Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Books That Need MORE Attention Giveaway Hop (US)


Welcome to my stop on the Books That Need MORE Attention Giveaway Hop hosted by the wonderful Valerie at Stuck in Books. This time I'm featuring a book that I feel should get some more hype leading up to its release.

In my recent stop on the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop, Stitching Snow did not get a third of the attention that the other two books received. That totally should not be the case because it was a fantastic book that you should be excited about reading, especially if you like books similar to Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. (No, it's not a knock-off.)

You can find my review of Stitching Snow HERE.

What You Can Win

Title: Stitching Snow
R.C. Lewis
Publisher: Hyperion (Disney)
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.


Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Made for You by Melissa Marr


Title: Made for You
Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she's confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why?

It seems impossible that anyone would have it out for the town darling. Thanks to her family's distinguished history and her own unassailable reputation in old-money Jessup, Eva is universally liked. But she has little time to consider the question when she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people's deaths when they touch her.

Eva is struggling to understand just what these visions mean when a slew of murders takes place back home. The victims, all classmates, are discovered alongside eerie messages that tie the incidents to her. There is a killer on the loose, and he is after Eva.

While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old friend, reappears. The two traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva's power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the determined killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive Melissa Marr's racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation.

My Review

I haven't had luck with the two Melissa Marr books that I've read in the past, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read Made for You because of, let's be honest, that cover. I hate flying things, but that gilded bug from Hell drew my eye and kept me thinking about it. I'm pretty sure it's a locust, but WHY IS IT IN A RING BOX?!

This, kids, is how you use a bug effectively on a book cover.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Nine Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I think this took me almost an entire year to finish, which considering I normally finish books within 2 or 3 days, is ridiculous. I tried everything - print, ebook, audio. I just can't stand epistolary novels. It's why I had a hard time finishing Dracula and one of the reasons I'm stalled in the middle of Frankenstein (but seriously Frankenstein is the monster, even if he is the doctor).

2. Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1) by Stacia Kane

Chess is one of my least favorite heroines, and the narrator made this worse because she made Chess' voice very high pitch and whiny. I did give this another shot, and the series gets better around book 3.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Feuds by Avery Hastings


Title: Feuds (Feuds #1)
Avery Hastings
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.

My Review

I'm going to give you my thoughts of Feuds via a little story.

Once upon a time, there was a perfect princess ballerina named Davis. She was a poor little rich girl because she had no mother. She met a boy at a party and made out with him. That boy was Cole. He is poor and cage fights for money. From that first kiss, it was love for them both. See Exhibit A:
The thought of her sick, suffering ... it was almost more than he could take. The idea that it could happen shredded him. There was no reason for this reaction; he barely knew her at all, but he couldn't get her out of his head. The worst was the physical ache he'd felt when he saw her - the need to protect her, to wrap his arms around her and pull her to him, where she'd be safe in his arms. It was a compulsion he'd barely been able to control. — Cole, Page 67

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis


Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Acquired Via: Edelweiss

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

My Review

In a Handful of Dust is the companion to Not a Drop to Drink. It makes more sense as a companion, because although it contains the same characters, Lynn and Lucy (and others by the pond) are much changed in the ten or so years since the events of Not a Drop to Drink. Lynn is a grown woman, and Lucy is a teenager, no longer a small child.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas


Title: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2)
Sherry Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Acquired Via: Edelweiss

After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

My Review

The Perilous Sea didn't feel like a middle book, and didn't really suffer from second book syndrome. This was probably because it was written differently than the first book. I enjoyed the split narrative - one present and one several weeks in the past. It was nail-biting to figure out how the characters got to where they are when we are reading about the past.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 Debut Author Bash (Guest Post & Giveaway): Whitney A. Miller

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Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2014 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Whitney A. Miller and her debut novel, The Violet Hour. I reviewed The Violet Hour back in March, and you can read it HERE.

Guest Post

Scary Books I've Read
Whitney A. Miller

It’s REALLY HARD to pick just one book I read as a teenager that was the absolute scariest. I spent A LOT of time reading scary books. Everything from Lois Duncan (seriously, what did you do last summer? based on the cover I’d say it has something to do with MURDER) to Christopher Pike (don’t open that chain letter! the person who wrote it also knows what you did last summer!!) to Margaret Atwood (I mean, summer, winter or fall, The Handmaid's Tale is terrifying, y’all).

But hands-down the scariest book I read was one I smuggled off my parents’ bookshelf as a nine year old...Stephen King’s IT. It had a sewer grate on the cover with an unassuming paper boat about to be swept into it. If you looked closer, there was a tiny, evil claw emerging from between the bars of the grate. This told me all I needed to know. I was probably not allowed to read this book and it was certainly going to give me nightmares. Two important criteria on my summer reading list. I had to have it immediately.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Winterkill by Kate Boorman


Title: Winterkill
Kate Boorman
Publisher: Amulet Books (ABRAMS)
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.

My Review

I'm not really sure what to make of Kate Boorman's debut novel, Winterkill. It's all over the place story-wise, but at the same time, I couldn't put it down. There was so much suspense that I was tempted on more than one occasion to skip to the back of the book because I wanted to know so badly what was in the woods. (I didn't.) Emmeline carried Winterkill, as she was such a fascinating character.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Tour (Interview & Giveaway): Color Song by Victoria Strauss

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Title: Color Song (Passion Blue #2)
Victoria Strauss
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon)
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Blog Tours

By the author of the acclaimed Passion Blue, a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2012 and “a rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion,” comes a fascinating companion novel.

Artistically brilliant, Giulia is blessed – or cursed – with a spirit’s gift: she can hear the mysterious singing of the colors she creates in the convent workshop of Maestra Humilità. It’s here that Giulia, forced into the convent against her will, has found unexpected happiness, and rekindled her passion to become a painter – an impossible dream for any woman in 15th century Italy.

But when a dying Humilità bequeaths Giulia her most prized possession – the secret formula for the luminously beautiful paint called Passion blue – Giulia realizes she’s in danger from those who have long coveted the famous color for themselves. Faced with the prospect of lifelong imprisonment in the convent, forever barred from painting as a punishment for keeping Humilita’s secret, Giulia is struck by a desperate idea: What if she disguises herself as a boy? Could she make her way to Venice and find work as an artist’s apprentice?

Along with the truth of who she is, Giulia carries more dangerous secrets: the exquisite voices of her paint colors and the formula for Humilità’s precious blue. And Venice, with its graceful gondolas and twisting canals, its gilded palazzi and masked balls, has secrets of its own. Trapped in her false identity in this dream-like place where reality and reflection are easily confused, where art and ambition, love and deception hover like dense fog, can Giulia find her way?

This compelling novel explores timeless themes of love and illusion, gender and identity as it asks the question: what does it mean to risk everything to follow your true passion?


Kayla: Hi Victoria, I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by Bibliophilia, Please for your blog tour! Do you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

Victoria Strauss: I write for both adults and teens--nine books so far. My first love is fantasy, but I also write historical novels. My two most recent books, Passion Blue and Color Song, are YA historicals with a touch of magical realism.

I'm also co-founder of Writer Beware, a unique anti-fraud resource that educates writers about the many scams and schemes that target them, and about the publishing industry in general. When Writer Beware started up in 1998, we hoped we'd eventually put ourselves out of business--but the growth of self-publishing and small press publishing over the past 10 or 15 years has given birth to a whole new range of scams. Writer Beware is busier now than it's ever been.

What else?...I'm a fanatical gardener, a bit of a health nut, a voracious reader and movie buff, and I spend way too much time online.

Kayla: Since your book Color Song, and the previous book about Giulia, Passion Blue, seem to be very art-centered, I have to ask – are you an artist in addition to being a writer?

Waiting on Wednesday (73): The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Witch Hunter
Virginia Boecker
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette)
Release Date: June 2, 2015

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, and of love and hate.

All I needed to read was witch and curse, and I was in. Then, I realized that it was an alternate-history London, so of course I want to read it. And then, there is that pretty pretty fire-ringed cover.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): The Unexpected Earl by Philippa Jane Keyworth

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Title: The Unexpected Earl
Philippa Jane Keyworth
Publisher: Madison Street Publishing
Release Date: September 20, 2014
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Six years after being jilted without a word of explanation, Julia Rotherham finds Lucius Wolversley standing before her once again--unexpected, unannounced, unwelcome. With her heart still hurting and, more importantly, her pride, Julia must chaperone her younger sister, fend off fortune hunters, orchestrate a fake engagement, and halt an elopement--all whilst keeping the man who jilted her at arm's length. But what Julia doesn't know is that this time, the Earl has no intention of disappearing, and this time, he has more than an explanation to offer....

Read an Excerpt

My Review

The Unexpected Earl felt a little bit like a Pride and Prejudice retelling. Julia and Wolversley were struck with both pride and prejudice. There was even a stubborn younger sister determined to ruin herself. It also felt that way because it was a really clean historical romance. There was possibly one kiss in the entire book, and definitely no steamy sex scenes. This worked for me, though, as I generally skip over sex scenes in books anyway.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall To-Be-Read List


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books on My Fall To-Be-Read List

1. The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas

I'm actually reading this one right now. I loved the first in the series, The Burning Sky. The series has some of my favorite tropes: mages, court politics and a tyrant to be overthrown.

2. Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews
October 28, 2014

A new series by Ilona Andrews! That's really all I need to know. I have an e-ARC, but I haven't brought myself to read it yet, because I'll be so sad when I finish it that I have to wait until next year for a new Ilona Andrews book.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

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Title: Chasing Power
Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind-things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers-and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

When she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel-a boy with the ability to teleport-he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.

My Review

I've only read one book by Sarah Beth Durst in the past, and I didn't really like it. (You can find my review HERE.) However, it did show me enough to know that Durst can throw some twists around, and how can I resist a book with a main character named Kayla?

Seriously though, I really had nothing pushing me to read Chasing Power - I didn't like Conjured, I haven't had much luck with super powers books, and I'm a book grouch of late. But I had a lot of fun reading Chasing Power because I love a good treasure hunt, and Kayla never lost herself to her hormones. *gives Durst a literary high five*

Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

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Title: Blackbird
Anna Carey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Acquired Via: Edelweiss

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

My Review

I noticed Blackbird because I have been meaning to read Anna Carey's other series, Eve. When I saw it was a suspense with a girl that has amnesia, I decided to read it. I love a good memory loss story.

I was a little taken aback by the second person narration. After a few chapters it didn't really bother me, but I never really felt like it added to the narration or story. Mostly, I kept wondering WHY it was in second person. It wasn't like in Stolen where Gemma is writing a letter to her captor. I think I eventually figured out why Carey wrote it in second person, or at least the purpose of it, but it could have easily been in third person and not lost anything. There are some other points of view that are in third person already. At first, I didn't like that the other points of view were limited, but I think it added to the story that the reader doesn't find out information ahead of the girl.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 Debut Author Bash (Interview & Giveaway): P.A. Warren

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Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2014 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring P.A. Warren and her debut novel, Life After.


Kayla: What inspired you to write Life After? Did one of the characters pop into your head first or the idea for the story?

P.A. Warren: The idea came from, well, Death is hard, and people forget how hard it is for the survivors, and those dealing with survivor’s guilt. That was the premise for the book.

Kayla: What was the most difficult part of writing Life After?

P.A.:Dealing with Hadley’s depression.

Kayla: What is your favorite distraction when you’re writing?

Banned Books Week #Giveaway Hop #2


Welcome to my stop on the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop hosted by Mary at Book Hounds and Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

What You Can Win

The prize is your choice of one of the books that has been determined to be most challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2013 and 2014 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2013 to March 2014 found HERE.

To find more controversial titles, check out ALA's list of Frequently Challenged Books.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Debut Author Bash (Guest Post & Giveaway): M.G. Buehrlen


Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2014 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring M.G. Buehrlen and her debut novel, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare.

Guest Post

Time Travel and Alex Wayfare
M.G. Buehrlen

When I set out to write about Alex Wayfare, the main character in The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare who has been on my mind since I was 16 years old, I had no idea the storyline would eventually involve time travel.

Here’s what I did know: This character in my mind kept waking up in different time periods, she couldn’t control this phenomenon, and she always ran into the same boy in each one. What I didn’t know was how or why this was happening to her.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stuck In A Good Book #Giveaway Hop #3


Welcome to my stop on the Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop hosted by the wonderful Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Valerie at Stuck in Books. There are three new books coming out next month that I'm really excited about that I'm featuring today

What You Can Win

You can enter to win your choice of one of the following books. To read my review and find out more about them, all you need to do is click on the cover.

I rated each of these either a 4 or 4.5 out of 5 stars, so they come with my seal of approval.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu


Title: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: October 7, 2014

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My Review

The Young Elites isn't my first Marie Lu book (I read and enjoyed Legend, but this is my favorite of the two. The book is a fantasy novel that reads like historical fiction - except for the part about the "superheroes", AKA "The Young Elites". The main character, Adelina, wasn't someone I fell in love with, but the atmosphere of the novel was more than enough to carry the book.

Waiting on Wednesday (72): Blood Magick by Nora Roberts


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Blood Magick (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy #3)
Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley Trade (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: October 24, 2014

County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.

Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.

Nora Roberts is one of my favorite romance writers. She is also one of the most consistent writers; even when she's not at the top of her game, the series are still good. It's also great that she writes a lot of her books in trilogies with a different couple in each book. My favorites of her paranormal trilogies are Sign of Seven and Circle Trilogy. While The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy isn't one of my favorites, it's still a good paranormal romance trilogy.

What are you waiting on this week?

Cover Reveal (Giveaway): A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii

1 comment:
I am excited to reveal the cover for A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii! This is a book for historical fiction TBR piles everywhere—six authors (look at that list!), one volume, the gripping story of Pompeii’s final days. And now you can pre-order your copy so that, come November 4th, you won’t have to wait...too much.

Title: A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii
Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Vicky Alvear Shecter, with an introduction by Michelle Moran
Release Date: November 4, 2014

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath...

Six top historical novelists join forces to bring readers the stories of Pompeii’s residents—from patricians to prostitutes—as their world ended. You will meet:

A boy who loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets;
An heiress dreading her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire;
An ex-legionary who stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished;
A crippled senator welcoming death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue;
A young mother facing an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls;
And a priestess and a whore seeking redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Buy Links
Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Authors

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

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Title: The Hook Up (Game On #1)
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Self
Released Date: September 8, 2014
Acquired Via:

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

My Review

When I first heard that Kristen Callihan was writing a new series, I was excited, because I love her Darkest London series. When I found out it was New Adult, I was apprehensive because New Adult is extremely hit or miss with me. I shouldn't have worried; The Hook Up was everything I could want in a New Adult.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I've Only Read One Book From But Need to Read More


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But Need to Read More

1. Sarah Beth Durst

I read and loved The Lost earlier this year. It was such a great novel of magical realism. You can read my review HERE. I have a few of her other books on my TBR and I'm scheduled to review her upcoming Chasing Power next month. You can read Kayla's review of Conjured HERE.

2. Sarah Ockler

I listened to and enjoyed The Book of Broken Hearts earlier this year. It was an awesome YA book, especially since it had an Argentinian protagonist and Puerto Rican love interest. I have both Twenty Boy Summer and Bittersweet on my TBR.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spotlight (Excerpt & Giveaway): Facing the Music by Andrea Laurence

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Title: Facing the Music
Andrea Laurence
Publisher: Pocket Star (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: September 15, 2014

In this sizzling and hilarious contemporary e-book romance, pop sensation Ivy Hudson returns to her small town to face her ex. Only trouble is, she made her Taylor-Swift-like career with the hit song “Size Matters”—and the football hero has had to live it down ever since.

Five years ago, high school sweethearts Ivy and Blake’s relationship imploded and both their lives were changed forever. Ivy became a rock star and Blake lost not only his dreams of a successful NFL career, but his reputation. Ivy’s angry song about their breakup, called “Size Matters,” hit the top of the charts and Blake became a national laughingstock. He’s salvaged his career and returned to Rosewood to be the high school football coach, regaining his status as town hero and leading the boys to the state championships.

When a tornado whips through town and destroys the high school gymnasium and stadium, a committee is formed to help rebuild and plan some charity fundraisers. Blake’s grandmother requests that Ivy return to Rosewood for the events. Forced back together for the good of their hometown and their careers, Ivy and Blake have no choice but to put aside their differences, stop running from their pasts, and finally face the music.

For fans of Kristen Proby and Colette Auclair, Facing the Music hits a perfect balance between small-town romance and big-time success. Follow Ivy and Blake as they fall back in love and figure out what does matter in the end...


Ivy pressed her hands against Blake's shoulders, pushing him gently until he was lying back on the blanket.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Whatever I want to.”

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley


Title: The Night Visitor
Dianne Emley
Publisher: Alibi (Random House)
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

In bestselling author Dianne Emley’s chilling new paranormal thriller, a beautiful woman’s romantic past comes back to haunt her in the form of an otherworldly visitor seeking justice.

Gorgeous and successful, Rory Langtry seemed to have it all. Daughter of a movie star and sister of a supermodel, Rory was engaged to sexy artist, Junior Lara. But her bright future went dark one terrible, bloody night that left her sister dead and the accused murderer—Junior—in an extended coma.

Now, five years later, Rory appears to have put the past behind her. She has a wonderful new fiancé and heads a successful cosmetics company. Yet dark secrets threaten. Across town, Junior lies close to death but before he departs he seeks to clear his name.

It starts with a feeling. It turns into a vision. Soon Rory is having sensations that only Junior could experience—from the horrifying to the erotic. Then she learns details about the awful night that only Junior could know, newfound knowledge with potentially fatal consequences. When another act of violence rocks her family, Rory plunges deeper into the unsolved mystery, led by an inexplicable visitor to a dangerous time and place where all will be revealed at last. But until then, Junior will not let her go.

My Review

I chose The Night Visitor because I thought it was going to be a creepy paranormal mystery given the name and the synopsis. I thought that there was going to be a ghost that showed up at night in Rory's dreams, which would have been creepy and spooky. After I realized that there would be no ghost stories, I was disappointed.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

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Title: The Magicians (The Magicians #1)
Lev Grossman
Narrator: Mark Bramhall
Publisher: Viking Books (Penguin)
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Acquired Via:

A thrilling and original coming-of- age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world.

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin's fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren't black and white, love and sex aren't simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.

My Review

I was somewhat aware of the existence of The Magicians, but I only decided to read it after a publicist at ALA firmly and fervently pressed a copy of The Magician's Land into my hands. I figured the least I could do for someone who felt so strongly about a particular series is to at least give it a chance.

I am kicking myself for not picking up this series years ago.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): The Hexed by Heather Graham


Title: The Hexed (Krewe of Hunters #13)
Heather Graham
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours


Devin Lyle has recently returned to the Salem area, but her timing couldn't be worse. Soon after she moved into the eighteenth-century cabin she inherited from her great-aunt Mina—her "crazy" great-aunt, who spoke to the dead—a woman was murdered nearby.

Craig Rockwell—known as Rocky—is a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's team of paranormal investigators. He never got over finding a friend dead in the woods. Now another body's been found in those same woods, not far from the home of Devin Lyle. And Devin's been led to a
third body—by…a ghost?

Her discovery draws them both deeper into the case and Salem's rich and disturbing history. Even as the danger mounts, Devin and Rocky begin to fall for each other, something the ghosts of Mina and past witches seem to approve of. But the two of them need every skill they possess to learn the truth—or
Devin's might be the next body in the woods…

My Review

Have you guys ever read anything by Heather Graham? I haven't before The Hexed, and part of why I didn't is 1) I don't read a lot of crime drama, and 2) my grandmother reads her books. Huge mistake on my part! I'm also glad that I didn't see the business of this being the thirteenth book in the Krewe of Hunters series, because this novel stands alone (as far as I'm concerned), and I would have missed out on a fantastic book! The Hexed has a lot of suspense, a little bit of paranormal, a bit of romance, and a ton of awesome.

Waiting on Wednesday: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Vision in Silver (The Others #3)
Anne Bishop
Publisher: Roc (Penguin)
Release Date: March 3, 2015

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

Anne Bishop is one of the best dark fantasy authors I have ever read. Written in Red was the first book I read by Anne Bishop, and I absolutely loved it. Murder of Crows was the perfect follow-up, so I have high expectations for Vision in Silver. This world is just phenomenal with its human-eating monsters. I had thought that this was just going to be a trilogy but I'm so excited that it looks like there are going to be 5 books.

What are you waiting on this week?