Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads
This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.
So this week I have a couple interesting finds I'd like to share with you. First off we have Everneath by Brodi Ashton:
Summary: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

The cover for this absolutely enchanting, first of all. It was just revealed today and I am even more intrigued to read it than before. And from the description it sounds like a somewhat modern version of the story of Persephone, which is a... Greek myth! I'm sold. 

Next there's Shift by Nicole Maggi:

Summary: Based on the Italian legend of the Benandanti, sixteen-year-old Alessia Jacobs discovers she is part of the ancient clan of warriors who can shapeshift their souls into various animals, and is drawn into their centuries-old conflict with the evil Malandanti in order to protect the world's magical sites from their control. But as she struggles to maintain the balance between her duty to the Benandanti and her normal life, everything begins to fall apart and her two worlds collide with devastating consequences. SHIFT is the first book in the Benandanti Trilogy.

Since there isn't a cover yet for this one I went solely off of the description and it sounds absolutely fascinating. I'm already itching for it and it won't be out until next year. Old legends, shape-shifting, and magic... What could be a better combination?

And some new reads that I have or will be getting soon include:


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

Possession 1
Author: Elana Johnson
Pages: 416 pgs
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Release Date: June 7th 2011
Review Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

When I first saw the cover of this book I was immediately intrigued. And then I read the description and I knew that I had to read it. Possession is an amazing debut novel by Elana Johnson and has ensured that I can't wait to read more from her.

Vi is a Good girl. She follows the rules... mostly. But when she stops listening to the Thinkers and is found outside at night, with a boy, she's brought into custody. She's broken the rules one time too many and now it's time for her to make up for.

Vi finds herself put into a cell with Bad boy Jag and they have to figure a way out of their prison without getting tagged for life. And along the way Vi discovers she has some pretty nifty control over technology and other people. It's a control others wish to exploit if she and Jag can't reach safety in time.

It took me a little time to get into reading this, but once I did I couldn't stop and managed to finish it in one day. Elana took such an amazing concept and made it even more unique. The story line was so intricate and evolving, each chapter left me wondering just what was going to happen to them next.

Vi was such a fun character that I found very believable. She was strong yet vulnerable, tough yet sensitive, sarcastic yet sweet. Her life had seemed pretty simple and forth coming, but when she ends up in prison for another violation of the rules she learns just how crazy things could get for her. Her relationship with Jag was also so adorable and the typical relationship between teenagers with misunderstandings and fights, quick apologies and passion.

And not only was this a dystopian setting, but Elana also threw in a little science fiction to make things even more complicated and fascinating. I loved how the technology in this world was considered one of the bad guys as well, part of the Thinkers control over the people.

During Possession's release week Elana also revealed that their will be a sequel of sorts as well. And for anyone who has read or will in the future you will know why that's so exciting. Thank you Elana Johnson! So if you would like to learn more about this book and it's author you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter

Monday, June 20, 2011

Whirlwind Giveaway Winner!

Sorry this has taken me so long, but I have the winner for the Whirlwind e-book giveaway:

Nic @Irresistible Reads

Congratulations Nic! I will be emailing you shortly.

Thank you to everyone who entered and please continue to check back for reviews and more contests in the future.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fanfare Review Blog Tour

Author: Renee Ahdieh
Pages: 240 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 31st 2011
Review Source: Revolution Publishing

Fanfare was a nice breath of fresh air. As Renee's debut novel I was quite impressed by her writing style and fun flare with her characters.

Cris Pereira found herself in a difficult place when her fiance left her for another woman. She did what she could to move on; she went to work, spent time with her friends, lived her life. But deep down she feared being hurt again.

And then one morning she met Tom Abramson, Hollywood's new "it" boy, and things took an unexpected turn. Moving on isn't always easy, but the attention of British rising star usually helps. While Cris prefers to plan things out and stay in control, Tom's more of a take things as they come type of guy. Will these two be able to make things work or are there just too many differences.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about this story was the build up of the relationship between Cris and Tom. They had witty banter and fun together and Renee gave us the slow build up of not only their feelings for each other, but their relationship as they got to explore that together. I found myself really liking both characters and rooting for them, which doesn't always happen for me.

I loved that there wasn't a love triangle for the characters. Not to say that doesn't work, but at times it feels over done. For Cris and Tom it was more about them falling for each other and learning to look past the hardships and pain that life puts in their way. It was strictly a sweet romance which I really enjoyed.

This was a fun, sweet read and a story that I was surprised to have really enjoyed. Renee Ahdieh managed to squeeze my heart with this story and I hope she'll have more up her sleeves. I almost hated to see this come to an end and wanted more for these two characters.

I definitely recommend this story. You can check out more about the author on her blog or follow her on Twitter

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Falling Under
Falling Under 1
Author: Gwen Hayes
Pages: 324 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Review Source: Goodreads First Reads

Falling Under is one of those books that just completely takes you by surprise. It's dark and tempting and twisted and completely amazing. Gwen Hayes knew what she was doing with this.

Theia Alderson has led an extremely sheltered life. Not only does moving from London to the States make her feel out of place, but also her very closed off life. She does what her father tells her to do, dresses the way he wants her to, even plays the violin because he expects it.

It isn't until she dreams about a boy, Haden, and then sees him at school the next day that her life begins to change. Each dream gets stranger and stranger, bringing her further into the world of Under and confusing her about who Haden really is. What is he really hiding?

Gwen did an excellent job of building the anticipation of this story, leaving the readers wanting to know more. Theia is one of those characters that you can't help but love because she's so sweet and innocent, never having really experienced much, and watching her realize that she's capable of so much more is great.

Our first glimpse into the world of under made me think of a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland. It's not all fun an games in this world. And Theia's two best friends are her two constants. They add a bit of comic relief to the somewhat tense story line and are there for her when she really needs them. I loved the flow of this story and was sad when I finally reached the end.

The sequel to this book, Dreaming Awake, is sure to be just as jaw dropping and intense as the first. I can't to find out what Gwen has in store for her characters next. For updates on what else Gwen is working on you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent 1
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487 pgs
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Review Source: Own Copy

This is Veronica Roth's debut novel and what a debut it was! I could not put it down and didn't want it to end. When I reached the last page I found myself flipping back and forth a few times wondering where the rest was at.

Beatrice Prior lives in a time when the country has been divided into five different factions to help maintain a peaceful society. Beatrice not only learns a terrifying secret about herself during the aptitude test, but her choice of factions shocks everyone.

After changing her name to Tris, she decides to give it everything she has in order to make it through her new factions' initiation process. But things won't be as easy she imagined and Tris finds herself tested and every turn, including with a surprising romance. It's a fight to the end for placement and Tris soon discovers whom she can trust when things begin to spiral out of control.

I absolutely fell in love with Tris's voice and Veronica's writing style. There just aren't enough words to explain how this story pulled me in. Tris started off as a shy and quiet character, but had to learn how to fight back. Her naivete was understandable from the faction she had grown up in and she was very much a young girl trying to find her way in the world. But by the end she was tough and brave and I loved watching her growth.

So much took place, I found it difficult to put down, always wanting to know what happened next. The dystopian world that Veronica created was unique and interesting to unfold, I can't wait to see it up on the big screen. And, with the way this first book ended, I'm already anxious for the next in the series.

This is definitely a book that I would highly recommend and I encourage everyone to let the author know if they enjoyed it. She did a phenomenal job. For more information on her and the Divergent series you can check out her blog or follow her on Twitter

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads
This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.
My pick this week doesn't have a cover yet, but I don't think that will detract from the story line. So first off we have Bandia by Talia Vance:
Summary: Beauty is pointless when no one’s looking.

Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She’s pretty enough, it’s just that no one bothers to look. There’s almost nothing that can’t be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she’s missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna’s theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she’s been hiding from even herself.

Brianna is a seventh generation descendant of Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth. Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Worse yet, Blake belongs to a tribe of men who have spent the last thousand years hunting Danu’s descendants in the name of protecting humanity.

Brianna grows close to Blake, but she’s not sure she can trust him. Brianna must find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage. The more she understands what being a Bandia means, the less she can trust herself. There is nothing pointless about Brianna. And Blake may be in the most danger of all.

It's no secret that I love anything that explores myths and legends and when I saw that this one was about and ancient Celtic myth I was totally on bored. It sounds intriguing and exciting. Who doesn't love a story about forbidden romance? There are so many new fascinating YA books coming out!

The new reads that I've gotten in are:  


Friday, June 10, 2011

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel's Inferno
Gabriels's Inferno 1
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Pages: 513 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 19th 2011
Review Source: Omnific Publishing

This is Sylvain Reynard's debut novel and I was lucky enough to read an unpublished version of this story first. He takes his readers on an intense ride of emotion and longing that will be sure to bring everybody back for more.

Gabriel is a Dante Specialist, a Professor, but he's also held captive by the mistakes of his past. And when he first sees Julianne in his seminar, something about her strikes a chord with him. He manages to strike out at her every turn.

Julianne is quiet and shy, introverted because of the pains of her past. She and Gabriel have a connection that goes beyond their love of Dante and Academia, one that has changed them both thoroughly. The two have to learn to rely on each other and love with abandon, but will the aches of their pasts prove to be too much?

One of the things I enjoy about Sylvain Reynard's writing is that it's very smooth, almost lyrical. You almost feel as though you are there, experiencing everything that the characters are going through. It's a difficult thing to accomplish and SR does it with style.

The growth of the characters throughout the story is beautiful to watch. Julianne becoming more self-assured and Gabriel understanding the power of love. There's still so much for these characters to do and grow into, but just in this first part you get a glimpse of the blossoming under each other. Their affection and attention for one another helps them to heal.

And can I just say that I absolutely love the cover! On goodreads it looks like a beautiful picture, but on the copy that I have, the cover appears to be more of a painting. In true fashion of the paintings that were inspired in Gabriel's Inferno.

For more background on Gabriel's Inferno and the author you can check out his website or follow him on Twitter

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

The Chemical Garden Trilogy 1
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Pages: 358 pgs
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Release Date: March 22nd 2011
Review Source: Own Copy

In Lauren DeStefano's debut novel she introduces the world she's created with a bang. It's a unique concept in the dystopian setting and one that I couldn't wait to get my hands on.

Rhine lives in a United States where after experiments to end sickness and diseases saved one generation, it began killing the next. Girls die at age 20 and boys at age 25. And in an attempt to keep the human race going, the men who can afford it take on multiple wives so they can have children.

That is how Rhine ended up in Florida with her new husband Linden. And even though she's been given everything she could possibly want, including safety and stability, all Rhine can think about is how she can get back to her twin brother in New York. But in order to even consider that, she has to gain the trust and favor of her husband over her two sister wives.

First of all, let me just say that I fell in love with the cover for this book. It's absolutely beautiful and what first drew me in to want to read it. And, with that in mind, when I first began reading Wither I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. The premise that Lauren came up with was very intriguing and I knew that it would be a great read, but the more I continued with the story the more uncomfortable I got. It freaked me out that instead of it being the big bad government doing it, the "bad guys" so to speak were individual people in hopes of finding a cure.

And that's when I realized that was the point.

Wither was about an uncomfortable situation forced upon Rhine and we got to see how she dealt with it. I loved that even though she developed a bond with her sister wives and even with Linden, her heart was always with her twin brother and how to return with him. And even though it was obvious that Rhine began to care for Linden, too, she felt a stronger connection with one of the staff boys Gabriel. The development of each of the relationships was done just right.

Lauren complete me sucked me in with the story and I am anxious for the next in the trilogy, Fever. Rhine's voice was strong and unwavering. She knew what she wanted and wasn't going to change her mind in getting it.

The only question I have now is: what else can possibly happen next? It seemed like so much happened in this first part, I can't even fathom what else Lauren will have up her sleeve for the second and third books.

And for more updates on The Chemical Garden series you can check out Lauren's website or follow her on Twitter

Fallen Legion Cover Reveal

Press Release

June 8th, 2011
Fallen Legion, the
fourth book in the
Timeless series by
Laura Kreitzer, is set
to release this winter.
Published by
Revolution Publishing
Laura Kreitzer’s

The full force of the Empyrean Guard leaves Gabriella
trembling where she stands. Even with the Fallen at her back, she lacks the proper training and knowledge to win the inevitable Angelic war. In the Timeless Oblivion, Gabriella seeks the advice of the one person who’s never failed her and comes back with more than she bargained for. Now Gabriella must do the unthinkable: break the most important law the Celestial Gods decreed thousands of years ago to protect the Angels. Now that she’s crossed the line, will she
find a way to save the Angels? Or has she doomed them all?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whirlwind Blog Tour: Guest Post and E-book Giveaway

Welcome to the next stop on the Whirlwind blog tour. Robin graciously agreed to write a guest post for you guys about secondary characters  in a story and I hope that you enjoy it. Oh and stay tuned for information on a giveaway of an e-book copy of Whirlwind. 

Ah, the supporting cast, otherwise known as minor characters. Those poor, undervalued characters don’t get much screen time, say only a few lines, and are usually only in the story to help further the main characters’ arcs. As critical as minor characters are, they just don’t get the same respect as the hero and heroine. But a rebellion is afoot.

Tired in their role of revealing critical plot elements or acting as an emotional sounding board, a few of my minor characters are dying to have their say. One in particular *coughMitchcough* is too big to ignore, so I’m bringing back and updating some scenes that were deleted from the first draft of Whirlwind. These two vignettes are titled “Meeting Mitch” and “The Apology.”

Mitch McAlister is the brother of the story’s hero, Jason McAlister. Mitch has known Melissa Williams (heroine and narrator of Whirlwind) much longer than Jason, and met her in a very unique way. He and Melissa formed a deep friendship during the years before the beginning of Whirlwind, but most of this backstory was cut from the final manuscript.

While Mitch is the focus of both of these outtakes, he’s not the only minor character that got the short shrift when they were removed from the manuscript. In this first peek at “Meeting Mitch,” we see what main character Melissa’s first day as a college reporter was like (almost three years before the beginning of Whirlwind). It’s the minor characters who let her strength and feisty-ness shine:
From the first day I set foot in the Daily’s office, Gary, the sports editor, had it out for me. I’d never laid eyes on the guy before, but apparently it only took one look for me to piss him off. His first disgusted appraisal accompanied an equally unwelcome greeting. “A freshman. Great. And a girl to boot. What am I supposed to do with you?”

Pam, the senior editor, rankled at his words. “You treat her just like you would any other reporter,” she scolded, her glare sharp.

“Right. She probably doesn’t even know what a hat trick is,” he said, refusing to meet her gaze.

“Most common in hockey or soccer, it’s three goals scored by the same player in one game,” I replied, and Pam smirked. “But Gordie Howe hat tricks are unique to hockey.”

Gary shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “There is no such thing.”

“Sure there is. Even I know that one, Gary,” Pam said, then looked at me expectantly.

“A Gordie Howe hat trick is scoring a goal, earning an assist, and getting into a fight, all in one hockey game,” I said. “Gordie Howe actually only did it once in his career.”

Gary’s face turned bright red before he stomped off to his desk mumbling something about there not being a hockey team at Poly.
Not to be outdone, Mitch not only challenges Melissa in “Meeting Mitch,” he does his job as a minor character and provides Melissa a mirror that reveals one of her flaws (namely that she’s doing too much talking and not enough listening). Note: Melissa meets Mitch at a rodeo, so there’s horses (and road apples) ahead!
“What’s…your horse’s name?” I asked. Rather than check out the animal’s goods to find out if it was a him or a her, I carefully patted iton the rump.Mitch removed his hat, mopped the sweat with his sleeve, then jammed the Stetson back on his head. “You don’t know anything about horses, do you?”

He frowned at my hand and I pulled it away.

“Well…I read The Black Stallion four times,” I said. Mitch groaned. “No, I don’t know anything about horses.”

“Finally, the truth. It’s about damn time,” he said. Mitch put a hand on my shoulder and guided me closer to the horse’s head. He patted its neck, and I followed his example. “Don’t touch his nose, okay? He hates that.”

I didn’t miss the hint. “Okay. What’s his name?”

The ghost of a smile crossed Mitch’s chapped lips. “Buckeye. Can I ask you a question, Melissa Williams?”

“Um, yeah.”

“If you know so much about my stats, why are you here? Why come all the way out here to ask me about numbers you already know? Isn’t the real story what you don’t already know?” He scrubbed Buckeye’s neck.

My fingers stilled. I didn’t know what to say.

“I mean, I appreciate that you recognized my name, and know I’ve had a good run. The last guy they sent out here lasted about five minutes and then misspelled most of our names in his lame-ass article.”

No wonder he hated reporters.

“I won’t misspell your name, I promise.” I stroked Buckeye’s neck. “I’d really like to find out the story behind the stats, if you don’t mind. How long have you been riding?”

Mitch’s smile returned for good. “Okay, then. Before we talk about that, we need to get you fixed up.” He tied Buckeye to his trailer and then led me around the other side to an RV. “Beth and Linda’ll help.”

Mitch knocked on door. We heard a faint “Just a minute.”

He turned to me. “Could you do me a favor? Don’t mention the record to anyone else. I was serious about what happened to the last guy. Football players may slap each other on the ass to show support—these guys show their love with a handful of horse shit.” His puppy dog eyes rivaled the most manipulative two-year-old’s.

“We’ll see,” I said, not promising anything. “Maybe if you give me the five cent tour and an exclusive interview I can bury your record in the story. Assuming you win, that is.”

The trailer door opened and a woman my age appeared.

Mitch gave me a thumbs-up. “You’re on, though I’m not sure the interview is worth even that much.” He looked up at the silent, but obviously confused woman. “Beth, do you have a shirt Melissa could borrow for today? She’s new. I’ve got to get ready to win the next event.” He waved and wandered back to his horse.

The confusion in Beth’s face faded but didn’t disappear. “You’re a friend of Mitch’s?”

“Yeah, I guess I am.”
After this first outtake, Mitch celebrates his win a little too hard, and comes onto Melissa a little too atrongly. What happens is detailed in Whirlwind in Chapter 3, but suffice to say, a drunk Mitch ends up on the ground after Melissa knees him in the crotch. It’s a misunderstanding - trust me - and both Melissa and Mitch regret the incident.

However, in her attempt to reconcile with Mitch, Melissa gets to know another minor character who plays an important role much later in Whirlwind—her future friend, Linda. The trusted girlfriend, Linda pops in and out of Whirlwind, giving Melissa opportunities to reveal more about herself, from her inner feelings to her sense of humor. Their relationship started on that same footing, as you can see from this longer snippet from “The Apology”:
Mitch never did call. Instead, Linda, one of the girls I’d met at the roundup, invited me to coffee at the local doughnut shop a few days later. Although I suspected an ulterior motive, I went, more curious about her than anything else. She seemed like a genuinely nice person. I knew the shop would be very busy at that time of day, so I felt safe in meeting her—and any uninvited guests.

She was waiting at the door when I arrived, pacing nervously and peering into the parking lot. “Hi Melissa!” she called, spotting me before I’d finished parking. Her dazzling smile was hard to miss as she bounced up and down next to the newspaper rack. Linda’s dark eyes sparkled as brightly as her brilliant white teeth.

“Hi Linda. How are you?” I scanned the area, but didn’t see any one else I recognized.

“I’m fine. How are you?” She inspected me, then led me to the counter. “Mitch didn’t hurt you, did he?”

“No, not at all. I think he got the worst of it.” I paused. “Is he mad at me?”

Her eyes grew wide. “Mad at you? Why would he be mad at you?”

“Well, there was the kneeing him in the groin. And the manure in his truck—though I didn’t have anything to do with that. The senior editor put the story on the front page.” I managed to shut my mouth before the next excuse came blubbering out.

“No, he’s not mad at you. The guys were happy about him breaking the record. He just should’ve told them before the story came out, that’s all. And the article was great. No, he’s not mad.”

The barista interrupted her, and we ordered our coffees. After finding a table in the corner of the tiny shop, I took a careful sip from my cup and evaluated Linda. She stirred her drink much longer than necessary. When she realized I was watching her, she dropped the spoon and put her hand on the table, forcing it to lay flat. I barely knew her, but it was obvious that she was nervous about something. “Okay Linda, spill. Why am I here?”

“You’re not one for small talk, are you? No wonder you’re such a good reporter. Did I mention your article was great?”

“Yes, you did.”

She took a long drink from her cup as I stared her down. “All right, Mitch is the reason I’m here—at least part of the reason. The other part is I really enjoyed getting to know you, and wanted to make sure he didn’t scare you away from us. The team can be really sweet, if they are kept out of dive bars like the one the other night. One on one, they’re all great—they just get this pack mentality when they go out drinking.” Her unpleasant experiences with them showed in her face.

“No, Linda, I didn’t get scared off. Just don’t expect me to attend any more ‘after’ parties with the guys. As for Mitch…”

I’d managed to forgive him by focusing on the polite, helpful Mitch, but the loose, drunken image would never leave me completely. My finger circled my coffee cup. As time went on, I’d started to dread the awkward moments we would have the next time we met. I couldn’t ask to be removed from the rodeo stories—that’s exactly what Gary wanted—so I’d have to face Mitch sooner or later.

Linda nodded. “Yeah, well Mitch did ask for my help. When you blew off his lunch invitation, he finally realized how big an ass he’d been.”

“I didn’t blow him off. I didn’t get the flowers until after lunch was finished. It wasn’t my fault.”

Linda cocked her head. “Really? Huh.” She took another drink, apparently confused. The determined gleam returned to her eyes as soon as she put her cup down. “Anyway, he really wants to apologize, Melissa, face to face. You’re the first woman to get under his thick skin, you know? He’s needed someone like you for a long time to kick him back in line. None of the bimbos he runs with would ever do it. Someday he’s going to thank you for doing what you did.”

I sighed, feeling like I’d just fed a stray puppy and now he was following me around. This puppy just happened to be huge and rude. “Why can’t you or Beth slap some sense into him? You know him better than I do.”

“He doesn’t see us the way he sees you. I’m just an extension of Chase to him.” I raised my eyebrows at her. “You know what I mean! When I talk to him it’s as if Chase is talking to him, and Chase has told Mitch to dial down the Casanova act many times. Beth would never tell Mitch off; she’s still trying to get Todd to notice her. But you—”

“I’ve got nothing to lose and am just the bitch to do it,” I said with a wry smile. The truth didn’t bother me, but Linda frowned.

“No, that’s not what I meant. You’re an outsider, and he expects to hear the same drivel from you he gets from every other woman. When you stood up to him, you affected him in more ways than you might think.”

“Yeah, I affected him all right.” I thought of Mitch curled up in a ball on the ground and laughed.

After a pause, Linda soon joined me. “Can you just let him apologize, Melissa? That’s all,” she pleaded.

I’d be seeing more of Mitch in the coming month, assuming Gary didn’t assign me to cover the local snail races instead. Why put this off any longer? Better to rip this bandage of fast. “Fine. Where is he?”

Linda dropped her eyes to her coffee. “Whatever do you mean?” she asked.

“Give it up, Linda. I know you didn’t drag me all the way downtown because the coffee is so much better than the Starbucks on campus. He’s around here somewhere, and I’d bet good money Chase is with him.”

Her cheeks pinked, but she said nothing.

I sighed. “Let’s get this over with; I have class in an hour.”
Both Linda and Mitch have important roles in Whirlwind, and while this backstory is fun and helped me define some of Melissa’s traits, it wasn’t critical to the plot. So, it got cut. However, nothing ever really gets deleted off my hard drive. And don’t worry, both Mitch and Linda will return in future books to keep both Melissa and Jason in line.

Read the full outtakes here:

Meeting Mitch

The Apology

And now for the giveaway! If you would like to win an e-book of Whirlwind then all you have to do is:

Giveaway Info:
  • Follow this blog
  • Fill out this FORM
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  • The giveaway ends 6/15 at 11:59 CST
  • Winner will be chosen using
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Tour Stops:
Monday, June 6: 
The Unread Reader/ Kickoff Interview with author Robin DeJarnett and Whirlwind excerpt, plus eBook giveaway.
Tuesday, June 7:
 Geeky Blogger's Book Blog's/ Review and paperback giveaway.
Wednesday, June 8:
 A Trail of Books Left Behind/ Whirlwind outtakes and eBook giveaway.
Thursday, June 9: 
For What It's Worth/ Review and paperback giveaway.
Friday, June 10: Books and Things/ Review and eBook giveaway.

Monday, June 13: 
A Tale of Many Reviews/ Interview with Whirlwind heartthrob Jason McAlister and paperback giveaway.
Tuesday, June 14: 
The Bookish Brunette/ Review and paperback giveaway.
Wednesday, June 15:
 Supernatural Snark/ paranormal vs. contemporary romance guest post from Robin DeJarnett and paperback giveaway.Thursday, June 16: My Love Affair with Books/ See the settings in Whirlwind and eBook giveaway.Friday, June 17 (Double Stop Giveaway Day): Happily Ever After/ Staying contemporary guest post from Robin DeJarnett and paperback giveaway.
Cheeky Reads/ Review and eBook giveaway.

June 18 (eBook Giveaway):
LIVE Chat with Whirlwind author Robin DeJarnett, plus eBook giveaway!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove
The Curse Workers Series 2
Author: Holly Black
Pages: 325 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: April 5th 2011
Review Source: Own Copy

This second installment in Holly Black's  was even better than the first in my opinion. Not only is Cassel's voice unique, but we also get to see a different side of him after the events of White Cat.

Now that Cassel's mother is out of prison and he's learned the truth about what he truly is, things seemed to have returned somewhat to normal for him. His mother continues to run her cons, one brother thinks they are best friends, and the other is completely ignoring him.

It's just the way it should be, at least until Lila, the girl cursed to love him, shows up at his school and his older brother Phillip is found murdered. And with the FBI on his case to figure out who killed his brother and some other mob guys, Cassel to figure where his loyalties lie. And fast.

I loved Cassel Sharpe in White Cat and thought he was even better in Red Glove. And it was brilliant that even though he wanted so much to be accepted by his brother's, running cons like his family, he realized that he didn't want to live the same life they did. He was good at, but wanted more. That just made him even more endearing to me.

We also got the chance to learn some more about Cassel's friends, Sam and Daneca, and even his mother and brother. The world that Holly Black has created for these books is so amazing and well thought out. One of my favorite scenes is when Cassel is at a protest and he sees girls taking their gloves off. The fact that their hands are bare is just completely fascinating to him, he doesn't know what to think.

So much happened in this second book, I didn't want it to end. There's still plenty of time before Black Heart comes out, but I'm not sure if I can wait that long. The Curse Worker's world is unique and wonderfully set up, I'm so excited to find out what else she has in store for these characters.

I definitely recommend this series to others and if you want updates on what else Holly Black is writing or doing you can check out her website at or you can follow her on Twitter

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Author: Jennifer Bradbury
Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: YA, Historical- Fiction, Paranormal
Release Date: May 24th 2011
Review Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Jennifer Bradbury has created a stunning world in this story of fancy dresses and Egyptian myth. One that I hope will be continued in more books.

Agnes Wilkins is seventeen and just beginning her debut season in 1815's London. While other girls her age are more concerned with the perfect party gown and finding the right husband, Agnes can't get enough of the books she reads, the languages she learns, and the information she gleans from her father about Napoleon.

But when she attends the party of a prospective suitor, the everyday life Agnes thought she was in store for gets completely turned upside down. It all begins with a mummy and an item that she uncovered that wasn't meant for her. Will she be able to stop the horrible events that are about to unfold. And with two very different men suddenly in her life, things won't be as simple as she thought they would.

Lately I've found that I really enjoy historical type stories. And when there's one that combines Egyptian myths and lore, it's all the better. Jennifer Bradbury gives a great balance of both and I found myself not wanting to reach the end (which is why I'm hoping for more from this world *wink wink*). The background information, historical figures, and ancient artifacts that we've learned about overtime just make this story even more fascinating with each chapter.

Agnes is a great character: fun and spunky and incredibly smart. Even though she is like the other girls of her time, she isn't completely against the life she has. Agnes just wanted a little more out of life, to be thought of as a person and not just an arm ornament. And with the attention of Lord Showalter, a prospective suitor, and Caedmon, a young man that works at the local museum; Agnes finds herself in store for a bumpy ride.

I fell in love with this story from the very beginning and I believe anyone who loves a little romance, adventure, legends, and pretty dresses will too. Her website is being updated, but be sure to check back for more information

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hourglass Giveaway

So the release date for Myra McEntire's book Hourglass is slowly coming around the bend. I've mentioned how fascinated I am about the concept of this story in at least one post and I for one am beyond excited for it.

Summary: 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?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

Well, in honor of the upcoming release, Myra is hosting a giveaway on her site and she's offering some pretty awesome prizes. So if you would life to win a preorder of this book, then head on over to her site to find out how:


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