Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 4.15.2014
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Series: No
Source: ARC from ALA MW

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash. 

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if 
not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Review:
Jennifer L. Armentrout has been an “auto-buy” author for me for quite some time now. I’ve yet to read something of hers I didn’t love and DON’T LOOK BACK is no exception. But more than that, Armentrout continually proves herself to be a versatile writer. She has mastered steamy scenes, made me fall for a demon, a gargoyle, a god, and an alien, but now she once again proves no genre is outside of her reach with the creepy contemporary thriller.

I loved Sam from the beginning. I loved her snark and wit and that her inner monologue was what I expected my own to be if I woke up with a blank memory. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her break away and question her friends, not blindly led around by people she was supposed to love and trust.

Carson was my hero. I need one of him in my life. The way he protected and challenged Sam was exactly what Sam needed.

This plot takes more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Nothing is what it seems, everyone has an ulterior motive, and if you think you know what happened, I promise you don’t. Fans of Armentrout’s undoubtedly had this one on pre-order, but for those who haven’t been WOWed by her before or never got into her paranormal novels, DON’T LOOK BACK is a wonderful place for you to fall in love with her writing.
 Buy: Amazon

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: 2.5.2013
Pages: 454
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi
Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
Source: Purchased finished copy

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review:
Little Red Riding Hood was always a childhood favorite. And now I have an even better version!  That was the first thing that came to mind after reading this. Just like Cinderella came to mind with Cinder.

I love how Marissa took that childhood story and made into something so much more and personally way better. Scarlet has so much character and spark I wish i could meet her. I think we would get along really well. With not knowing who she was at first, I was so intrigued by her that I had to keep reading. She is so determined and goes after what she believes in with all her heart. She isn't afraid to do anything even if means risking herself to save ones she loves. She is very inspirational.

One of my favorite characters was Wolf. He was so mysterious. Giving little bits of his life at a time, giving you a minute to think he was really the bad guy. I loved him, how could you not?!

I could sit her and list thousands of things about this book that were amazing.  I was always gasping and going "oh no" or "no way" throughout this whole book. You think you know what's going to happen and BAM, just kidding totally not what happens.  It would be hard not to love a badass version of Little Red Riding Hood. How could you not love that? Marissa definitely didn't disappoint in this second book. I will be rereading this series over and over.
 

Buy: Amazon

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O'Neale

Today, Stacey O'Neale and Phoenix Reign Publishing are revealing the cover for
MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, releasing on May 20, 2014!
Check out the awesome cover and enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card!!!
On to the reveal!
Mortal Enchantment

“Mortal Enchantment spins a unique twist on elemental mythology. This series is not to be missed.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author


In Kalin Matthew's world, elementals control the forces of nature. They are divided into four courts: air, woodland, fire, and water. At sixteen she will leave the life she's built with her mortal mother. Kalin will move to Avalon to rule with her father—the elemental king of the air court. Along the way, she's attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, a swoon-worthy elemental with a questionable past.

Worst of all, she learns her father is missing.

To rescue him, Kalin will have to work with a judgmental council and a system of courts too busy accusing each other of deceit to actually be able to help her. But, they aren’t her biggest challenge. With the Midwinter’s Ball only five days away, Kalin must take over her father’s duties, which includes shifting control of the elements—power Kalin has yet to realize.

As Rowan attempts to train her, a war looms between the four courts. If Kalin fails, her father will die and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she’s about to uncover may cost her even more...
If you haven't read THE SHADOW PRINCE, you can download if NOW for FREE from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!!
The Shadow PrinceEvery sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?
Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Also available in PRINT from Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Photoshoot-21Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Author Interview: Julie Harrington

1. What was your inspiration for SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT?
The biggest inspiration for this story, like most of my books, comes from
real life.  Sometimes it's a question or a philosophical musing.  In this
case the inspiration was "change."

I'd been a caregiver to my grandparents for over 10 years.  When that
ended, I suddenly had all this time and attention that used to be devoted
to taking care of others that now shifted to taking care of myself.  It
sounds great, but at the same time all that change, being forced to
examine your life and where you want to go, what you want to be, it was
overwhelming.

Drastic changes can be frightening, and when you go through an experience
like caregiving, your attitude about life, about people and what's really
important is challenged.  Annabell Leahey and Mitchell Black came out of
those challenges.  They were both caregivers in different situations.  Now
both are a little lost.  Ann wants to embrace change and be a little wild,
a little bad.  Who better to show her the ropes than Mitchell, the town's
legendary bad boy?  That's when sparks start to fly.  Ann & Mitchell's
story is a really about two people learning how to have fun again and
finding unexpected love along the way.  And humor.  I'm a big believer in
laughter in life.


2. Have you always been a writer?
I can't remember a time when I didn't want to write.  I totally give
credit to my 4th grade teacher for inspiring my love of writing.  From
that day forward I either had my nose buried in a book to read or in a
notebook to write.


3. What is the best/worst thing of being an indie author?
I've skirted the edge of indie author so far.  All my books have been
published through e-publishers who have worked with me to bring each book
to life.  Some projects have required a more indie author attitude.
During that work I definitely discovered the pros and cons.

On the Pro side there's a lot of control.  You write what you like, how
you like and get to tell the story your way.  You can publish as fast as
you want.  Your book doesn't sit around while you try to find an agent or
a publisher, or sit around even longer as you wait for your actual
publication date.  I've had books sit with publishers for three to five
years.  That's not a complaint.  That's really how long the process can
last.  It shocks writers when they hear that sometimes.  As an indie
author, you also control pricing.  You get all the income from the
royalties.  There's a lot of freedom to being your own boss.

On the Con side there's a lot of responsibility mixed in with all that
control, like editing, proofreading, formatting, and creating the cover.
That's just getting the book physically done.  You're writer, editor,
copy-editor, graphic designer.  After the book is done, you have to
distribute, promote, and get it reviewed.  It's a lot of work.  You also
have to get a website going, a blog if you have one, establish your social
media platforms, do the bookkeeping, keep track of expenses, learn about
taxes, etc.  It can be very overwhelming.  There are lots of great
services that can help, but the learning curve can feel really steep.
Fortunately, the writing community is supportive and can help you avoid
pitfalls.

I think being honest about what your strengths and weaknesses are is
really important.  Knowing what you can do, what you want to do, and what
you can farm out to other people or services is crucial.  You learn that
it's okay to not be great at everything.  You can be indie and still farm
out some tasks to help make success easier.  On the flipside you'll
discover some talents you didn't even know you had.  It's all about
balance.


4. What are your "must haves" while writing? Coffee? Music? Silence?
My only real "must have" is a schedule.  I write best when I have a solid
start and stop time and I stick to it.  If I wait for inspiration to
strike, it spells doom for any progress.

I also love uninterrupted writing time.  A schedule helps create that.  I
can't write to music but I learned I didn't need silence either during two
years of construction on my home (complete with jackhammers).  That's when
I found out I could tune just about anything out!

My other big "must have" is the will-power to resist distractions.  If the
phone rings, I let voicemail get it.  I stay offline unless I need to
research something.  I won't check my email unless I'm taking a break.
It's those little time-stealers that will rob an entire day away before
you even realize it.


5. What upcoming projects are you working on?
I have several projects I'm working on but the two largest ones are a
contemporary and paranormal series.

The contemporary romance series follows a group of women whose lives
change due to a wedding invitation.  That invitation sets off a domino
effect that brings all the heroes into their lives.  I love that each
story has some real life magic to them, exploring fate, destiny, and soul
mates.  Each story should be a fun, sexy adventure, just like a getaway to
a romantic island resort should be!

The paranormal romance series is a departure from my previously published
books but a return to an old genre I love.  I'd written paranormal
romances in fan fiction and just fell in love with the cool mix of
romance, magic, and adventure.  The genre's been calling to me lately and
these characters just excite me.  The series brings a group of witches
together with some sinfully sexy demons.  What excites me the most about
this series is that each story brings together all the elements I
personally love.  There's action, danger, myth and legend, tattoos,
strong, sassy heroines and lots of hot heroes.  Muscles and magic.  Does
it get any better?

About the Author:
An unabashed romantic, Julie Harrington makes her home near Chicago,
Illinois.  Her love of reading and writing began in grade school with an
assignment – ironically enough – about our dream career that swerved her
from marine biologist to author.  Julie eventually won a contest in a
college literary magazine and the pursuit of publication led her to the
Romance Writers of America where she later became a Golden Heart Finalist
for Best Short Contemporary Romance with her novel Something To Talk
About.


When she's not writing, Julie devotes her time to her family and friends,
puts her degree in Computer Information Systems to good use as a recording
secretary, and spends way too much time online hunting for new additions
to her ever-growing collection of dragons.

Links:
Website: http://www.julieharrington.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Harrington/238324822904744
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JewelHarrington

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Something to Talk About by Julie Harrington

Title: Something To Talk About
Author: Julie Harrington
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: 4.18.2012
Pages: 224
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Series: No
Source: Purchased ebook

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Born-to-be-bland meets born-to-be-wild...

Annabelle Leahey is ready to be bad. Fed up with quilting bees and bridge clubs, Ann has to change or grow old alone. But going from bashful to bold won't be easy—especially since thong underwear is her idea of risqué. So Ann needs a guide, and rancher Mitchell Black is the perfect candidate.

The last thing Mitchell needs is more trouble. He hasn't lived down his bad boy days yet and he has no intention of resurrecting them now. But when Ann asks for his help, he can't refuse. Especially since the preacher's daughter has suddenly become a fireball of temptation.

Mitchell's determined to keep his role in Ann's research hands-off, but Ann has plans of her own. She intends to show Mitchell what's he's missing—and that being bad with the right person can be o-o-o-oh so good.

Review:
Let me start by saying that I have known Julie Harrington for over a decade in some way or another. I’ve read her work and was a fan, but before you think that means I would give SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT a little leniency, you’re dead wrong. Quite the opposite. Because I know what Harrington is capable of with her writing, I held her to an even higher standard than I would another author.

And she rose beautifully to the occasion.

Oh, Ann. Poor, sweet Ann who wants desperately to shed her goodie-two-shoes image and just be a bad girl for a little while. After losing her mother as a child and then her father when she was barely an adult, she’s been thrust into the role of caregiver for better part of a decade. Watching her wake up and take control of her own life was exciting and amusing all at once. I loved watching her with Mitchell from innocence to innuendo, these two thoroughly entertained me.

The only faults I could find with this book were that I wished the secondary characters has been expanded more (but I shall forgive this fault if Harrington gives Dillon and Justin their own books) and there wasn’t anything that shocked me with this book. But it is a swoony, sweet read that I devoured in a day.

Harrington has a gift when it comes to writing. From the bar room brawl in the beginning that had me chuckling aloud to the oh-so-steamy moments later on that had me reaching for some ice water, I was happily along for this journey. Definitely not a book to be missed!
Buy: Amazon

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ARC Essentials: Disney-Hyperion


I know, I know - it's been awhile since I posted one of these! Sorry for the delay. The time just slipped away from me! But today I am so excited to welcome my friend, Cassie, onto the blog to talk about Disney-Hyperion!
1. What should I include when asking for a review copy (Page view stats? Follower count? All social media accounts)?
Good question! It is always helpful to include information about your blog like the number of unique visitors, social media followers, and mailing address. A sentence or two about why you are interested in the book is always great to see!

2. How long should I be blogging before I ask for a review copy?
Even if you are new to blogging, everyone has to start somewhere. It never hurts to request a book and you may get a copy!

3. Who should I contact about receiving review copies?
Each company is different. Usually there is a general email address that receives review request. Otherwise, NetGalley is a great resource to request books and to see the different titles that companies have coming up!

4. Should I email an author about obtaining a review copy and have them forward my request onto their publicist?
If you know the author personally, totally! If not, it may be easier to go directly to the publishing company.

5. Do you expect me to review books I never requested, such as an ARC or finished copy I was sent but never asked for?
No, but I would love it if you would! Blogger buzz is such a great way to get the word out there about a book and get people interested.

6. When is the best time to post a review?
I think that the best time to post a review is a month or two before the book goes on sale. It helps spread the word about a book and can make a big difference in a release!

7. Where can I send in review links?
I love to get reviews! Please send them to whoever sent you the book or any contact that you have at the publisher.

8. Do you want to see all reviews I’ve done—positive and negative?
Absolutely!

9. Am I more likely to get approved if I request an eARC of a book instead of a physical copy?
I look for the same things no matter what form of a book you are requesting.

10. When is the best time to request a book or be asked to be put on a list to receive a review copy?
It helps to get us the request several months before the release.

11. Do you have a catalog mailing list for bloggers that I can request to be a part of?
Stay tuned! We are always coming up with new ways to stay connected with bloggers.

12. If I want to interview an author or ask them to write a guest post for my blog, is it best to contact the author directly?
I think that it is always great to email the publicist and here is why: if they are organizing some sort of blogger cover reveal, giveaway, or tour, then they know that you are interested in the book.

13. Anything else you would like to add that you think bloggers should/need to know?
Hmmm… just that, for me, the best blogger request is enthusiastic, concise, and fun which makes them stick out! We love working with you and getting to know you.


*Note: All comments are my own opinion and not official statements or views of The Walt Disney Company.*

Giveaway:
3 Copies of THE RULES FOR BREAKING
by Ashley Elston
-Open to US/CA residents
-Must be over 13


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Tour: The Shadow Prince by Stacey O'Neale

TSP Blog Tour Button

Guest Post Question: Give us a list of your BOOK BOYFRIENDS
Ha! I am the perfect person for this guest post. I have a LIST of fictional boyfriends. Since you've all likely heard of Edward Cullen, Jace Wayland, Four/Tobias, Peregrine, Daemon Black and Petta, I won't put them on my list. Instead, I'll try to pick some lesser known members of my coveted list.

Roth (The Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout) is the latest addition to my list. He's all sexy and snark and bad boy perfection. I absolutely adore him and I will fight dirty if someone tries to claim him. I've only read the first book in this series, but I had to add him to my list right away.

Cassel (Curse Workers series by Holly Black) is someone I want to reach through the pages and hug. He comes from a family of magical mobsters, but he's one of the good guys. His circumstances are definitely not ideal, but he finds a way to overcome. Oh, and he's very powerful and sexy!

Ash (Black City series by Elizabeth Richards) is vampire which would be awesome in most YA series, but in this one, it makes you a total outcast. Like, basically a step above slavery outcast. But, my sexy boy perseveres regardless of the circumstances. Did I mention a bite from him is like an orgasm?

Bram (Gone With the Respiration series by Lia Habel) is a zombie. That's right, I said I have a zombie boyfriend. Read the book and you'll see why. He's not the kind of zombie that normally comes to mind. Actually, this whole series is incredibly unique. It was so many different things, it was hard for me to review.

Niall (Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr) is not the fan favorite in this popular series. Most people fall for Seth or Keenan, but I'm Team Niall all the way. I do love my broken birds. He's a fey from irish mythology called a gancanagh. Basically, he can seduce humans with a simple touch, but in most cases, they become so addicted to him that it costs them their lives. Whoa!

I hope my choices have inspired you to pick up one of these books. I do love giving recommendations. 

About the Book:
Every sacrifice has consequences.

The Shadow PrinceSixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?
Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Also available in PRINT from Amazon

About the Author:
Photoshoot-21Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

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