Thursday, June 21, 2012

Trailer Reveal and Excerpt: Touching Smoke by Airicka Phoenix

Airicka Phoenix's much anticipated novel Touching Smoke, the first book in the Touch series, is due out July 31, 2012.  To tide us over until then, Airicka is graciously sharing the new trailer and this very exciting excerpt from Touching Smoke.  Enjoy!






     


Excerpt from Touching Smoke:

“He’s lying, Fallon.” Isaiah’s chair shrieked against marble as he climbed to his feet. The soft, steady clap of his feet as he moved towards me, made my heart flinch.  

I hugged myself despite the warmth, warding off an inner chill. “Why would he?”  

“Because he’s evil,” he said simply. “Because he likes knowing he’s hurt you.”

I didn’t pull away from his touch when he rested his hands on my shoulders, although I wanted to. The feel of him through the fabric of my shirt had my blood singing in a way that only then did I realize probably wasn’t natural. Nothing about us was natural. Everything that would apply to a normal relationship, didn’t apply to us. It only just then made sense why I was so obsessed. Why his touch made me melt in my skin. Why being away from him was like being skinned and salted alive. Why I felt like my very breath depended on his existence. None of those things were normal, not to the intensity with which I felt them.  

“When you touch me, do you feel it?” I asked, staring far into the horizon, at the spot where the world dipped and vanished from sight, kind of the way my sanity seemed to want to do at that moment. “Do you…” I trailed off, biting my lip, trapping the single word that could unleash all my insecurities. The magical L word all girls wanted to hear from the boy they were crazy about.  

His nose grazed the side of my face as he leaned in to murmur into my ear. My eyes closed and I steeled myself against the shiver that rippled along my spine. “Yes.”  

Yes.  

He said yes, yet my chest heaved with the first of many heartbroken sobs because it wasn’t real. It wasn’t real!    

Touching Smoke (Touch Series, #1)
Click to add to Goodreads

Lies Beneath Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Lies Beneath Giveaway:

Gabby, Michelle, Vi, Ange, Airicka, and Katie!

Thank you to all who entered, and a huge thank-you to Anne for her amazing book and the awesome prizes!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Weekend Reading Ambitions

victorianlady5

 
This weekend I will be reading:



Goodreads
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to  West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. 
The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is. 


I've heard great things about this series, the author, and a whole lot of buzz about this Daemon character... especially from my good friend Christie at Christie's Book Reviews. She was kind enough to loan me her copy of Obsidian and I can hardly wait to start reading it! Thank you, Christie!

I'd love to know what you're reading this weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Angel Burn (Angel #1) by L.A. Weatherly

Goodreads




Title: Angel Burn (Angel #1)
Author: L.A. Weatherly
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: May 24, 2011

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | The Book Depository 

My Rating:
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 They're out for your soul.
And they don't have Heaven in mind...

From Goodreads:

Willow knows she's different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people's dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces and that he's one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.

My Review:
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Who would’ve thought angels would be the bad guys? They regard humans as cattle. Feeding from us, stealing our essence, and leaving us damaged and, eventually, completely incapacitated. All that matters to them is that they save their own kind - even if it destroys the human race in the process. Fortunately, there is a group of assassins known as the Angel Killers. But are these guys fighting a losing battle? When Alex is assigned the task of taking out one of the monsters, he comes across Willow. A sweet, mechanically inclined, somewhat quirky psychic. But there's even more to Willow than meets the eye, leading Alex to make an enormous decision. Destroy the enemy... or save her?





What an interesting and unique twist on angels! I really enjoyed the alternating point of views of Alex and Willow. I love the way his story and her story eventually merged to become “their” story. It was so much fun anticipating the moment the two characters would connect. Sounds romantic, right? Well, not so fast. There was no instant romance between these two. Sure, you know it’s going to happen - the signs are all there. But they despised each other in the beginning, and you know that’s the BEST kind of love story in my opinion.


This book contains some of my favorite elements in a story (aside from the whole “I hate you, but I really love you” thing): psychometry, assassins, monsters, traitors, fugitives on the lam, and, of course... an incredibly HAWT fictional boy.

“‘What did it feel like?’ he asked in a low voice.
‘Like...coming home,’ I admitted.”

*****
“His thumb moved slowly over my cheek.
'All of this. Having you. It's worth anything.'”

I received Angel Fire for Mother's Day, and I can't wait to find out what happens not only to these characters, but to the world!




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2): Touching Smoke by Airicka Phoenix

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

My WoW pick for this week is:





Title:  Touching Smoke
Author:  Airicka Phoenix
Publisher: TreasureLine Publishing
Expected Publication:  Summer 2012



"He will never stop!”

For sixteen-year-old FALLON BRAEDEN, being haunted was just another day in the life of a gypsy, like being on the run had always been a closely guarded secret, a secret her mother would have happily taken to the grave…

If Isaiah hadn’t caught up with them.


But when Fallon is stalked by fire throwing demons, nearly killed by rebel mutants and finds a soul mate she can never have, even her normally unusual life is thrown into a tangled web of lies, love and betrayal.

As worlds collide, secrets unfold and blood is spilt, Fallon comes to several unsettling revelations: she’s not entirely human, her creator wants her dead, and the only one who can save her is the one person she has to keep at arm’s length or die.


Fire throwing demons?  Rebel mutants, you say?  A forbidden soul-mate? 
Yes, please! 
 I can hardly wait for this summer's release of Touching Smoke!

What book are YOU waiting to get your hands on?  I'd love to know, so leave me a link in the comments!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Giveaway of Wuthering Nights by Summer Day

One of my favorite things about blogging is the wonderful people I meet!  Several months ago, I met author, Summer Day, on Twitter.  She's super sweet and she's written two novels that are twists on a couple of classics:

Pride & Princesses, a teen version of Pride & Prejudice meets Emma, is
FREE on Amazon until Friday, June 15 .

When Mark Knightly arrives at Sunrise High School, Phoebe and Mouche (BFFs) invent a dating game to impress him with surprising results. Inspired by Pride and Prejudice and Emma this is a teen story with a twist.

Wuthering Nights, a teen variation of the classic Wuthering Heights, is her second novel written for young adults and she is generously giving away a digital copy to one lucky winner!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win!

When Heath and Kate meet as children they form a bond that lasts forever...


Hope you guys will show her some love and stop by her blog where she has the first three chapters of both novels posted!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teaser Tuesday (1): Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Teaser Tuesday 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!


This week's teaser comes from the following book:


Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Expected Publication: September 11, 2012





Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My teaser is:

 "It's easy to get a little lost, wander about.
Who knows what you might stumble upon!" - pg 110

Well, that sounds a bit ominous! I know this: Tomorrow will consist of a locked door and unanswered telephone until I do know what I might stumble upon!  I've just teased myself!!

I'd love to know what your Teaser Tuesday is! Leave me a link in the comments so I can visit you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Weekend Reading Ambitions

This weekend I will be finishing:


Velveteen (Velveteen, #1)Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It'll be brutal . . . and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

And starting:


Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

I've heard some great things about Unspoken and
I can hardly wait to get started!

What about you?  What are you reading this weekend?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver




Goodreads



Title:   Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Author:   Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published:   February 28, 2012

AmazonBarnes&NobleThe Book Depository


My Rating:


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 I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

My Review:
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As soon as I finished reading Pandemonium, I posted this as my initial thoughts on Goodreads:

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It’s months later, and I STILL have these feelings!!

I love Lauren Oliver and this phenomenal series. Delirium is one of my top 5 favorite books of all times, and it easily made my "books-that-made-me-cry-like-a-little-weenie-baby" list. I was so excited for Pandemonium, but also, a little nervous. How was it going to measure up to my beloved Delirium? Well, for starters, Pandemonium felt like a completely different book to me, and I was shocked to realize... that was okay. In fact, it turned out to be more than okay.  What an extremely genius place to take the story! It definitely avoided the sophomore slump with the change of pace, the introduction of new characters, and all the action, but it still retained Oliver’s beautiful, poetic writing: 

“‘I’m scared.’ He barely whispers it; but I can feel his lips moving against my neck, as though the words are being spelled there.”

It’s hard to discuss this story the way I wish to for fear of spoiling anything for those who have not yet read Delirium.

I’ll just say that I highly recommend the series, and I am forever a huge fan of Ms. Oliver. As if the wait for Requiem (Delirium #3) wouldn’t be hard enough, the ending she wrote for Pandemonium will make it nearly unbearable.

“Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to claw myself up. There is nothing to do but let go.

Let go. Feel the weight all around you, feel the squeezing of your lungs, the slow, low pressure. Let yourself go deeper. There is nothing but bottom. There is nothing but the taste of metal, and the echoes of old things, and days that look like darkness.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One Moment by Kristina McBride



Title:   One Moment

Author:   Kristina McBride

Publisher:   Egmont USA

Expected Publication:   June 26, 2012


Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository | Goodreads


My Rating:
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From Goodreads:

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

My Review:
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How many of us wish we could go back and recapture one moment in our lives? Maybe have the chance to change things leading up to a particular time, or even just relive a certain unforgettable occasion? I love the title of this book, One Moment, and everything that title encapsulates. 

This is a very relatable story with an extremely likable main character, Maggie. One Moment tells the story of six friends who have been inseparable their whole lives. You wouldn’t think you could possibly know anyone better than these friends know one another, but this book will have you pondering... can you ever truly know someone? 

“What if it's as simple as one moment? One tiny thing, like that kiss on the rocks?
What if I'd kissed him a little longer? Would he be alive right now?
 Or what if I'd stayed with him Friday night, what if I'd been with him…
wherever he was?”

One Moment is a wonderful coming of age story full of friendship, first loves, heartbreak, secrets, and dealing with the aftermath of losing someone you love. Definitely a fast, yet thought-provoking, book you won’t want to put down. Having experienced the loss of a childhood friend to tragedy, I felt this story really struck close to home. There were some parts that were, at first, difficult to read, but, in the end, reading about Maggie, her friends, and their struggle to move on was very therapeutic.

I don’t read a lot of contemporaries, but One Moment has me questioning that decision. I would love to read more from this talented author.

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.


Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Welcome to my first ever Waiting on Wednesday!  I've been enjoying other bloggers' WoW posts for a while now, so I'm really excited to finally participate.  With the promoting I've been doing and my current blog giveaway, it comes as no surprise that my choice for this week is:







Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Release date: June 12, 2012

Pre-order here:



           Amazon | B&N |
       The Book Depository
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.








Even though I've already read this one, I can still hardly wait for next week's release so I can have this beautiful book on my bookshelf!

How about you?  What book are you most excited for this week?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Author Interview + Giveaway + TEASER : Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)

I’m very pleased to welcome Anne Greenwood Brown to the blog today. Her new novel, Lies Beneath, releases next week (June 12), and it is phenomenal! It was my first book about merpeople, and I loved it! After the interview with Anne, be sure to check out the incredible giveaway - she is offering up some amazing prizes you won’t want to miss out on!





You can pre-order Lies Beneath here:
Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


About Anne:

Anne Greenwood Brown grew up sailing Lake Superior, leaning over the rail, and wondering, with a lake that big, that ancient, what amazing thing might flash by. Now, she knows. She lives in Minnesota with her patient husband and three hilarious kids.




CB: Lies Beneath has one of the best, most attention-grabbing opening lines of any story I’ve read. Was that always the first line in the book, or was it something you decided on later?

AGB: Thank you! It was always the first line of the book. In fact, I woke up one morning with that line in my head. It's the way Calder introduced himself to me, so I let him introduce himself to the world that way, too. It's the only thing in the whole book that never changed from inception to finished novel.

CB: With all the vampires, werewolves, and zombies dominating today’s YA books, it was refreshing to read a story about merpeople. What made you want to write about mermaids? ( please don’t tell Calder I called him a mermaid.)


AGB: Yeah, I won't. He hates all those labels. It wasn't actually a conscious decision. There are a lot of mermaid fans/fanatics out there, but I was never one of them. I had been writing a contemporary novel set on Lake Superior, and I kept having this dream where the male lead was diving off the rail of a ferry boat into the lake. Night after night. A normal person wouldn't do that (at least not with a boat that was pulling away), but the dreams wouldn't stop. Then one night he dove and burst out with this silver tail! I sat up in bed with that first line in my head.

CB: There are so many great passages and quotes in this book that it’s hard for me to choose a favorite. Do you have one that is especially near and dear to your heart?

AGB: Hmmm. How about this:

She enjoyed teasing me. A trail of happy satisfaction burned like pink fire, then spun out of her like a pinwheel. It was a magnet that lured me to her. My hand involuntarily reached forward. She came closer, not realizing the motivation behind my gesture, and shocked me by weaving her fingers through mine. I watched—horrified, spellbound—as the pink shimmer crept from her fingertips, across the top of my hand and over my wrist. My forearm hummed and heated until the warmth pushed up my arm and broke across my chest, finally bursting through my lips with a sudden, surprising laugh.

CB: I can’t wait any longer to talk about Calder White. He will forever be one of my favorite male characters. At times, he walks a fine line between good guy and bad guy. Is that how you intended him to be seen? Good with a dash of danger?

AGB: Random House has Lies Beneath characterized as a paranormal romance, which I guess is the most accurate of all the labels, but I always saw it as an evolution story. Calder starts out as an animal, and, over the course of the story, he evolves into a man. I never saw him (or his sisters, for that matter) as evil, per se. Just animals acting naturally. It's only scary because we're not at the top of the "food" chain!

CB: One of my favorite things about Lies Beneath is that it is from Calder’s POV. Was it difficult writing from a male character’s perspective?


AGB: At first, yes--especially the parts where Calder is checking out Lily's body. I can't listen to music and write at the same time, but I found if I listened to the Violent Femmes before I sat down to write, I could get Calder's voice right.

CB: Lily is so quirky and fascinating, a definite female heroine to look up to. Was she based on a specific person you know?

AGB: Lily is the girl I wanted to be in high school, but I was too caught up with trying to fit in. I'm in awe of teens who already have a strong sense of who they are.

CB: You grew up loving the Great Lakes and really captured the beauty of the area in your writing, but you may have made people afraid to go into the water. And by people... I mean me. Have you ever glimpsed anything supernatural in those waters?

AGB: I grew up in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, but I spent my summers in Bayfield, Wisconsin, on Madeline Island, and sailing Lake Superior. I hope I captured the physical setting well enough. Frankly, I doubt it can be done. To me, it's the most beautiful place on earth, but I'm biased. I always hoped to see something supernatural in the water, but I never did. That's why I had to make it up! And it is made up; you don't have to be afraid to go in the water! Although, it is very cold. If you're a northern girl like me, that shouldn't stop you. My kids were in the water last month. Yeah...it was 48 degrees, but it's just what you do. You get out when you start to feel your brain cells snapping.

CB: Those are some pretty scary sisters you wrote. It’s like you met my sister and wrote about her. I kid, but not really. Were the sisters, Maris, in particular, a reflection of any real-life, nightmarish siblings?

AGB: Nope. My sister is great. I actually have a lot of sympathy for Maris. Readers won't understand that until Book 3, but, believe it or not, every step of the way, she thinks she's doing the right thing for her family. It's just that she's damaged goods.

CB: I can hardly wait for Deep Betrayal, book two in the series. Can you tell us anything about the book? Give us any teasers? Any snippets you want to share?

AGB: Deep Betrayal is a continuation of the story, but it is told from Lily's POV. It will be out in March 2013. Readers get to see what Lily's life was like before dipping into the supernatural world, and they finally get to see what was going on in her head all through Lies Beneath. That's the tricky thing about writing in the first person POV. In Lies Beneath, you see what Lily does, but you don't always understand why she does it because she holds so much close to the vest. Here's a teaser from Deep Betrayal:

For a moment all we did was stare. His green eyes brooding, yet as frightened as my own. His wet hair hanging in dark, twisted ropes against his olive-tanned face. The hull pressed in on us from all sides, and the small confines amplified my senses. Even the silence bounced around, echoing in my ears. The smell of patchouli hung heavy in the air. Heat licked up at us from the sand, his breath hot against my face.
“Look at you,” he said, and his voice was disappointed.

Thank you so much, Anne for taking time to talk with us, and a HUGE thank-you for that exciting teaser! I can’t wait for Deep Betrayal!


Anne is generously giving away these prizes:

Grand Prize -  One SIGNED hardcover copy of Lies Beneath

Swag Prize -  Three lucky winners can choose between:

One Signed bookmark + One Playlist CD
OR
One Signed bookmark + One Lies Beneath T-shirt

Front of t-shirt
Back of t-shirt

 Just fill out the Rafflecopter form! Good luck, and thank you for entering!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell Me Something Tuesday #4


Welcome to another edition of Tell Me Something Tuesday, hosted by the lovely Cambria Hebert. Every week, Cambria will ask a new question, and participants will post their answers and leave their link on her site. Then, bloggers can compare their answers while visiting all the lovely blogs. 
 I can’t wait to stop by your blog and find out your answer!

This week’s question:
What is your list for Must-Read this summer?

I included most of my summer reading list in my I'm baaaaaack post (okay, not even close to most, but I was beginning to panic when I realized how big the ol' TBR pile actually was... so I stopped).



But my absolute MUST-read for the summer (as in I want to read this book more than zombies want BRAINS) is:

 
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)


I haven't read a zombie book for a few months now, and, with The Walking Dead on its summer hiatus, I am in serious zombie withdrawal.  Not to mention that I even gave away a brand new copy of this book during my zombilicious giveaway without so much as peeking at the first page.

Just take a look at this quote I found on Goodreads:

“I want to sleep, I want dreams to pull me from this world and make me forget.
To stop the memories from swirling around me. To put an end to this ache that consumes me.” 


 I am definitely starting this one next month and hopefully will devour (hehehe) the whole series.

So what are your MUST-reads? I’d love to know!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Exciting Lies Beneath News!


I am somersault-turning, jumping-up-and-down excited to announce that Anne Greenwood Brown, author of the fabulous Lies Beneath, will be joining me on the blog Tuesday, June 5th for an interview, giveaway, and......wait for it.... a TEASER from Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2)!! Guys, you won’t believe the amazing gifts she is giving away! Hope you get a chance to stop by! 

Here is my review of Lies Beneath:




Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Expected Publication: June 12, 2012


  My Rating:
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From Goodreads:  

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

  My Review:
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“Mother, may I go out to swim?
Yes, my darling daughter.
Fold your clothes up neat and trim,
But don’t go near the water.” - Anonymous



Lately, I’ve found myself holding back from reading the synopsis of a book.   I don’t want any spoilers, so all I knew about Lies Beneath was that it involved merpeople, which I gathered from that gorgeous cover. I admit that my experience with mermaids didn’t reach beyond Ariel and Prince Eric, so I thought Lies Beneath would be a light, funny, albeit, slightly more mature, version of the above mentioned movie. That sound you hear is my silly misconceptions coming to a screeching halt. Mermaids are hawt... and... naughty! I was spellbound from the first page! These are not your Disney mermaids, and the ancient fairytales and legends had it ALL wrong:

“Forget everything you think you know about merpeople. 
Forget that freaking Ariel,  think Silence of the Lambs, think Friday the Thirteenth. 
Haven’t you heard anything I said to you today? 
They. Will. Kill. You.”

Is that a convincing quote, or what? How about the very first line of the story?:

“I haven’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.”

I adore a male POV, and the author handled this one flawlessly. I wish there were more books from the male’s perspective, but I believe Calder as the male lead is one of my favorites. I love that I just couldn’t quite decide if he was a good guy or a not-so-good guy. I found myself cheering for him... even at times when, perhaps, I shouldn’t have. The character development throughout the story was incredible. Sure, he’s gorgeous, and it’s not like he can help being arrogant (it’s practically part of his DNA), but he also has depth and a purpose. Two purposes to be exact. One is revenge, and the other... freedom. Unfortunately for Calder, they come in that order.

Calder never could have imagined himself falling for a human. Especially not a human who was the descendant of the man responsible for his mother’s death. An old grudge that is finally going to be settled. All he has to do is get close to Lily, lure her in so he and his sisters can use her as bait, and finally get vengeance on her father and closure for their mother’s death. Easy. Or, at least, it would have been until Calder did the unthinkable: He fell for her.

Lily is a great heroine. She’s smart, non-whiny, and completely unaware of her looks. She doesn’t fawn over every guy she meets, and in no way, is she the type to have ‘insta-love’ with any boy, despite his mysterious good looks. She has just the right amount of toughness, sarcasm, and wit - enough to entertain the reader and, most importantly... Calder. Definitely an admirable female lead.

Calder’s sisters were so much fun to read about! While they were beyond scary to me, I found myself being mesmerized by them much in the same way their unwilling victims probably were.

Anne Greenwood Brown’s markedly descriptive imagery of Lake Superior, and especially the underwater details, are breathtaking! Her beautiful writing and vivid descriptions of Lake Superior's surrounding areas make me want to visit the town of Bayfield. Although, if I ever do, you can rest assured I won’t put so much as a pinkie toe in the water. I was so consumed by this story, that in a particular scene describing an underwater swim, I realized I was actually holding my breath!

I loved this book and all of its characters!  I’m extremely excited for Deep Betrayal (book 2), out 2013, so I will be able to immerse myself (no pun intended) in more of this story. I highly recommend this book and this fabulous author!

An ARC of this book was provided by Netgalley for review.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire



Title:   Timepiece (Hourglass #2)

Author:   Myra McEntire

Publisher:   Egmont USA

Expected Publication:   June 12, 2012

Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository | Goodreads

My Rating:
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From Goodreads:

A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...



My Review

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I want to start this review with a little cover love and appreciation. I'm a big fan of the covers of Hourglass and Timepiece, so I wanted to pay homage to the creator of both.


I was so excited to learn that Timepiece was from Kaleb’s POV. After a few chapters, though, I realized maybe I didn’t need to be privy to all of Kaleb’s innermost thoughts. Then again, the guy is pretty hilarious:


“The first rule of Hourglass is that you don’t talk about Hourglass.
  Like Fight Club, but without the merciless beatings.”

And my personal favorite:

“‘Something’s... off. In our world.’
I didn’t want to say ‘wrong,’ because that would be like saying
‘Welcome to hell, now with hotter fire.’”

(quotes are from the ARC of Timepiece and are subject to change)

At first, Kaleb and Lily together equaled even less excitement for me than Emerson and Michael did in Hourglass. Speaking of those two, they are, of course, still very present, but not nearly as much as in book one since Kaleb is telling the story. Timepiece may have started out a little shaky for me, but soon, I was hooked. Kaleb and Lily’s relationship slowly drew me in, and the story took a much more exciting turn this time around. There was a particular scene involving a fire that was especially thrilling and genuinely scary. Timepiece was a definite page turner for me. I LOVE Kaleb’s ability - it’s so intriguing. I felt extremely sad for him and the burden his ability causes. In the end, I found Kaleb to be quite endearing, and, of course, he can always elicit a laugh, even though the poor guy has it pretty rough at times. Sometimes, I wanted to shake him, but I definitely would have followed it up with a big hug.

Eventually, I started to warm up to Lily, too. I’m pretty sure it was Kaleb’s influence that helped me see her in a different light, and I reluctantly began to admire her sassy confidence.  I loved the history that the author gave her and her family - it was heartbreaking, but really explained why Lily has such a tough exterior. 

There were a couple of new characters introduced that I enjoyed - especially Poe. There’s a story there, and I really hope it gets told in the next book.

In conclusion, I am happy to report that Timepiece is one of those rare cases where book two surpasses book one. I definitely didn’t want to put it down, and I look forward to book three, Infinityglass, to see what happens next.

This ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.


Hourglass by Myra McEntire




Title:   Hourglass

Author:   Myra McEntire

Publisher:   Egmont USA

Publication Date:   June 14, 2011

AmazonB&N | The Book Depository | Goodreads


My Rating:
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From Goodreads:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

My Review:
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My feelings are torn when it comes to Hourglass. I love the idea of time travel, and I really wanted to love this book, but, for me, it felt more like talking about time travel and a lot less actual traveling. I understand the author needed to build the story first, so maybe I was just too anxious and impatient to get to where I wanted to be in the story. While I enjoyed many of the characters in Hourglass, I never really warmed up to the two main characters, Emerson and Michael. I don’t dislike Emerson, but I’m not relating to her the way I love to relate to a female lead. Michael is a nice guy but, *gasp*, he just doesn’t make me swoon. He certainly had Emerson swooning from the very beginning, though I wasn't always clear on the why.  Maybe it was due to the fact that he kept her grounded and from questioning her sanity:


“I loved that he left crazy off the list.
  I loved it even more that he would never think to add it.”


I also enjoyed the bit of feistiness Emerson showed when she put a certain move on a certain someone. I would have loved more “tough” moments like these:


“The sass was back.
  It’s amazing what flipping a grown man over her shoulder does for a girl.”


Halfway through, I was definitely pulled into the book. I think a lot of that started when Kaleb, Dune, Ava, and some of the other characters entered the picture. I’m not a huge Lily fan yet, but I am more than curious to see where this story is going to go, and I can’t wait to learn more about everyone’s unique powers. Jack has definitely piqued my curiosity. I figured out early on what his part in the story was, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying how it all unfolded.

I loved the idea of time rips, as well as the other elements that the author created in this story. It was definitely intriguing enough to make me want to grab Timepiece, the sequel to Hourglass.


“If he wasn’t already holding my heart in the palm of his hand,
 I would have taken it out and given it to him right then.”

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm baaaaack!

Hello,  lovelies!  I am back from hiatus and I’m feeling refreshed and much better. I can’t wait to visit your blogs and catch up on your posts that I have missed. I’ve read a lot of books since my last post:

 

Angel Burn (Angel, #1) Glitch (Glitch, #1) Touched Hourglass (Hourglass, #1) Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)

Fifty Shades Trilogy Bundle: Fifty Shades of Grey; Fifty Shades Darker; Fifty Shades Freed
(Don't look at me like that... )
 
One Moment Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2) Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1) Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
   
I can’t wait to share my thoughts on them in the upcoming weeks.

Congratulations to Nikki, Heidi, Christie, Jennifer, Nyssa, Jeffrey, Jen, and Rhonda
 on wining copies of When I See You by Katherine Owen:

When I See You
 
Please check your emails and let her know where to send your copy of this awesome novel.

A huge thank you to Katherine for her generosity and for taking the time to talk with me. She is a gem!  
 

I’m currently reading:
Velveteen (Velveteen, #1)

I have a lot of fabulous books to read and review this summer:
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1) Intuition Intangible Dead Radiance (Valkyrie, #1) Angel Fire (Angel, #2) Everneath (Everneath, #1) Pride and Princesses The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1) Barely Breathing (The Breathing Series, #2) Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) Soul Screamers Vol. 1 : My Soul to Lose • My Soul to Take • My Soul to Save Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) Remembrance (Transcend Time, #1) Of Poseidon Feed Shade (Shade, #1) The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1) Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1) Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) Charade (Heven and Hell, #2) Existence (Existence Trilogy, #1) For the Love of a Vampire (Blood Like Poison, #1) Accordance (Significance, #2) Cold in California The Night Circus The Savage Grace (The Dark Divine, #3) Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2) Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy, #1) Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)


You know what? I'm just going to stop there. I haven't even made a dent in the TBR pile. It's more than I thought, and, while I'm super excited to read all of these books, I just got a little nauseous and overwhelmed. While I breathe into a paper bag, here's one last exciting tidbit:

I have a HUGE announcement about an upcoming giveaway that starts next week. I’ll be posting more about that this weekend, but here's a hint:

"No coward soul is mine."

Nope, it's not an Emily Bronte giveaway, but this quote IS in a wonderful upcoming release and the author is giving away some Ahhhhhmazing goodies!!

So, what does your summer reading list include? Any favorites you think I should bump to the top?

I wish you all a wonderful summer. Thank you so much for the follows, the comments, and the amazing support. *Hugs* and Happy Reading!