult  content, so maybe not for young readers.

(Cover is not available just yet)

Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep
Book 7 in the Elemental Assassin series
Expected publication: August 28th, 2012

I used to murder people for money, but these days it’s more of a survival technique.

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking.

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

Monday, March 19, 2012

ARC Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Released: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rated: YA
Series: Goddess Test, Book 2
Pre-Order: Amazon
*Book was provided by publisher for honest review*
Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

Released:February 7, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.
Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back—it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Trailer: Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I love the Dark Hunter series and I have been meaning to read the first book in the Chronicles of Nick series. I'm excited to show off the trailer for the new book, Infamous. Here is a little blurb about the book and be sure to check out the trailer!

The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick's saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That's the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn't the average teenager. He's a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He's learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn't the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.

Be sure to check out the links below to learn  more about SHERRILYN KENYON, INFAMOUS, and all of her novels.

~Official Trailer~

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Released: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon

Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her 11 sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Released: February 16, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday: The Classics Edition

Desperately Wanting Wednesday is hosted by Parajunkee. If you want to participate, hop on over to her site, grab the button and sign up!

What I'm Desperately Wanting:

So, I don't know if any of you have ever run across one of those lists, you probably have, that list books you should read before you die. My sister gave me a stack of books to read. She's heavy into reading the classics. You don't find her often with her nose in a vampire book or a young adult romance. I don't mind too much, since she reads in general. On this list, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, I have found I've read quite a few already. But I'm nowhere near 50%. Here are my picks of the classics I've been meaning to read for years.

I don't know what it is about the classics, but I have a hard time picking them up. I don't have a hard time loving them and devouring them, but for some reason, I will let a book sit on the shelf for months before finally picking it up. And then I will proceed to kick myself for doing so.  Some, like The Count of Monte Cristo, I have seen the movies, but never read the books. I am hoping to read the books at some point.
1984 by George Orwell
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories—particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme—With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is one of his most popular works. Written in Wilde's characteristically dazzling manner, full of stinging epigrams and shrewd observations, the tale of Dorian Gray's moral disintegration caused something of a scandal when it first appeared in 1890. Wilde was attacked for his decadence and corrupting influence, and a few years later the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde's homosexual liaisons, trials that resulted in his imprisonment. Of the book's value as autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, "Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be--in other ages, perhaps."

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Falsely accused of treason, the young sailor Edmond Dantes is arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island fortress of the Ch√Ęteau d'If. Having endured years of incarceration, he stages a daring and dramatic escape and sets out to discover the fabulous treasure of Monte Cristo, and to catch up with his enemies.

A novel of enormous tension and excitement, The Count of Monte Cristo is also a tale of obsession and revenge. Believing himself to be an 'Angel of Providence', Dantes pursues his vengeance to the bitter end, only then realizing that he himself is a victim of fate. One of the great thrillers of all time, The Count of Monte Cristo has been adapted for film and television many times.


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