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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Falling in Between Blog Tour: Review

Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary/Paranormal Romance)

Expected Publish Date: Feb 14, 2012

Falling in Between is the first book in the Falling series written by Devon Ashley. Jenna Baker is a ward of the state who goes to a rich prep school on scholarship. She has big plans for her life. Those plans didn't include dying after jumping off a cliff. Before she is brought back to life by her long time crush, Robert, she meets a hot guy named Chance somewhere in the in-between. Chance continues to show up in her dreams every night while her relationship with Robert grows in real life. Life seems good for Jenna, until she realizes Chance might not exist only in her dreams.

Falling in Between was a fast and entertaining read.  The relationships in this story develop very quickly. I usually like to pick a guy early on in the book as a favorite for the happily ever after with the girl, but with this book, it was harder to decide. I spent most of the book rooting for one guy because I got the impression the other wasn't all in. To me the relationship just seemed more superficial and sex based than the other. Towards the end I started to sway in my decision towards the other guy. There was quite a bit of sex in this book. These scenes are not overly descriptive, but I would liked there to have been more to the plot than to the bedroom. This book is definitely for a more mature and older young adult audience.

The characters, though hormonally charged, seemed pretty realistic most of the time. Jenna spent her life without family, without anyone who truly loved and cared for her. Now she has two, sort of. Her reaction to being loved seemed believable. Sophie, Jenna's best friend, is a super fun and wonderfully developed character. My favorite parts and conversations in the book involved Sophie. She added humor and wit that is always so much fun to read.

To learn more about Devon Ashley and her books, visit her Blog. You can also find her on  Facebook.

You can also read this review on Examiner

This ARC was provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

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

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

This is what the illness did. The stories were true.
The shouting attracted the sick girl, and suddenly she was moving with lightning speed, honing in on me. She hit me before I could even think of running, forcing me to the ground, her teeth snapping at my head. She was like a mad dog.

Do you have a blog? Post a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments. No blog? Post a Teaser in the comments anyway!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: Cicada by Belle Whittington

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Fantasy)

Cicada by Belle Whittington is surrounded with mystery and secrets. After a disturbing and scary night, Blair and her friends witness something that they not only don't know how to explain, but they can't tell anyone about it even if they did. As the secrets start to grow, lives get put in danger. Their world will never be the same.

The beautiful cover was designed by the author's talented daughter along with the book trailer. It caught my eye months ago. I knew this was a book I had to read. I only read a short blurb about the book before I actually started reading it. So, I knew very little about Cicada. For me, that added to the fun and mystery of the whole thing. There is some kind of history within Blair's family that I can't wait to learn more about. It is pretty clear that her family is keeping that history as well as many other secrets from her. As the reader, I would have liked to have found out one or two of those secrets. I kept waiting for her Grandpa or Everett to let a little something slip, but they never did. I still feel like I don't really know what's going on behind the scenes, but that doesn't stop me from looking forward to the sequel, Firefly. I am anxious to learn more. I enjoyed the characters and the story flowed nicely. I enjoyed the romance that developed and I look forward to watching it grow in the coming book(s). I absolutely love Belle Whittington's writing style. She really reels you in to her World.

To learn more about Belle Whittington and her books, visit her Blog. You can also find her on  Facebook and Twitter.

Don't forget to check out the Cicada Holiday Companion Story By Belle Whittington.

You can also read this review on Examiner

Cicada was provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

Check out my reviews of the other two books in this trilogy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Between by Mary Ting Blog Tour: Character Interview

We are so excited to be a part of the Between by Mary Ting Blog Tour!! To make things even more exciting, we will be talking with Austin, one of the characters from Between.  Austin is the first ever character we've interviewed on this blog. We are so glad he decided to join us today on the tour.

We are so glad to be able to talk with you, but what circumstance brings you here today?

Hello. I was asked to come to this interview. Thanks for having me.

Before your story began, what were your hopes for the future?
I really didn’t have any hopes for the future besides being the leader of the venators. My mother, Katherine, she is very proud. She hopes one day I will take a seat by her side as one of the Twelve.

What is your biggest fear? 
My biggest fear is that I would disappoint my friends. When I say friends, I mean the venators. They are the only friends I have besides Andrew. You can’t really count him because I don’t get to see him that often and he doesn’t know who I really am.

What CD(s) do you listen to most and why? 
I listen to all kinds of CDs. Currently my favorite songs are Good Life from One Republic and Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO.

What one act in your past are you most ashamed of?
I don’t know if I’m ashamed of it. I guess I shouldn’t have done it. You see… we can project our thoughts into your mind, creating a mental picture of what we want you to see. I kissed Claudia in her mind and I wanted her to know how it would feel like if she kissed me back. “Short cough” Hmmm…I think she liked it. “Wink”

If you were a mundane person, what would you do with your life?
I would go through the school system, date girls, find a job and get married I suppose.

What went through your head when you first saw Claudia?
I could tell right of the bat she was sheltered. Very innocent and sweet. She has this natural beauty and her smile lights up the sky. Or I should say, her smile lights me up. I really can’t describe it. She was like a magnet, pulling me in. I couldn’t think of anything or anyone besides her and that was unlike me. I couldn’t think straight. Thoughts of her consumed my mind.

Do you have any feelings in general that you are disturbed by? What are they? Why do they disturb you?
I don’t agree with everything the Twelve says or does. I’m not sure what we did to Claudia was right. My gut feeling tells me she’ll find out one day and I don’t know what she’ll do or think. We all played a part, whether we thought it was wrong or right. I guess we’ll have to find out what happens.

What is something about you that no one else knows?
I enjoy watching sports. My favorite color is black. I love my car. “Chuckle”

Thank you for stopping by today Austin!
This was fun. Thank you for having me. Would you like me to fly you around? “Wink”

If you haven't read Crossroads yet, take a peek at my review. Also, check out my review of the sequel, Between.

To learn more about the books and the author, visit Mary Ting's website, Blog, Twitter, and Facebook page.

Check out my reviews of some of Mary Ting's books!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay Tour: Interview with Krista Holle

Krista Holle is the author of The Lure of Shapinsay,  a novel about a love between a Selkie man and a human woman. Selkies were completely new to me, as I'm sure they are to some of you too. After reading The Lure of Shapinsay, I fell in love with the idea of Selkies. If you haven't read it yet, take a peak at my review. We'd like to thank Krista Holle for stopping off here on the tour to let us pick her brain.

How long have you been writing?
My whole life, but I’ve been seriously and obsessively writing since 2008.

What inspired you to write The Lure of Shapinsay?
The selkies, of course! Hardly anyone has heard of these wonderful mythical creatures. It’s my new goal in life to tell the world. In case you didn’t get the memo, they’re the original shape shifters—beautiful men and women who live as seals in the sea, but shed their skins and come on land from time to time.

Your book certainly lured me in. Once I finished reading it, I wanted more. Do you have any plans to write a sequel?
At this point, no, but I’m not ruling it out either. A lot of people who’ve read The Lure of Shapinsay want to know what happens next. I don’t want to add any spoilers, so I’ll be vague. I intentionally didn’t pursue what happens under the sea, because I wanted to leave an air of mystery with the selkies.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why? I want my readers to relate to the heroine of the story. When you’re reading The Lure of Shapinsay, I want you to feel like you’re literally slipping into Kait’s shoes. When I’m writing, I’m the main character. There is something so magical about a new relationship—that first nervous flutter—that first inquisitive kiss. I want to experience it over and over again.

What is a secret about Eamon that nobody else knows?
Eamon would love to snap the neck of Kait’s brother, Blair. He knows he shouldn’t feel that way, but he can’t help it. He views Blair as a threat. Also, he’d never in a million years admit that he enjoys the way grass feels between his toes.

If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like? 
 The character Krista would think she was very, very cool even though she drove a banged up station wagon and cut her own hair. She’d be panicked around boys, shy around girls and listen to rock-n-roll constantly.

What book have you read too many times to count? 
Why do you like it so much? Um, there isn’t a single novel that I’ve read over and over again. There are too many new and great books out there that haven’t been explored yet. I am a huge fan of Tracy Chevalier, Stephanie Meyer, Cynthia Voigt, and Shannon Hale.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received? 
 I’m a self-taught writer, so I’ve figured out a lot on my own, but somebody told me once to delete the word “get” from my writing vocabulary. He’s right. It’s a terrible verb.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
How prolific the belief in fairies was in Scotland in the early 1800’s, the setting for my book. If someone got sick, they were most assuredly jinxed by the “wee folk”. If a baby was stolen, it was the fault of fairies. It is rumored that even Queen Victoria believed in them. The superstition extended to selkies and witches.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I call myself one sick cookie because I’d rather write than just about anything else. When I take breaks, I love watching movies and walking. My perfect day consists of writing, eating lots of pizza, and either snorkeling or combing the beach for seashells. I collect them. I also squeeze in real life and become a critical care nurse three days a week.

To learn more about this book and the author, visit Krista Holle's website, Blog, and Twitter.

Want more? Stop back by the blog in a couple weeks for an excerpt and giveaway!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Perilous Light Cover Reveal & Giveaway! (International)

Perilous Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy, the sequel to Beckoning Light, is set to be released April 1. If you're like me April seems like such a loooong ways away. To help us all with the wait, we are excited to present the cover of Perilous Light!!

And in case you weren't excited enough, how about a first look at the description courtesy of Alyssa Rose Ivy?
Would you sacrifice everything for a world you barely knew?

It has been over a year since Charlotte and Kevin first stepped through the gate into Energo, and neither has been able to settle back into a normal life.

Even though she tries to deny it, Charlotte is in love with Calvin and can’t push him from her mind. She distracts herself with the antics of James and her growing friendship with Liam—the one person who seems to understand her.

Kevin is starting to adjust to his new identity as a college student and basketball player, but he can’t seem to shake his feelings for Samantha, his fear for Charlotte’s safety or the sensation that basketball is no longer enough.

When they unexpectedly return to Energo, both Charlotte and Kevin must face their fears and step up to become the leaders they were always meant to be.
If you haven't read Beckoning Light yet, be sure to read my review as well as an exclusive interview with Alyssa Rose Ivy!

Ready for the giveaway?? Two lucky people can win an e-book of Beckoning Light! 

How to Enter:
The Rafflecopter form will guide you through the entry process. 

For your entries to qualify, you MUST complete the first 2 items on the form. Once you do that, you have 2 entries. Plus, there are opportunities for more entries if you choose to fill out the entire form! (The form may take a moment to load.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet the Author: Marta Szemik

Marta Szemik, author of Two Halves, is a full time mom and wife. Two Halves is her debut novel about Sarah, a half vampire/half human, with a hidden destiny that's about to change her life. Marta has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions for us.

How long have you been writing?
I wish I could say some witty answer such as since I could hold a pen, but that would be a lie. In March 2009 I got inspired. The next morning I sat down to the computer and decided I would write a novel. Then I started typing knowing I would finish. There was no doubt in my mind I would have a complete novel. I had no clue how long it would take me or whether I would publish it, but I knew I would finish. It was the first time in my life I was so confident about something so big (that's before I realized my writing sucked and needed a lot of work).

What inspired you to write your first book?
In March 2009 I just moved to a new city due to hubby's work. It was our first week at the new house and he rented Twilight the movie. I said "What's that?" (Yes, I lived under a rock.)
He said "You like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I read there are vampires in this one so I thought you'd like it."

Then, he poured me a glass of wine and went to put the kids to bed. I watched the movie by myself, loved it, saw that it was based on a book and ran to the computer to find out more. That's when I found Stephenie Meyer's website. I read her biography and how she got to write her novels. I could see myself right there in her shoes *sighs with daydreaming eyes*. I decided I would write a novel too.

The funny part is, (and I haven't told this to anyone - not even on my blog) is that just like Ms. Meyer I had a dream. The first paragraph of Chapter 1 of Two Halves was that dream. I didn't see the characters, but I saw myself as a half breed vampire, who couldn't scar, yet she foresaw it happening. (Yes, Twilight had a huge impact on the dream) I went with that idea for the book.

Are you planning on turning Two Halves into a series?
The ending of Two Halves is a good ending on its own, but there is much more that I would want to write. I do believe there will be a sequel (later on this year I hope). I have three projects I'm working on now, so it all depends on time. In Spring 2012, I have a Two Halves novella coming out titled: "Marked". I am so excited about it because it explains the back story of Two Halves and the world Sarah is pulled into. It's written from another characters point of view. He was one of my favorites in the novel and found his voice quickly in my head.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
I think I'm a mix between Sarah and Mira. Sarah in the beginning of the book is so uncertain of herself and afraid of failing (that's me whenever I start sharing something I write). Mira, well, Mira is just awesome - she has a reply to everything (that's me, but only when I'm comfortable). She's got that answer you always want to have (This gets me into trouble on the internet - I don't think before I reply).

What is a secret about Sarah that nobody else knows?
If I answered that it wouldn't be a secret anymore:) I think it's something I'd like to keep for the sequel.

If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
Who I would love to be like? Clary from Mortal Instruments. Wouldn't it be cool to find out you're more than just human, have powers and discover new worlds?

Who I would actually be like? Is there a character who cannot eat without spilling food on herself? That's me. My husband says I have a hole in my chin.

What book have you read too many times to count?
Twilight (read the entire saga perhaps four times)
The Hobbit
Since I've began writing there are so many novels I became exposed to, I wish I would have time to re-read some of them (Hunger Games), but my to-read pile is too high.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Don't stop writing, perfect your art and accept criticism like it was gold.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Two Halves?
That I loved writing beyond being able to explain it. I say this often, but it's true: I started writing because I wanted to, now I do it because I need to.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Everything I do revolves around my family, my kids school and activities schedules and hubby's shift work. If it's winter, I love skiing. It's the closest love for something for me to writing. Now that, I've been doing since I was three. If things turned out differently in my life, I would have been a professional skier (no I'm not as good as that sounds). I hooked my kids on skiing too. I just wish they had bigger hills around where I live. Summer time is all about the outdoors from gardening to camping and biking with my family.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!

 To learn more about Marta Szemik, visit her Website and follow her on Twitter.

You can purchase Two Halves through Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the
Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop!! 

This hop runs from Friday, January 6th to Thursday, January 12th,
and it is hosted by the lovely I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & vvb32reads.

Since I spend the majority of my time in my own little fantasy land anyway, it was only natural that I participate in this hop! Boo to reality! 
I will be giving away Need by Carrie Jones!

Need Synopsis via Carrie Jones website

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

How to Enter:
The Rafflecopter form will guide you through the entry process. 

For your entries to qualify, you MUST complete the first item on the form. Once you do that, you have 1 entry. Plus, there are opportunities for 2 more entries if you choose to fill out the entire form! (The form may take a moment to load.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to check out all the blogs on the hop for more fabulous giveaways and fun!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy/Mythological Romance)

Everneath is the first book scheduled for release on January 24, 2012 in the upcoming trilogy written by Brodi Ashton. Nikki Beckett is lured into Everneath, the underworld, by Cole, an immortal who feeds upon the emotions of the living. After Cole Feeds on Nikki and she survives it, she manages to escape back to the Surface where she only has six months to say proper goodbyes to her friends, family, and most importantly her boyfriend, Jack, all of whom she mysteriously disappeared on. After these six months, she'll be she forced into the depths of Everneath for good. Cole followed her to the Surface and will do anything to bring her back to Everneath as his Queen. Will Nikki find a way to change her fate? Time is running out.

This book included Greek mythology and a little Egyptian mythology mostly having to do with the Underworld into the plot. The inclusion of any kind of mythology is always something I enjoy. Nikki spent a century in Everneath, but time is different there, so to all of her friends and family, she had disappeared for a few months without a word. When she comes back to her life, she has to put her memories in order and re-adjust to actually living as her emotions, that had been drained from her, slowly come back. Different aspects of each character are shown throughout the book, and your opinions may change as you read about one character or another. The author wove this story together so well, it felt like you were a part of it. She will have you rooting for her characters and crying with them. Everneath is a lovely, dark, and heartbreaking love story that has me anxiously awaiting the sequel.

To learn more about this book and the author, visit Brodi Ashton's Blog, and Twitter.

I won this ARC through The Readiacs in The Book Lover's Holiday Hop. The opinions are my own.

You can also view this review on Examiner.