31 March 2013

I can't tell you all how excited I am to have a chance to talk further about one of my FAVORITE authors and Trilogies. Thankfully we now have all the new covers, blurbs and release dates for the Berkley Trade copies, which I'm thrilled to share with you all today. Take a look, let me know what you think! Also, have you read the series first two books yet? If not, you have NO idea what is in store for you once you read.

Oh and there's a little shiny excerpt from the third book at the bottom of this post too. And WOW *fans self* Michelle you are such a tease! Love ya lady!

NOTE: This trilogy is considered "New Adult". Due to mature content these title's are recommended for ages 17+

Title: Down to You (The Bad Boys #1)
Author: M. Leighton
Publisher: Berlkey Trade, 304 Pages (July 2nd, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: One girl. Twin brothers. An uncommon triangle.

When college student Olivia Townsend returned home to help her father run his business, she never imagined a complication like Cash and Nash Davenport—twin brothers different in so many ways but with one thing in common: an uncontrollable desire for Olivia.

Cash is dangerous, sexy, and bad to the bone—a man whose kisses make Olivia forget she is playing with fire. Nash is successful, reliable and intensely passionate—and already taken. But all it takes is one soft stroke to make Olivia forget he belongs to someone else.

However, Olivia is in for a surprise. These boys have a secret that should make her run away as far and as fast as she can. If only it wasn't too late. A sensual game between three players has begun, and it’s about to spin deliriously out of control.

Title: Up to Me (The Bad Boys #2)
Author: M. Leighton
Publisher: Berkley Trade, 304 Pages (August 6th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: M. Leighton’s Down to You was just the beginning. Up to Me has even more shockers in store!” (Examiner.com)

For Olivia, romantic bliss has never felt so right as it does with Cash. Unpredictable, except when it comes to satisfying her desires, Cash’s bad boy’ reputation is well-earned, but he’s turning his life around with the one woman who accepts him for who he is.

Until strangers from the past turn Olivia and Cash’s world upside down. What they want is something only Cash can give them. And if he doesn't deliver, then they’re taking the one thing that Cash values the most.

Olivia always knew that in falling for Cash she was likely to get burned. But this new threat is beyond anything she imagined. Now she has to trust Cash with her life—and for Olivia that’s much easier than letting go, and trusting him with her heart.

Includes a teaser from Everything for Us.

Title: Everything For Us (The Bad Boys #3)
Author: M. Leighton
Publisher: Berkley Trade, (September 3rd, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: When it comes to passion this hot, it’s all or nothing.

Olivia Townsend’s wealthy cousin Marissa had everything a girl could ask for—a great job, a privileged life, and all the friends she wanted. Or, at least, all the friends money could buy. But one case of mistaken identity has turned her privileged world upside down.

An abduction gone wrong lands her right in the lap of the sexiest, most dangerous man she’s ever met. To Marissa, he’s an enigma, but one to whom she’s irresistibly, inexplicably drawn.

With him comes a new world of freedom and passion, of dark shadows and dangerous secrets, a world where nothing is what it seems—except for the blind passion that Marissa can’t escape—or maybe even survive.

Excerpt from Everything For Us:

“They’re just parts, like any other woman’s,” she replies breathlessly, trying to be casual.

“I’d be willing to bet your parts are exceptional.  In fact, now might be a good time to warn you that if we come back to this library, I’ll find out for myself.  In this very spot.  I’ll push you up against the books in the corner and I’ll put my hands on you.  I’ll do things to you.  In the quiet.  And you won’t be able to make a sound.  Not a whimper, not a moan.  You’ll have to bite your lip to keep it all inside.  And you know what?” I ask, reaching up to trace my index finger along her full, trembling lower lip.

“What?” she whispers, her pupils two dilated dots of excitement.

“You’ll love every second of it.”

With a wicked grin, I take the books from her arms and turn to walk back the way I came.


I can't wait to read this book!!!!!! *grabby hands* September 3rd is way too far away, BUT it'll be the perfect birthday present, just a day early!

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29 March 2013

Title: Crash and Burn
Author: Michael Hassan
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 544 Pages (February 19th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers' lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don't know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.

Until now.

Michael Hassan's shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It's a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it's a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.

Author Interview:

Michael, thank you so much for dropping in for a quick Q&A today.

First off, a HUGE congrats to you on your recent release, Crash and Burn. Could you tell us a bit about the writing and publishing process for you? 

I never actually start writing until I have a very strong outline, even if it’s entirely in my head.  When I write, I never stop and go back because I know that no matter how detailed my first draft is, everything is expendable, so I don’t worry about fixing anything until the second draft (though I make intensive notes as I go).

As for the publishing process, I was very fortunate to connect with an editor that understood the book, craved the authenticity of it and acted as an alter-ego, another voice in my head with suggestions that sounded like a more reasoned part of me, so it was easy to trust his instincts, but sometimes harder to impress him.  It became a sport for me, which was fun.

With the sensitive subject matter in this novel, was there anything you regretfully had to censor out of what is now the final print?

Not really, as mentioned above, it was equally important to my editor to keep the authenticity intact.  While Crash and Burn is a work of fiction, it is also a pretty accurate depiction of the type of the things that are going on in high schools today, like it or not.  The editor and the publisher felt that that it was important not to dilute this.

During your research for the book I’m sure you came across some intense and shocking if not heart wrenching statistics and information. Of it all was there anything that surprised you the most? 

Because a part of the book is about a siege at a high school, I did a lot of research into the methods that Burn used and was shocked and disturbed at how easy it was to potentially purchase assault weapons and other devices.  Unfortunately, as we have learned in the recent past, nothing has been done so far to make this process more difficult.   In my opinion, there is no justifiable reason for a private citizen to own any of these things.

Do you have a favorite line or two from Crash and Burn that affected you the most while writing and could share with us?

For some reason, a lot of reviewers seem to favor the line that “you can’t make a fox into a dog no matter how hard you try.  A fox is always a fox”.

I loved coming up with the Chapter titles, using the references to Kipling’s “Just So” Stories for all of the chapters that take place in Crash’s past and having the titles within the present day chapters relate to the revelations within the chapter.

Also, almost everything that Roxanne says surprised me.

And lastly, after reading what do you hope readers take from your story and characters?

When writing Crash and Burn, it was my hope to develop something that kids like Crash and Jamie and their friends would be interested in reading, something that they would entice them to drop their tv shows, cellphones, iPads and videogame controllers and spend a few minutes with another form of entertainment that is largely neglected.  Beyond that, I wanted to create something that they would consider to be as fast paced and captivating, but that would make them think differently, more deeply about themselves and their world, something that would touch each of them in a way that those other forms of entertainment simply cannot do.   And hopefully, when they close the back cover (or turn off their e-book), search for another book to read.

Thank you again for taking the time to do this Q&A with me! 

Thank you for having me.


About the author:

Michael Hassan lives in the Northeast. CRASH AND BURN is his first novel.

Find Michael Online:

Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase Crash and Burn Online:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Books-A-Million | Indie Bound

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Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel)
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Summary from Goodreads:

In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.


Excerpt:

I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him.

Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface.

But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone.

“Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words.

He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. “You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.”

A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart.

When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—”

“It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.”

“No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so.

He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. “I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs.

Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him.

“Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.”

A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “I can remove my own—”

“Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.”

“Is that the rumor in Perinya?”

“What?”

I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.”

From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. “Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.” My mouth drops open. Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.”

“All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.”

“Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.”

His eyes widen. “No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.”

I nod, many times. “Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.”

Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.”

Unexpectedly, I laugh. “At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”



OMGOSH! I Can't WAIT to read this book!!! It sounds AMAZING and just look at that cover! Holy cow! What do you guys think?

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28 March 2013


Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Publisher: March 26th, 2013
Add to: Goodreads

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+


Synopsis: Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes - and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modeling for easy cash, an accident shattered her lower leg bone and her self-esteem in just one swift fall. Ten months of no exercise, prescription steroids, comfort eating and yoga pants meant returning to campus as a size twelve instead of her former size two.

When her gorgeous long-time friend with benefits sees her for the first time after her accident and snubs her in front of all her friends, Cat’s self-image hits rock bottom. Her sorority sisters all insist that she looks gorgeous, but all Cat sees is the roll of her stomach when she sits down, or the dimpling at the back of her thighs that wasn't there last year. Cat’s therapist prescribes something radical to stop the downward spiral - nude modeling for a nearby college's human form drawing classes.

When Cat faces her fears and bares it all for the class, she realizes that she's posing naked in front the most gorgeous, buffest guy she's ever seen in her life. He asks her out after the class, and after one steamy night together, Cat's absolutely smitten.

Nate’s pretty close to perfect – he takes Cat rock climbing when he discovers that it makes her feel strong and becomes a great chef after he learns that the perfect pesto sauce makes her swoon. Cat starts to feel like her old self again - confident and beautiful - as long as Nate's around. Even when he discourages her from entering the Real Woman Project, a design competition for plus-sized apparel, she reasons that he's just trying to prevent old body image wounds from splitting wide open again.
But when Cat goes home with Nate for Thanksgiving, she discovers something shocking from his recent past that proves that he hasn’t always been so encouraging of women of all shapes and sizes. Cat has no idea what to think, but she does know one thing - this might destroy their relationship before it's even had a chance to get off the ground.

Before Cat can figure out whether the real Nate is the sensitive, adoring guy she fell in love with, or an undercover asshole, she'll have to finally feel comfortable in her own skin - even if it means leaving him forever.

(This book contains sex and adult language.)

Interview:

Alessandra, welcome to the blog! It’s great to have you here with us today.

Thanks, Lisa! I’m so excited to be here, I can’t even tell you! I LOVE this blog.

Oh! And you can call me Aless. ;)

I just have to say that I read PICTURE PERFECT and really loved it. It’s not often that we find the real issues women face – no matter the size – written in a story. I have to commend you on finding a shockingly  real voice for Cat. Can you talk a bit about the idea for the story and the research you did for the book?

Oh, thank you so much! The idea for the story actually started way back in 2009. I was reading Glamour magazine and there was an article about learning to love your body that featured a tiny photograph of a nearly-nude model. The interesting thing about this model was that, unlike so many others in magazines, she looked real. The platform she was sitting on bit into her thighs, she was curvy all over, and her belly rolled over the tops of her underwear.  (You can read about it here: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/08/on-the-cl-the-picture-you-cant.html)

And she was absolutely stunning. Her smile was like sunshine and you could just feel her happiness.

The editor of the magazine got so many letters thanking her for including this photograph. Years later, talking to some college girls I know about their not-so-confident body images, I wondered how they would feel if they looked gorgeous in a nude picture, too – whether that would help them feel better about themselves, too.

At the same time, I was talking to a friend of mine who was a design major in college. She told me that rounder models are actually considered the most exciting and beautiful to draw, because their curves gave the body a generally more elegant appearance. I loved the idea of nude modeling as a beautiful thing. That’s how Cat’s story was born!

While researching, could you talk about the statistics you found? And was there any that were shocking to you?

There  is SO much research on eating disorders and body image in college aged-women that it’s easy to see that it’s a real issue that deserves real attention, and one that affects EVERY GIRL. Studies show that no matter what their size, a girl’s body image is worst in her first semester in college. Now, it’s great that it gets better from there, but the first semester in a new place away from your family and friends is pretty much the hardest and scariest time in general, and then you throw in a horrible body image? Ouch.

I also found that, the typical size for a fashion model is 0-2, and for a plus sized model, it’s 6-14. When you consider that ALL models are typically 5’ 9” to 6’ tall, you begin to understand that the typical American woman, who is 5’4” and 162 lbs, or a size 14, literally never sees a model who looks like her in a magazine? We can start to see why college women are having some body image issues.

I’m so sorry to keep giving you so many links, but I really want your readers to see this. It’s a series of sixteen before and after Photoshop pictures of celebrities, in .gif format. To me, the one that shows Catherine Heigl is especially telling – and sad. Here it is: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/17-mesmerizing-before-after-photoshop-gifs

What was the hardest part in writing Cat and Nate’s story?

I think the hardest part was making Cat sympathetic. After all, she’s only a size 12, and a lot of us would kill to be that size! So I really wanted to describe an experience of feeling really uncomfortable in your own skin without focusing too much on her actual size.

Can you share with us a favorite line or two that mean the most to you from PICTURE PERFECT?

           “Whether the rest of the world saw me that way, I knew now that I was strong, and I was beautiful, just the way I was.
          And girls like me needed gorgeous clothes too.

I loved this line from the end of the story, because it’s so CAT. She’s like, yeah, yeah, this new body image is great and all, but where are the CLOTHES? lol

Could you see if Cat and Nate would answer a couple of questions for me?

I’ll have to see if they’re not too busy with each other. Shoot, it looks like the door is shut…let me knock. Um…yeah. Okay. Here they are. ;)

     -Cat and Nate – could you describe each other in 3 words?

Cat: YES. Nate is brave, sensitive, and passionate. And hot. (I just had to get that one in there.)
Nate: Cat is strong, sexy, and brilliant.

     -Of all the dates you have been on together, what’s been a favorite for each of you and why?

Nate: Easy. Reading Terminal Market, shopping for fresh ingredients. I love to watch my food from pre-recipe to Cat’s gorgeous mouth.
Cat: Okay, this is going to surprise you, but I LOVED it when you took me rock climbing. Those straps that cut into my ass were horrible, but when I got to the top of that wall, I felt so powerful it was like I could break down a wall.

     -And, what did you guys do last night?

Cat: Um. I….
Nate: I cooked for her, and we stayed in. We were…um…it was too cold to go out.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to answer these questions, I'll let you get back to.... whatever it was you were doing.

What would you like readers take away from the characters and the story after reading PICTURE PERFECT?

Wow, those two, huh? I think they need an extra day in the weekend.

Anyway. I want my readers, especially my college-aged readers, to know that being beautiful is not about getting a new body or face or WHATEVER – it’s about learning to feel amazing about the one you’ve got. And that it’s okay to lean on other people to help you with that, but that ultimately, it’s up to you.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now and if there will be more Cat and Nate in the future? Looking forward to reading whatever you’re working on next!

Right now I’m working on a story called SUBJECT TO CHANGE, which is about Cat’s best friend, Joey. She’s always followed all the rules in life, and dreamed of being a doctor. When her father’s dying wish is that she become a doctor, and creates a trust fund for her premed tuition, that’s the only path she can take. But then, it becomes increasingly clear to her that she’s just not cut out for premed.  What’s worse is that the Professor for the business gen-ed she has to take paired her with Hawk - a tattooed, strung out loser for the huge class project. Even her easy classes won’t be easy.

When they have their first project meeting, though, Joey learns that Hawk isn’t everything he seems. He gives her a ride home in the pouring rain, and with one sexy kiss, shows her that what she always wanted may not be what she’ll always want.  It turns out that Hawk’s much more that a strung out delinquent. He’s comfortable playing by his own rules, but can he teach Joey to make even one decision for herself?

(And, yes, both Cat and Nate will have cameos. I promise.)

Thanks again for dropping in! You’re welcome back anytime! 

Thank YOU for having me! This was such a fun interview. And thanks again for reading PICTURE PERFECT – I’m so grateful. <3



Author Bio:

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she's not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she's not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.

Find Aless Online:

Website/Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Order Picture Perfect Online:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble



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27 March 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The purpose of this weekly event is to spotlight a soon-to-be-released book that you are very much anticipating. "Waiting On" Wednesday will also give bloggers an opportunity to share ideas for our TBR lists.


Title: The End Games
Author: T. Michael Martin
Publisher: HarperCollins, 384 Pages (May 7th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: It happened on Halloween.

The world ended.

And a dangerous Game brought it back to life.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his five-year-old brother, Patrick, have been battling monsters in The Game for weeks.

In the rural mountains of West Virginia, armed with only their rifle and their love for each other, the brothers follow Instructions from the mysterious Game Master. They spend their days searching for survivors, their nights fighting endless hordes of “Bellows”—creatures that roam the dark, roaring for flesh. And at this Game, Michael and Patrick are very good.

But The Game is changing.

The Bellows are evolving.

The Game Master is leading Michael and Patrick to other survivors—survivors who don’t play by the rules.

And the brothers will never be the same.

T. Michael Martin’s debut novel is a transcendent thriller filled with electrifying action, searing emotional insight, and unexpected romance.


Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books, 288 Pages (July 16th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn't always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn't sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…


Title: ACID
Author: Emma Pass
Publisher: Corgi Children's Books/Random House Children's Publishing (UK) and out 2014 from Delacorte (US), 431 Pages (April 25th, 2013 in the UK)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: The Book Depository

Synopsis: 2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

Another three titles this week. And all three books are yet again vastly different from one another. I am excited for all three and thankfully I have Dirty Little Secret (squeeee!) to read soon. As for the last book ACID, I know it's not a 2013 release for the US, but since I'll be in the UK in May I hope to snag a copy or two... maybe for a giveaway? How's that sound? Great? Good!

*covers are always subject to change.

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25 March 2013

Review: Dark Triumph By: Robin LaFevers

Title: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 400 pages (April 2nd 2013)
From: the Publisher via Amazon Vine
Format: ARC
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Review: 5 Stars - Dark Triumph by author R.L. LaFevers was one of the most eager anticipated titles for this reader of 2013. The characters are fascinating, I mean Assassin Nuns? Yes please! And a beautifully written story rich with history, intrigue, sabotage and scandals that never stop.

In the first book in the trilogy – Grave Mercy – we’re introduced us to some characters I have grown to love and look forward to reading about. A story set in such an interesting period we learn of the Assassin Nuns who serve Death. They are taught at a covenant of St. Mortain in all things seduction and the art of killing and LaFevers has crafted some compelling characters’ that I seriously can’t get enough of. And this is coming from someone who is not a fan of historical novels, yet LaFevers has such a way with Brittany in the fifteenth century that I've fallen in love with everything about this trilogy.

Of all the handmaidens of Death, Sybella is the darkest. Her past and present are not happy or cheerful in the slightest. She’s was in a living hell when she managed to find her escape within the covenant. There she finds a place in the world and some friends who she holds close to her heart – such as Ismae whose story we read about in Grave Mercy.

Sybella and Ismae might be servants of Death and kill with ease, yet the two girls couldn't be more different from one another. During Grave Mercy that we see a glimpse of Sybella and I knew what was coming for her book would be sad, if not heartbreaking. I was curious as to whom Sybella was and what she’d add to the overall trilogy.

During Dark Triumph we finally see the extent of her past and why she’s currently in the position she is within her father’s family. And all horrific things she must navigate to stay alive and complete her task, which let me tell you, is far from easy. It’s not only her father who’s unbelievably cruel and damaging to our female protagonist, pretty much the whole house holds many, many frightening things for her and everyone around her. Her father is a piece of work, let me tell you and all around him are forced to cower in his presence.

Sybella goes through many thoughts and trials during her journey. She’s confused and has questions, she’s in search of answers for and it takes a brute of a man named Beast to help her figure the many things out she’s up against. It’s not an easy road for Sybella, she’s a tough, tough girl yet it was nice to see her find a softer side which made my heart break for her more than a few times. I see why she’s the way that she is. There’s no doubt anyone would create the walls she did to protect herself and I liked the inner dialogue while we followed along as she unraveled her life and the knots of challenges along the way when it came to helping protect the Duchess.

And Beast – The man also did a number with my heart over and over again too! I never thought it could be possible but he did. Such a big – as he’s described in the book – ogre of a man broke my heart each and every time he did Sybellas and then he managed to piece it right back together again. LaFever gave him words that softened him and made him less “beast” and more of a man and in turn had me swooning for this amazingly compelling male character. I loved Sybella and Beast, they worked together well and fought together even better. WOW, what a pair!

It is without a doubt that I love these books. They are captivating, thrilling and wonderful and LaFevers has found a way to whisk me away to a darker time and place so far removed from our own that I lose all track of time. This trilogy is one of the best I've read and from someone who steers away from anything historical, that’s saying something. There is no question that I highly recommend these books to any and all readers. Let Dark Triumph captivate you with its rich story, fantastic writing and wonderfully crafted characters today. Trust me, you’ll thank me and kick yourself for waiting this long to read these books.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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22 March 2013


Title: Strength (Mark of Nexus – Book 1)
Author: Carrie Butler
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing , (March 07, 2013)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available at: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble 

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn't look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn't look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Character Profiles

Heroine Basics
Full Name: Rena Elizabeth Collins
Personality: Spitfiery
Age (in STRENGTH): 21
Birthday:  November 30th
Hometown: Clayhaven, OH
----------------------------
Heroine Physical
Height: 5'2
Weight: 120
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Green (Jade)
Body Type: Petite
-----------------------------
Heroine Education
School: Wilcox College
Year: Third/Junior
Major: Social Work
-----------------------------
Heroine Misc.
Drives: Silver Sentra Se-R, Spec. V.
Gabby-given Nickname: Ree
Hobby: Spending quality time with a punching bag


Hero Basics
Full Name:
Wallace Edwin Blake
Personality: Wary
Age (in STRENGTH): 22
Birthday: February 27th
Hometown: Scion, OH
-----------------------------
Hero Physical
Height:
6'4
Weight: 223
Hair Color: Dark/Raven
Eye Color: Blue (Cerulean)
Body Type: Athletic
------------------------------
Hero Education
School:
Wilcox College
Year: Third/Junior (He started late and some credits didn't transfer.)
Major: Accounting
-----------------------------
Hero Misc.
Drives: Ford F-150
Gabby-given Nickname: Ace
Hobby: Running





About the Author: 

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Where to find Carrie:

WEBSITE  |  BLOG  |  PUBLISHER  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS  |  GOOGLE+

Where to find Strength:

BOOK PAGE  |  GOODREADS  |  PUBLISHER  |  FACEBOOK  |  PINTEREST  |  BOOK TRAILER


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Cover designed by: Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations

No Attachments By Tiffany King
Release date: April 30th, 2013
Genre/Catagory: New Adult
Add Tiffany's books to: Goodreads

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Ashton Garrison walked away from a privileged life in order to hide from the one thing she's not willing to face. She knows she left behind a trail of pain, but in the long run, her betrayal will hurt less than the truth. She now has one goal: Live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. She has high hopes that a move to new surroundings will provide the escape she desires, but what Ashton doesn't count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan. Sometimes, when love comes knocking, the pull is too strong not to answer. Suddenly, what she thought she wanted to escape from is what Ashton now wants more than anything.

Nathan Lockton has one mission: find his target and complete the task he was hired to do—no attachments and no emotion necessary. He's done it over and over again. What he thought was a typical lost-and-found job has turned into a life examining moment as Nathan is forced to deal with something he has always ignored--his feelings. Now faced with a decision, Nathan must choose to either follow his heart or complete the job.

Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?



About the author: 

Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.

She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find Tiffany Online:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Order her books:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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20 March 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The purpose of this weekly event is to spotlight a soon-to-be-released book that you are very much anticipating. "Waiting On" Wednesday will also give bloggers an opportunity to share ideas for our TBR lists.


Title: Rush (The Game #1)
Author: Eve Silver
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 352 Pages (June 11th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

Title: The Originals
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 304 Pages (May 7th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: A riveting new story from Cat Patrick, author of Forgotten and Revived.

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created. 


Title: Unbreakable (Unraveling #2)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 496 Pages (April 23rd, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

Title: Loki's Wolves (Blackwell Pages #1)
Author: K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr
Publisher: Atom, (May 7th, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters—wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds—all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history—because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids—led by Matt—will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

First off, I need to say that I LOVE ALL THE COVERS!! This week has some books that are at the top of my MUST READ LIST and I can't wait to read them all!!! Thankfully I just received some of them to read and review so they're been moved to the top of my list.
OMGOMGOMG! I can't wait!!!!

*covers are always subject to change.

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19 March 2013

Review: The Tragedy Paper By: Elizabeth LaBan

Title: The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth LaBan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 312 Pages (January 8th, 2013)
From: The Publisher via Amazon Vine
Format: ARC
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their.

Review: 5 Stars - The Tragedy Paper By: Elizabeth LaBan is without a doubt, simply brilliant. LaBan gives readers two stories in one and delves deep into the affects people have on each another and so much more in this emotional and utterly compelling contemporary novel.

For me, The Tragedy Paper was an instant must read. I knew from the first time reading the synopsis that there was something special about this book. I’m sure you know the feeling I’m talking about. Sometimes that feeling is right and sometimes it’s wrong, but this time it was spot on… and then some.
The story, writing and characters are beyond the words I’ll be able to express here in this review. It’s just so much bigger than my feeble review.

The story is told in two different points of view between high school senior Duncan and recent high school graduate Tim. Duncan starts school finding out he’s been left a “treasure”, a school tradition where the previous tenant to your room leaves you a gift.

The room and the “treasure” are what Duncan’s feared the most and when he sees what Tim a senior from the previous year has left him he’s not jumping up and down with excitement. The “treasure” is where we hear Tim’s story. Told to us in recorded messages Tim has left for Duncan. Its Tim’s revelations and explanation of his life we learn about throughout the book that help Duncan grow. See, Tim is different. He’s albino and wants nothing more but to be invisible or at least for people to not see him for what he looks like on the outside. He just wants to live a normal life and do normal things. It’s through these tapes that we learn his thoughts, dreams and the events that will change him and those involved and around him the most.

Both Tim and Duncan are different people with two vastly different lives. However some things are the same and we see pieces of their two worlds colliding to bring out even more of how similar they truly are.

Vanessa is a side character that we never get a chance to meet first hand but we learn all about through Tim’s eyes. I liked her and hated her too. She needed to grow a back bone yet; LaBan did it again with writing a true high school character that’s afraid. All the characters are afraid in their own ways which is another reason to love this book. Seriously people LaBan take teens and their emotions to a whole new level of realistic and I commend her on this.

Laban has written an utterly captivating book that’s filled with beauty from the writing and the characters. There’s a touch of romance in the story, and yet it’s not the main focus and I didn't mind that at all once you get into the meat of what this novel is actual about. There’s a mysterious element to the book as well. Never truly knowing what’s happened to the characters.

All in all this was incredible and that doesn't even cover it. I loved it more than I can even express. It’s one of the best books I've read this year and I’m still thinking about it weeks after reading. This story has taken its hold and refuses to let go and trust me, I don’t even mind one bit. With that being said, I’m sure that I didn't even come close to expressing how amazing this book is. Seriously – fans of contemporary novels should look no further than this for their next book. And those of you who aren't as much of a contemporary fan should give this title a try, it will be the novel to change your mind. Promise! Enjoy!

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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Title: The Avery Shaw Experiment
Author: Kelly Oram
Publisher: Bluefields
Format: ebook
Genre: YA contemporary romance
Release Date: May 2013

Synopsis:

When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

Teaser One - Avery

Grayson finally noticed Aiden and I on the couch. “What are you two dorks doing?”

“Learning about steroids,” I said cheerfully. “You should probably know that using them can cause acne, testicular atrophy, decreased sperm count, prostate enlargement and gynecomastia.”

Grayson looked rightfully appalled. “Gyneco-what-ia?”

“Enlarged breasts in men,” Aiden translated. “So you should lay off the juice before you have to start borrowing Avery’s bras.”

I gasped at the mention of my underwear and whacked Aiden’s shoulder hard.

Behind me, Grayson laughed. I knew he was about to deliver a comeback, but I refused to look at him. Seconds later his breath was warm on my neck. He whispered just low enough that his mother couldn’t hear what he said. “I like my bras colorful and lacey, Aves. Not sure your collection would do it for me.”

Total mortification. Grayson may be as close as family to me, but he was still one of the hottest, most popular guys in our whole school. Him discussing my bras in that low sexy voice that could stop a girl’s heart on the spot made my lungs constrict. Plus, he was right of course. My bras were all of the plain white cotton variety.

Teaser Two - Grayson

I started to leave the room but she stopped me at the door. “Grayson?” Her tone tugged at something inside me. “You really want to take me with you tonight?”

She sounded so small and unsure of herself. It was how she always sounded at school and around strangers, but never when she was at home with us. I think my brother had really broken her. I was seriously going to have to beat him sometime.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I know I really freaked out on you earlier, but I promise I’ll be fine. Aiden’s right.” She swallowed back a lump in her throat. “I’ll manage without him somehow.”

“Aiden’s a tool. You can learn how to manage tomorrow. Tonight’s New Years Eve and for once in your life you’re going to spend it without Aiden or The Discovery Channel.

I knew I was making progress when she cracked a smile and asked, “What about Whootylicious in 7 B?”

I thought of the luscious booty I’d originally planned on seeing tonight and sighed. “That will be an unfortunate loss, but, like you, I will just have to deal.”

I winked and then decided I’d give her ten minutes before I came back and physically dragged her out of bed.

I seriously LOVE Kelly's books, so I'm always super excited to find she has a new book being released! This one looks so good and I can't wait to finally read it! If you haven't read Kelly's books, you guys are seriously missing out on some great characters and stories.

Other books by Kelly Oram




About Kelly Oram:

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.


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In accordance with FTC Guidelines, I have not received any monetary gain for any information posted within the pages of this website/blog. Any and all information has been provided by the publisher, author and or publicist for free. Content is also based on purchases made by myself or of my guest reviewer(s). Any and all opinions expressed within the pages of this website/blog are solely my own or those of the authors of any and all guest reviewers(s) or guest bloggers.



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About Me

Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

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When I review I rate from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. I review based on many different things from the writing, to the story - to the characters and how I can relate to them or how they are developed. I also review based on if an author has worked their magic and was able to draw me into a story so deeply that I don't want to put the book down. If you would like me to review a book, please contact me or view my Contact Information and Review Policy for further details.

5 Stars - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
4 Stars - I Really liked/Loved it.
3 Stars - I liked it/Was pretty good.
2 Stars - It was, eh okay.
1 Star - It just wasn't for me.

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