Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Book Blog Hops-August 31, 2012

Happy Friday all! Today, I’m participating in two of my favorite Friday blog memes.

RULES

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: Best cover? What is the best cover of a book that you've read and loved?.

The cover that jumped into my brain after reading this question is Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. The book is an awesome read and I just love the drama of the cover (plus I wouldn't mind having that dress for myself.)

 

Book Blogger Hop

What to Do:
1. Post on your blog answering this question:
What is the one book or series you are dying to see turned into a movie or tv series?
2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name, Genre you review, and direct link to your post answering this week’s question; failure to do so will result in removal of your link).
3. Visit other blogs in the list, spending quality time getting to know the people you are visiting. Don’t just visit the post with the question, but click around and read some of the blogger’s other content, too! This Hop isn’t about the number of people you can visit, but the quality of each visit. Readers – find a new blog to read by clicking through the links in the list!
 
Blogger Question:
What is the one book or series you are dying to see turned into a movie or tv series?

If I had to pick one, I would say the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong. Other close contenders would be The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter and Lothaire by Kresley Cole.

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett


Goodreads Summary:

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)


Publication Date: August 28, 2012
 
Confessions of an Angry Girl had a misleading title and description. When I read the blurb, I was unsure of how much I would like the main character Rose. I pictured an aggressive and rude character who blamed the world for her problems. I’m super glad that I gave this book a shot because I loved the narrator! This story turned out to be a touching coming of age story that addressed some important issues teens face as they enter high school.

Rose enters her freshman year of high school feeling like an outcast. Her father had died only months earlier and her best friend had become obsessed with being popular. I loved how Rose wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in and didn’t cave to peer pressure even when some of the choices she made weren’t the most popular ones. It bothers her that she doesn’t fit in, but she’s not willing to change who she is to do so.

The novel dealt with a lot of issues that are relevant to the high school set. Rose is the target of a cruel bully and tries to ignore it in hopes that she won’t make things worse. She’s also worried about her friend rushing into sex with her loser boyfriend. Then, Rose begins to fall for an older guy, but doesn’t know what his expectations are since she’s not ready for sex.

The romance was touching, but it was very slow moving. Although Rose’s emotions were clearly felt, I never felt like readers got to know much about Jamie. It was also hard to cheer for their romance when he was involved with such a witch like Regina.

The pacing was a little slow at times, but then the ending was way too abrupt. The novel felt like a standalone, so I was certainly surprised to see there would be a sequel. However, I would definitely read the next in series to see what happens with Rose, Jamie and her group of friends.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy of this novel for review!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Free Today! First Visions: Second Sight Book One


Today is my first free day as part of the KDP Select program on Amazon.com! Download your free copy by clicking here:

My next free days are October 2 and 3. I'm planning them to correspond with the release of my second book: New Revelations: Second Sight Book Two! Since I was iffy about enrolling in the program, I'll be sure to let everyone know the results of the promotion at the end of the 90 days.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Inbetween by Tara Fuller


Goodreads Summary:

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.


Publication Date: August 28, 2012 

I really enjoyed the premise of this novel. I haven't read too many reaper novels and the concept reminded me of the Existence series by Abbi Glines. Although the reaper in this novel didn't have a dark edge like Dank, it was still an enjoyable read centered around a sweet romance.

Each chapter alternates between Finn and Emma's point of views. I like books that do this because I think it's fun to experience a different perspective on the same situation. The characters were all richly drawn, but I just wish there was a little more depth to Finn and Emma. Besides being so in love with each other, I never felt like I really got to know them. However, the secondary characters, including the other reapers and Cash were interesting and complex. I could see their stories surpassing the tale of Emma and Finn.

World building was done exceptionally well. Fuller does an excellent job of helping the reader picture the Inbetween and Hell. It was also easy to sympathize with Finn as he sacrificed so much for Emma's happiness. His reaping scenes were hard to read at times.

As far as the romance, it had all of the characteristics of an epic love story (forbidden romance and insurmountable odds of being together). I thought the couple's scene together were very touching, especially the one where Emma breaks out her dad's old record player. However, I felt like it was too saccharine at times. Maybe it's the cynic in me, but the ending left me with mixed feelings. Not sure if I loved it and wouldn't have minded a twist that I didn't see coming.

Overall, a book that I would definitely recommend. I'll definitely be on the look out for the future books in the series.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Entangled for an advanced copy of this book for review!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My First Book Signing!!!

Very excited to announce today that I have my first ever book signing coming up! Hooray! Any of you Jersey folk are invited to come out and see me at Cranbury Day. Besides the pleasure of seeing me, lol, there will be food, vendors and entertainment. I'll be giving away freebies and also holding a contest for a chance to win a $100 Prize Pack (Autographed First Visions, Deck of Tarot Cards and $50 Visa Gift Card).

September 8 10am to 6pm
Cranbury Bookworm
54 N. Main Street
Cranbury, NJ 08512

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox-August 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review. If you are a new or old follower of my blog, make sure you enter my Books of Summer Giveaway here. Less than a week left!

Bought:
Soul Screamers Volume One by Rachel Vincent

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot

For Review:

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski


Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Book Blog Hops Post-August 24, 2012

Happy Friday all! Today I’m not participating in only one Friday Hop, but three! I stumbled across a couple of other book hops and you know how I love trying new book memes. New and old followers are invited to enter my Books of Summer Giveaway. Win one of the amazing novels I’ve read this summer.

RULES

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?

I guess I would have to say Helper 12 by Jack Blaine. This is one of the better YA novels I read when I went through a major dystopian book phase (who didn't after the Hunger Games?). The story had a little bit of mystery, forbidden romance and suspense. However, the cover is sort of blah for me.

 

The  TGIF at GReads poses a blogger question and asks you to summarize the posts for the weeks.

This Friday's Question:

Back to School Reading: Which books would you like to see 
in today's high school Literature classrooms? 

Although I am a fan of classic literature, it would be interesting to see a few current novels in schools. A couple of picks off the top of my head would include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and the Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

My Blog Posts:
New Revelations: Second Sight Book Two Cover Reveal
Top Ten Books I've Read During the Lifetime of My Blog
Review: Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout
Paid Book Promotions: What Works and What Doesn't  

Book Blogger Hop

What to Do:
1. Post on your blog answering this question:
Blogging Question: What is your favorite thing about blogging?
2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name, Genre you review, and direct link to your post answering this week’s question; failure to do so will result in removal of your link).
3. Visit other blogs in the list, spending quality time getting to know the people you are visiting. Don’t just visit the post with the question, but click around and read some of the blogger’s other content, too! This Hop isn’t about the number of people you can visit, but the quality of each visit. Readers – find a new blog to read by clicking through the links in the list!
 
Blogger Question:
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I started blogging initially to promote my book, but it soon became much more than that. I found I really loved talking about books with other passionate readers. It also became a platform to share writing tips and also discuss the process of publishing and marketing a book. The blogger community is a great place to meet other writers and readers and form lasting virtual friendships.

 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paid Book Promotions-What Works and What Doesn’t

Since May 1 when I released First Visions, I’ve done a number of book promotions. This has been really a trial and error process for me as I tracked sales in correlation to each promotion. This is only my personal experience and many indie writers could have very different results.

Virtual Book Tours
I can’t rave enough about doing a blog tour for your book. I had such a great experience during both my tours and they probably offered up the best value as far as paid promotional opportunities. A month long tour through Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours costs around $100 and includes 20 stops. For a two week tour through Bewitching Book Tours, you’ll pay around $50 and stop at 10 blogs.

Why do a blog tour? Because you’re expanding your readership at each stop on your tour. Tour stops can include an interview, excerpt and guest post. My favorite part of my blog tours is that many of the blogs reviewed First Visions. When you don’t have that many reviews, this can be extremely helpful.

As far as sales, I did see a significant jump. During the tours (which I scheduled back to back for six weeks), I was selling about double the number of copies I had been averaging before the tour started.

Kindle Nation Daily Sponsorship
This promotion is definitely one of the priciest of the ones I tried. However, if you have the budget, I HIGHLY recommend it! The package I purchased included an ebook of the day sponsorship and a free excerpts email blast. The ebook of the day post includes a widget and sample of your book featured on Kindle Nation Daily, Book Gorilla and Book Lending.com. The email blast sends out a 5,000 to 20,000 word excerpt to 30,000 opted in email subscribers. Cost of the package was $300.

On May 31, my email blast was scheduled through Kindle Nation Daily. On the day before my sponsorship, my Amazon.com sales rank was 24,093. The day of my sponsorship, First Visions peaked at 5,364.

For the August 1 ebook of the day sponsorship, my Amazon.com sales rank the day before was 10,246. During the sponsorship, First Visions peaked at 3,550. Sales did well following the sponsorships as well.

Google Ads
I’ve heard authors that like Google ads to market their books, but I’m unsure if I will use it for my next book. The major advantage of Google ads are they are ideal if you’re looking for a low cost marketing opportunity. You can deposit $20 and set a low daily budget to keep your ads running for a few weeks. They also have plenty of promotions for first time users (I had a $100 free credit for my first ads). I earned a significant number of clicks and impressions, but didn’t see a huge jump in book sales. However, if you’re only paying $2.00 a day, selling only one extra copy a day of a $2.99 ebook would make you break even.

Blog Ads
For me, blog ads didn’t have a major effect on my sales. I signed up for a week-long promotion and chose four different book blogs for my ad to appear. The cost was $50 and prices were based on the number of site views each blog averaged daily. To be honest, the ads were pretty expensive and I didn’t see any difference in the number of the copies sold during that week.   

After careful consideration, I decided to enroll First Visions in the KDP Select program for three months. Although I have mixed feelings about the program, it’s hard not to admit how the vast majority of my sales come from Amazon.com. I also feel it would be a good way to introduce readers to the series before my second book comes out in October. My first free day will be August 28. Here’s the link to the Kindle version: First Visions: Second Sight Book One.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout

Goodreads Summary:

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…


Publication Date: August 14, 2012
 
I was so excited to read this book that I almost didn’t want to finish it because then I would have to wait until the next one came out. The series is that good! Daemon and Katy have probably the best chemistry I’ve ever witnessed in any YA series.

As human girl Katy fights her attraction to alien Daemon, I found myself wanting to jump into the book and shake some sense into the girl. I get the reasoning behind some of her god-awful decisions in the first half of the book, but I still don’t get why she continued to see Blake. I thought she should have realized earlier on how much trouble would come from her friendship with him and how it hurt her relationships with Daemon and Dee.

Once I reached the mid-point of the book, I could not put it down! The action picked up and Katy stopped being such a head case over her connection to Daemon. A few twists surprised me and it was interesting to see some of the characters only mentioned in Obsidian make an appearance. The ending was equal parts hopeful and heartbreaking. It would be really nice to see everything work out for Katy and the Black family.

On to Daemon. Sigh. Armentrout should publish a book simply consisting of his quotes. They made me giggle at times and swoon at others. He is the ultimate book crush.

I ended up with a 4.5 rating. The first half of the book was four stars for me and then the second half boosted to a 5 star rating. Katy finally came into her own and became less angsty. I don’t know if I loved it as much as Obsidian, but I am definitely eagerly awaiting the third installment!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read During the Lifespan of My Blog

Today's Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday topic is to list your fave books that you've read since starting your blog. Since my blog has only been around six months, the majority of the books are releases from this year. Many of the titles are also included in my Books of Summer Giveaway.


The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong-The final installment in this incredible series made me eager to read more from this talented author.

Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout-A fun escapist novel about a bad boy alien who becomes entangled in the life of the girl next door.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi-I love this dystopian novel about a girl cast out into a savage land. Can’t wait to see what happens next for Aria and Perry. 

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter-Although I loved the first novel in the series better, I was still drawn into the tale of Hades, Persephone and his new love Kate.
 
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard-My first zombie novel! I loved the characters and 19th century setting.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon-This is one of those rare books that can change your perception of people. It was heartbreaking and moving.

Predestined by Abbi Glines-Death falls in love with a human girl and I fall in love with this amazing novel.
 
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin-A very dark and twisted novel that made me an even bigger germaphobe than I already am.

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas-Although I’m not usually into fantasy novels, I was beyond impressed with this debut about a competition to become the king’s assassin. 

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot-I love Meg Cabot books, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to get to this series. She is definitely my go-to author when I’m in a funk.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Revelations: Second Sight Book Two Cover Reveal

Today I am very excited to reveal the cover for the upcoming sequel to First Visions! The title is New Revelations: Second Sight Book Two. The publication date will be October 2 and a link is available on Goodreads to save the book. As the date gets closer, I'll also be posting excerpts, contests and more! The paperback and ebook ARCs will most likely be available in several weeks. Drop me an email at woodtop255@yahoo.com or send me a comment to let me know if you would be interesting in reviewing the book.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox-August 18, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review. If you are a new or old follower of my blog, make sure you enter my Books of Summer Giveaway here.

Bought:

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

For Review:

Shadows by Ilsa Bick

The Matchmaker's Mark by Regan Black





Friday, August 17, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday-August 17, 2012

Happy Friday all! Hope everyone has something fun planned for one of the last weekends of summer. Welcome to another edition of Feature and Follow =) New and old followers are invited to enter my Books of Summer Giveaway!

RULES

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: What blogger inspires you? It can be any kind, it doesn't have to be a book blog.

 I have a mix of blogs that I follow, mostly either writers or book bloggers. A few writer blogs that offer up amazing advice and inspiration to fellow authors include Be Not Afeard, Jo Michaels and Magic in the Backyard.

My favorite book bloggers include A Tapestry of Words and NA Alley. Both of these blogs focus on books from the New Adult genre, a genre that not only do I love, but my own novel falls into.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman



Goodreads Summary:

Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins-so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away, can't tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong-especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself? Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see-and everything they are told-suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller. 

Publication Date: August 7, 2012 

Beautiful Lies was definitely one twisty thrill ride. I started the book a couple of weeks ago and put it down because I just couldn’t get into it. The beginning was confusing and felt very slow. I’m really glad that I gave it another shot because it turned out to be really good.

I haven’t read a twin novel since probably the Sweet Valley High series, so I was drawn in by the premise of twins sharing a special connection. It is also a story about redemption as Alice, the “bad” twin, attempts to locate her missing sister Rachel, the “good twin.” Since the twins often switch places, Alice continues to pose as Rachel and launches her own search. Alice not only senses Rachel’s emotions, but also feels her physical pain.

The novel almost had a gothic feel to it and some of the imagery made me leave on the lights while I was reading. The author is a talented storyteller and her descriptions of the violence against Rachel and Alice were hard to read at times.

The story was more than a simple whodunit. There are mysteries revolving around the secrets Rachel 
kept from Alice, the gifts that Alice and her grandmother claim to possess and Alice’s relationship with a boy named Robin.

The characterizations for both Rachel and Alice were done well. There were a few too many secondary characters and many of them didn’t really stand out to me. I found myself forgetting who they were as I read on. And as far as the villain of the novel, I was able to guess early on who was responsible for Rachel’s disappearance.

There are so many questions that I have even after finishing the novel. When you have an unreliable narrator like Alice, you can’t help but wonder if what she was describing actually happened or was she simply imagining things. It was a moving novel with a memorable main character.

Rating: 4/5 Stars  

Thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Book Romances That You Think Would Make It In The Real World


On the weekly meme for the Broke and the Bookish, the question is what book couples do you think would make it in real life. Kind of lame, but I only came up with eight couples! What’s that say about the type of books I’m reading? New and old visitors, please stop by my giveaway to win one of the book I’ve read this summer.

Chloe and Derek from the Darkest Powers Series by Kelley Armstrong-I don’t know if it is because I just finished this series not too long ago, but the romantic in me imagines these two being together for the rest of their lives.

Noah and Echo from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry-Everything about this high school romance felt realistic. It was easy to imagine these two continuing to heal and love each other.

Lizzie and Chaz from Queen of Babble Series by Meg Cabot-If Lizzie stayed with Luke, I would never see it working in real life. They are far too different and their romance always seemed more of a fling. Chaz gets Lizzie and can make her laugh which makes them a perfect match.

Daemon and Katie from Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout-I don’t know why I see this alien/human couple working in real life, but I just do. Their protectiveness of each other makes me imagine they would last.

Heather and Cooper from the Size 12 Is Not Fat Series by Meg Cabot-Another Cabot pick. I just feel she has a real talent for portraying normal couples that would last once the initial attraction passed.

Portia and Ian from Ex and the Single Girl by Lani Diane Rich-This couple doesn’t have an over the top happily ever after moment at the end. Rich instead writes a practical ending filled with plenty of potential.

Bridget and Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding-Could anyone ever really imagine Bridget and Daniel ever really making it? Bridget and Darcy’s opposite personalities balance each other out.

Becky Bloomwood and Luke Brandon from the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella-I love this couple so much that I would be devastated if they didn’t make it in real life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Tab Bennett and the Inbetween by Jes Young


Goodreads Summary:

Lately Tab Bennett’s life is like a fairy tale. Unfortunately for her, it’s the Grimm kind. The kind where the woods are deep and dark and full of monsters; where a mother’s longing for something forbidden means terrible consequences for her daughter; where the huntsman who takes the princess for a walk in the woods plans to steal her heart – literally – right out of her chest.

Right up until the visions started, Tab would have described herself as normal. But her sisters’ disappearance brought long-hidden secrets into the light, revealing a world she never dreamed existed and a destiny she cannot deny. Now “normal” means wicked subterranean kings and murdered Elvish princesses and clandestine revenge schemes. Suddenly Tab is juggling her fiancĂ©’s broken heart and a handsome prince’s irresistible advances while trying to unravel an assassination plot, and avoid a sociopath with an axe to grind.

As she struggles to hold on to the human world she’s always known and understand her place in the magical one she’s just discovered, dangerous forces have begun gathering around her. If she wants to live to see the happily ever after at the end of the story, Tab will have to figure out who she can trust, who wants her dead, and why. The answers will change everything she believes about herself, the people she loves, and the place she calls home.


Publication Date: May 1, 2012

I’m very impressed with this debut from Jes Young and can’t wait to continue with the series. The characters were well done and there was a great mix of suspense, romance and mystery. The ending left me anxious to see what’s in store next for Tab and her group of Elvish guardians.

Tab quickly became one of my favorite female protagonists. I love a little snark and Tab can certainly dish it out. It was good to see a female protagonist who wasn’t afraid to give her opinions and fight for what she wants. It was also interesting to see her develop her powers and undergo training to effectively lead her people. Her relationships with her cousins was also touching and unlike many secondary characters in books, they did not come across as one note.

The beginning was a little confusing, but once the secrets of Tab’s heritage is revealed the plot really picks up. A nice spin on the fantasy genre was that the action takes place in both a contemporary setting and on a magical Elvish realm. The author did a good job of world building and the descriptions of the Elvish characters.

The love triangle was interesting, especially when it is discovered that enchantments are involved. It was hard to tell what feelings were real and what was being influenced by magic. I wish we got to know more about both of the male romantic leads, but the mystery surrounding the men did make me question their motives and increased the tension in the novel. The love scenes were very steamy and blush-worthy. I thought the book was a young adult novel, but it’s most definitely for adults.

Overall, a fun novel that I finished in only a couple of sittings. I anticipate the next novel will be just as good as Tab continues to figure out her feelings for Robbin and Alex and fights her enemies in the Light and Dark realms.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Visions 99 Cents Book Sale

Update 8/12 5:00PM: Hooray! The Amazon.com ebook issue has been resolved and First Visions is back on sale through the site! Click here for the link.

Unfortunately as I try to work out a pricing issue with Amazon.com for the ebook of First Visions: Second Sight Book One, it will be temporarily unavailable on the site. However, never fear! I'm hosting a sale on Smashwords through Monday August 13. The Kindle and other editions will be available for only 99 cents. Simply stop by the site and enter the following coupon code when checking out.

Smashwords Link: First Visions: Second Sight Book One

Promotional price: $0.99
Coupon Code: SH54W
Expires: August 13, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday-August 10, 2012

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to another one of my Feature and Follow posts! If you are new to my blog, make sure you stop by my giveaway to win one of the amazing books I've read so far this summer.

 RULES

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?

My main regret is not starting off on Blogger and launching on Wordpress.com. With the Java and Flash limitations on Wordpress.com, I decided to move last month which was a huge pain in the butt. If I had to start again from scratch, I'd host on Blogger and probably would like to familiarize myself with more web design techniques. I used many of the default options when designing this blog and I would have preferred a little more customization.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong


Goodreads Summary:

Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be 'cursed'?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that's not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she's leaning towards the werewolf...

Definitely not normal.


Wow is all I have to say. It's been awhile since I've been this into a series. I literally went from one book to the next and finished the trilogy within a few days. I really loved the storyline and Chloe Saunders and Derek Souza are officially on my list for all-time favorite book characters.

The Reckoning brought everything together that's been building in the previous two Darkest Powers books. The big showdown with the Edison Group takes place, but not before several betrayals and attacks on the lives of our beloved supernaturals. Several scenes were so chilling that I felt myself getting freaked out as I read late at night. Royce especially scared me and my skin crawled every time he showed up.
  
(Spoiler Alert) A resolution was finally reached between the triangle of Simon, Derek and Chloe. I think werewolf romance stories can be a hard sell. Who could really be attracted to basically an overgrown dog? But for some crazy reason, it works in this series. Derek has so many swoon-worthy moments when it comes to his relationship with Chloe. One of my favorite scenes is when he made her go into the overgrowth to protect her from the other werewolves. And their almost kiss moments made the final scenes all the more amazing. ***

There were a couple of unanswered questions at the end, but it looks like some of the Darkest Powers characters are supposed to pop up in the Darkness Rising series. I've added the first book to my TBR pile and I hope it's as good as this series!

Rating: 5/5 Stars  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary:
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl — someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. I’m a living science experiment — not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization call the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters. I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends - a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch - and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying
.


Publication Date: April 28, 2009 

Book Two of the Darkest Powers Trilogy starts immediately where we left off in the last book. Chloe is being imprisoned by the Edison Group because of the genetic enhancements that make her powers difficult to control. The beginning of the book was great for revealing more about the Edison Group and introducing characters that would later become important to the plot.

Once Tori and Chloe escape, the novel really takes off. They meet up with Derek and Simon and come across a whole bucket load of problems. They have to try and find the boys' father with limited resources and while still running from the Edison Group. There were so many great elements of suspense and horror during their journey that I couldn't put the book down.

Simon is still being treated as a potential love interest for Chloe, but I just don't see it. She just has way too much chemistry with Derek to end up with anyone else. My favorite part of the book was when they became separated from Tori and Simon and had to travel on their own to a friend of Simon and Derek's father. I loved how he was constantly pushing her to do the right thing while also being very protective of her.  She also knew exactly what he needed as he began his transformation into a werewolf and it was so sweet for her to refuse to feel revulsion as his body went through some scary changes.

Second books in trilogies are often full of fluff, but I'm happy to say that this is another captivating novel in this amazing series.

Rating: 5/5 Stars   

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu


Goodreads Summary:


In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic power.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.


Publication Date: August 7, 2012


Glitch had a lot of potential, but I had a few problems with the story, mainly in regards to the romance. However, I thought the concepts behind the novel and the world building was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end.


Zoe was one of those characters that need to grow on you. She's pretty hard to like in the beginning and there were a few times I wished I could slap some sense into her. During her first escape attempt from the Community, she's pretty much useless and whines the entire time. Therefore, it was nice at the end to see her get more of a take charge attitude and not be afraid to kick a little butt.


The suspense was also well done in the novel. I did feel the tension as the Glitchers attempt to hide their emotions and powers from the Community. A few twists in the novel I didn't see coming which kept me on my toes.


Now, onto the romance. Oh boy, it's very rare for me to keep reading a book where I hate the romance in it. However, like I said, the other story components were good enough that I wanted to finish it. For Zoe, we have Boy #1 Adrien-a truly bland character where the only things that stick out to me are his blue-green eyes (mentioned about 100 times) and the super annoying way he curses. Next up is Boy #2 Max-a sociopath who basically tries to sexually assault Zoe every time they get together.


I would probably give the second book a chance in the hopes that the romance improves (like maybe give the boys personality transplants).


Rating: Three out of Five Stars


Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of Glitch in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox-August 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review. If you are a new or old follower of my blog, make sure you enter my Books of Summer Giveaway here.

Bought:

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

 The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

For Review via NetGalley:

Something Red by Douglas Nicholas

Ironskin by Tina Connolly


Friday, August 3, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday-August 3, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! Today is my Feature & Follow Friday post, a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. If you are a new or old follower, make sure to check out my Books of Summer Giveaway. Entry form is here.

RULES

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
Q: Do your reading habits change based on your mood? Do you read a certain genre if you are feeling depressed or happy?

Yes, my reading habits can definitely be affected by my mood. For example, if I'm feeling in a funk, I'll try to pick up a book that will make me laugh such as a novel by Janet Evanovich or Sophie Kinsella. Romances also can help get me out of a bad mood with a few favorite authors including Catherine Coulter and Jude Deveraux. If I'm happy, I can usually tackle any genre including horror books or books that I know will make me cry. For instance, I would never read Jodi Picoult unless I'm in a good mood.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong


Goodreads Summary:
 
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all strated on the say that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House...before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

 
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
 
I've had this book in my TBR pile for awhile now and finally had a chance to get to it. I'm really glad I did because although I have other books waiting for review, I started the sequel immediately after finishing it. Armstrong created a group of great characters and a plot with plenty of twists and turns.

It's very rare for a paranormal book to freak me out. I usually can read them into the wee hours and sleep soundly. However, this book gave me the chills and I had to switch to lighter reading at night. Armstrong is very talented at writing descriptions that bring you into the scene. I certainly felt as though I could see the same ghosts as Chloe and understand her terror.

After her breakdown, the the first half of the novel is a little slow as we get to know the other residents of Lyle House. This book was mostly focused on Chloe coming to grips with her power and finding out what supernatural abilities the others in the house possess. By far, my favorite characters were Chloe and Derek. Is it weird that I want them together? Although his physical description wasn't appealing, their chemistry was phenomenal. The secondary cast of characters weren't one note and really added to the plot.

The second half was excellent. The pacing picked up and readers become embroiled in the mystery surrounding Lyle House and why a home that's supposed to be for mentally ill teens has so many supernatural residents. A certain betrayal towards the end completely shocked me.

The ending sort of left you hanging and that was one of the reasons I had to keep up with the series. Can't wait to see what happens.

Rating: Five out of five stars

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Books of Summer Giveaway

Giveaway has ended. Congrats to Kami Chan =)

For my August giveaway, I've decided to celebrate the books of summer. I've read so many great books the past couple of months and I would love to share the wealth. The winner of the giveaway will receive a copy of one of the books (their choice) that I have already read this summer or plan to read in the near future. Upon notification, the winner can decide if they rather receive the paperback or ebook version. To enter, follow my blog, like my Facebook page or tweet about this giveaway. Current followers get a free entry =)

Summer Reading List:

1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger
2. Capturing Angels by VC Andrews
3. The Selection by Keira Cass
4. Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
5. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
6. Bane by Trish Milburn
7. One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
8. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
9. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
10. Rape Girl by Alina Klein
11. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
12. Drain You by M. Beth Bloom
13. Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot
14. The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
15. One Moment by Kristina McBride
16. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
17. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
18. Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
19. Inbetween by Tara Fuller
20. Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
21. Inescapable by Amy Bartol
22. Tab Bennett & the Inbetween by Jes Young
23. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
24. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
25. Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
26. Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout

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