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Blood Bound

    My One Year Blogoversary: Giveaways

    I’ve decided to go a little giveaway crazy for my blogoversary this year. I promise if I make it another year I won’t have so many books for giveaway. But since this is my blog’s very first birthday, I decided to go overboard.

    As I don’t want to spread the posts out over a week, and I don’t want multiple posts each day, I’ve decided to pop all giveaways into this one post, linking out to the various forms so you can enter. And once this post goes live, I’ll update the blogoversary page to include the links there, too.

    You can enter every single one of the giveaways that you are eligible for. All giveaways are international, but two of the giveaways are for 18 and older since the books are not YA.

    UPDATE

    For those who are getting security messages when clicking to enter the giveaway forms, it may be because I have seven external forms and it’s triggering something with Google Chrome.

    I have updated the BLOGOVERSARY page HERE (or just click on the page tab above) to include all forms embedded so you can enter there and hopefully avoid the message.

    GIVEAWAYS #1-3 

    The books shown above are the actual books being offered for giveaway. I decided to separate them into three giveaways for better chances to win, because I don’t have four copies of each book, and also because not everybody wants each of the books.

    Giveaway #1

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    A copy of Beautiful Chaos signed by both Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. There are four copies up for grabs.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be four (4) winners.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Book will be sent via U.S. mail.

    6. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, November 20th. Winners will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Monday.

    7. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    ENTER HERE TO WIN

     

    Giveaway #2

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    A copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone signed by Laini Taylor. There are four (4) copies up for grabs.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be four (4) winners.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Book will be sent via U.S. mail.

    6. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, November 20th. Winners will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Monday.

    7. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    ENTER HERE TO WIN

    Giveaway #3

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    A copy of Dear Bully signed by five authors – Jessica Brody, Amy Koss, Melodye Shore, Nancy Holder and Lauren Kate. There are two (2) copies up for grabs.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be two (2) winners.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Book will be sent via U.S. mail.

    6. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, November 20thWinners will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Monday.

    7. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    <ENTER HERE TO WIN

    GIVEAWAYS #4-5

    I’m having two non-YA Rachel Vincent giveaways. One is for a copy of Blood Bound and there will be four winners. One is for a set of the Shifters series. All books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository. Each winner will get a signed Shadow Bound postcard, which sill be sent separately. The postcards are shown, above.

    Giveaway #4

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    A copy of Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository and a signed Shadow Bound postcard, sent separately by U.S. Mail. There are four (4) copies up for grabs.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be four (4) winners.

    3. You must be 18 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Book will be sent directly from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location. Postcard will be sent by U.S. Mail.

    6. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, November 16th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced by Midnight on Wednesday.

    7. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    ENTER HERE TO WIN

    Giveaway #5

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    One set of all six books in the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository plus a signed Shadow Bound postcard sent via U.S. Mail.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be one (1) winner.

    3. You must be 18 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Book will be sent via U.S. mail.

    6. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, November 16th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced by Midnight on Wednesday.

    7. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    ENTER HERE TO WIN

    Giveaway #6

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    A pre-order copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository. There are four (4) copies up for grabs.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be four (4) winners.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    4. Book will be sent directly from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location.

    5. Contest ends at 6:59 p.m. Pacific on Friday, November 11th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced by Midnight on Friday.

    6. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    ENTER HERE TO WIN

    Giveaway #7

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    One of the twelve books of my choice (shown above). There will be four winners.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be four (4) winners.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Book will be sent directly from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location.

    5. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. Pacific on Friday, November 18th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced by Midnight on Friday.

    6. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow but it’s always appreciated!

    ENTER HERE TO WIN

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    The Crush List #4

    Here are a few books that I’m crushing on big time

    Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent is a brand new crush and my very first one on an adult read since I started blogging last year. It’s a pretty fierce one as I’m still crushing and It’s been over a month since I read it.

    This is the first adult paranormal/urban fantasy series I’ve actually gotten excited about since I discovered Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. And I have a feeling this has now blown the door wide open to a whole new world of books I’ll be stalking.

    Why I’m crushing: A dark and dangerous world. Seriously wicked powers. A totally kick-a** heroine. A love that won’t die. A sexy and powerful hero. A murder. A mystery. Secrets. Lies. Betrayal. Heart-pounding action. Hot, hot, hot. And a cliff that will leave you hanging.

    Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout is a crush with a few miles on it, but is not one that’s ready to quit any time soon. The crush sparked to life before I even got a glimpse at the first page. I crushed on the idea of it before I even knew what to expect. The spark turned to flame when I read the novella and that flame turned into an inferno when I first read the ARC.

    Before the second read, the crush was still burning bright, and it continued right on through that last page turn and beyond. It’s gotten so bad that I just want to pick it back up and start all over again.

    Why I’m crushing: Forbidden love. Deadly enemies. A feisty and reckless heroine. The perfect smokin’ hot hero. All roads lead to heartbreak. Inescapable fate. Trouble on the horizon. A prophecy. I’m seeing broken triangles in the future. Secrets. Lots and lots of secrets.

    Between the Lines by Tammara Webber is a crush newbie and one I did not anticipate having. Aside from contemporary young adult books that would make my heartbreak row, I didn’t think I’d actually love one enough to be crushed. But I did. And I am.

    It hits that perfect balance between being light and fun and bittersweet and tension-filled. Just the right mix to give me an itty bitty crush and then some.

    Why I’m crushing: It’s flirty. It’s fun. It’s all sorts of yummy. Hot, but not too hot. Sad, but not the soul-sucking despair kind. A love story. Heartache but not heartbreak. Two very smexy boys. Not just surface fluff, this one digs way deeper.

    Weaving Destiny by G.P. Ching is a new crush piled on top of an existing crush. I have been crushing on The Soulkeepers since I read it last spring. But that crush was nothing compared to just how I’m crushing now that there are two books in this series.

    I honestly didn’t believe my crush would change all that much from book one to book two. I’m not usually one who loves a character switch-up, so there was some fear my crush might fade during the read, but it actually grew and I found a whole new set of things to crush on.

    Why I’m crushing: Bendy and twisty. Snarks and LOL’s. Girl power. A dance with Death. Calling all corpses. A quest times two. A secret world. An undecided future. A title that says it all.

    City of Bones is a seriously ancient crush, bordering on obsession. This series might have ended up on heartbreak row, if things had gone the way I thought they were going. I know I felt totally heartbroken at various points during my read of City of Glass, but fortunately City of Bones was all about the crush.

    And crush, I did. This one slammed me to the ground, knocked my breath from my body and left me reeling for weeks. I crushed so hard that I had to re-read it (and the other two books in the series written at the time) over and over and over again before the spell was broken and I could move on to another book.

    Why I’m crushing: The world – what a wonderful world. The writing – unbelievably stunning, vivid, bewitching writing. The characters – Clary=adorable, Jace=*sigh* *drool* *swoon* *faint* *sigh*. Original. Shadowhunters. Magical. Jace. Amazing. Jace. Heart-pouding action. Jace. Demons.

    ***

    No, I did not choose these books because purple- and green-toned covers look pretty on the same page. It was just happenstance.

    Of course there is another book with a green cover, releasing today, that I’m having a serious crush-attack on right now. (Hint, if you must have one: It’s by the author of the book on top of this crush list. Need I say more?) But as I already listed it amongst my past crushes, I can’t very well put it on the crush list again. At least this soon, anyway.

    No vampire books this time around, sadly. Although there may just be a vampire or two in one of them, they aren’t the focus so it just doesn’t count. But there are plenty of paranormals with super amazing abilities to keep me crushing for at least another month.

    Do you crush on books?

    What makes a book crushworthy for you?

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    The Extras: September

    Yes we’re back with this month’s “Extras” post. As some of you may already know…

    Whenever I find either a legal free download, an excerpt or sneak peek of a book online, I try to link to it in a related post or include the link in my sidebar (to your right).

    But once a month I’ll pop them into a post for a “one-stop shop” with a brief description. You may have previously seen some of these in my sidebar and one or two may still be lingering, well here they are once more in case you missed them. (My sidebar tends to have a LOT of info.)

    We have a few peeks at upcoming releases, just released books and some of them are just items that have been offered for free for awhile but you might have missed.

    I know I’m a little late this month, but better late than never. Especially for free stuff! And since I am a little late, I’ve included a peek at an October release I can’t wait for.

    ***

    Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl will be released in the U.S. on October 18, 2011.

    Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Beautiful Creatures series. The title really says it all. According to the description, when Ethan Wate returns home, Gatlin has gone haywire and is in complete chaos. If that wasn’t enough, his dreams, which are haunted, don’t seem to be staying dreams anymore.

    But the worst thing of all is that the description promises, “this time there won’t be a happy ending.”

    Oh. No.

    To get a look at the first thirteen pages, CLICK HERE.

    The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson will be released in the U.S. on September 20, 2011.

    The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first book in a new series of the same name. The second book, Crown of Embers is slated for publication in 2012 and the third book, The Bitter Kingdom in 2013.

    This is the story of a girl who is meant to fulfill a prophecy, who is secretly married to a king and whose enemies hunt her. It’s a story of a princess who meets a man who sees her differently from everyone else and to whom she may just fall in love.

    I’m intrigued.

    To get a long look inside courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.

    Enthralled by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Vincent and many, many more, will be released in the U.S. on September 20, 2011.

    Enthralled is an awesome collection of paranormal stories written by some of the top authors in the genre, including Rachel Vincent, Claudia Gray, Melissa Marr, Rachel Caine, Kelley Armstrong, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, with the common thread of “journeying” to tie them together.

    This has been a book I’ve been dying to get my hands on for months. I’m glad the wait is now less than two weeks.

    To get a nice long look inside, courtesy of HarperTeen, CLICK HERE.

    Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey will be released in the U.S. on September 20, 2011.

    Cold Kiss is author Amy Garvey’s young adult debut and it sounds absolutely heartbreaking. Wren loses her boyfriend in a car accident. She brings him back from the dead, but it sounds as if Danny isn’t quite who he used to be and she begins to fall for someone else.

    No matter what she chooses to do, I can’t imagine any of those choices being easy or being painless, and I do expect there might be some tears involved with this read.

    Once again HarperTeen is giving readers a long look inside, HERE.

    Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen will be released in the U.S. on September 20, 2011.

    Beautiful Days is the second book in the Bright Young Things series. If you haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Bright Young Things is currently being offered as a free eBook download at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (See the very next Extra in this post.)

    This series is set in 1929 during the Jazz Age in New York and follows Cordelia Grey, Letty Larkspur and Astrid Donal. This sequel continues their story during an age when the nights are filled with parties and excitement.

    And with a description that hints at even more danger, heartbreak and romance, this is a new series I can’t wait to discover.

    To get a sneak peek courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.

    Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen was released in the U.S. on October 12, 2010.

    This is the first book in a series set during the Jazz Age in 1929 New York. Two small town girls, Cordelia and Letty, head to the big city, one seeking stardom and the other trying to track down her father. And when they arrive, they discover a world that is opulent, exciting and dangerous.

    The story also introduces Astrid, a beautiful and wealthy flapper, who comes from a family with much to hide. Bright Young Things is just the beginning of each of their stories.

    Bright Young Things is currently being offered as a free eBook download at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and includes Bonus Material.

    To download the eBook from Amazon, CLICK HERE.

    To download the eBook from Barnes & Noble, CLICK HERE.

    Fateful by Claudia Gray will be released in the U.S. on September 13, 2011.

    This new book, with its beautiful cover, by author Claudia Gray is set aboard the Titanic where the passengers consist not only of humans, but of werewolves. While the future of the ship is certain, the fates of Tess, the main character, and Alec, the boy she falls in love with, are not.

    Whether it’s Alec’s dark past or the ship’s tragic end, things do not look promising for the future of these two characters, who have the odds seriously stacked against them.

    HarperTeen is giving readers a long look inside, HERE.

    Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst will be released in the U.S. on September 13, 2011.

    Drink Slay Love sounds like it will be a whole lot of fun and a story filled with all sorts of sarcastic goodness. The main character is a teenage vampire who happens to develop a conscience after being stabbed by a unicorn. A unicorn! And since she is able to see her reflection and walk around during the day, she may just be becoming human.

    As someone who is now straddling both worlds, she’ll eventually have to make a choice who to side with.

    And according to the description there will also be a few “gorgeous vampires,” and “handsome were-unicorns.” Yum?

    To take a peek inside on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

    ***

    And for another chance to take a peek at some of the books that are available now, check them out, below.

    Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey was released in the U.S. today, September 8, 2011.

    This story had me hooked from its opening lines, which coincidentally can be found in the long look inside provided by the publisher. Braden Michaels leaves for Belle Dam in an attempt to protect his Uncle. What he finds there, aside from the utterly gorgeous Trey, is a town that is in the middle of a feud.

    The line has been drawn between two families of powerful witches. Jason Thorpe on the one side and Catherine Lansing on the other.

    And caught somewhere in the middle of it all is Braden, with an incredible power that is important that he hide. Witch eyes. Which give him ability to see the world as it actually exists and to unravel any magic spell he encounters.

    To get a look at the first five chapters of Witch Eyes, which released today, CLICK HERE.

    Vanish by Sophie Jordan was released in the U.S. on September 6, 2011.

    This is the second book in the Firelight series by author Sophie Jordan. As I haven’t yet read the first book, I’ve been hiding from all conversation about this sequel and have refused to look at the description for fear of spoilers.

    But if this sequel is anything like Firelight is described, then this story will be just as magical and heartbreaking as the first and will continue the story for Jacinda, a girl descended from dragons, and Will, a hunter and enemy of her kind.

    The publisher, HarperTeen, is giving readers a long look inside, HERE.

    Pitch Dark’s Dark Days Sampler features excerpts from Supernaturally, Fateful, Cold Kiss, A Beautiful Dark and Eve. It was released on September 6, 2011.

    When I noticed this on Amazon last week I had to pre-order it. Although I have all the upcoming books pre-ordered, own a few of the ARCs, and have already read one of them, I just couldn’t pass up this free eBook sampler.

    While I have links in this post to excerpts of a couple of the books in the sampler, those links are to online reads, and by downloading the sampler you can take it with you almost anywhere.

    It is currently available as a free Kindle eBook download at Amazon, HERE.

    The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle was released in the U.S. on September 6, 2011.

    This book’s description tells a rather heartbreaking tale. It is the story of a teenage girl who loses her parents and her brother in a car accident. Her life in turmoil, she develops a connection with the boy whose mother also died in the accident and whose father is in a coma.

    While this book sounds like it will be so terribly, terribly sad, I am hopeful that the connection these two characters make will bring a spark of joy to this tragic story.

    The publisher, HarperTeen, is giving readers a long look inside, HERE.

    Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent was released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011.

    Blood Bound is an utterly addicting new series by author Rachel Vincent, aimed at an adult audience. This new world she created in the Unbound series is dark, gritty and electrifying.

    In this world, filled with the Skilled who have the ability to track you down with something as simple as a name, the danger of being found and bound to one of the two crime families that control the city is always present.

    This first book is Liv and Cam’s story and is definitely one not to be missed.

    To take a peek at the first chapter of this book on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

    The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore was released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011.

    This sequel to I Am Number Four in the Lorien Legacies is Seven’s story. The six that remain of the original nine who escaped from the Mogadorians are still in hiding. But Seven is ready to fight and has just been waiting for a sign.

    And John Smith’s escape may be just that.

    To check out the first five chapters on the book’s Facebook page, CLICK HERE.

    Dream Dark by Karmi Garci and Margaret Stohl was released in the U.S. on August 2, 2011.

    This short eBook novella, which also includes a peek at the first five chapters of Beautiful Chaos, is the story of Link’s transformation and is set before the events in the upcoming third book in the series.

    So as not to spoil anything for those who haven’t met Link, I have been purposely vague about just what kind of transformation Link’s going through.

    But for those who want to know more, a quick peek at this novella is available, HERE.

    Haunting the Night by Mara Purnhagen was released in the U.S. on August 1, 2011.

    This novella in the Past Midnight series is set before Beyond the Grave, the third full-length book. According to the description, instead of going to Prom and spending time with her boyfriend Noah, Charlotte Silver is looking for answers about everything that happened to her and her family.

    And it seems she may just get some.

    It is currently available as a free eBook download from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Wildefire by Karsten Knight was released in the U.S. on July 26, 2011.

    Really, what more can I say. Anyone who’s stopped by the blog knows just how much I love this book about these incredibly unique gods and goddesses and especially Ashline Wilde, a Polynesian volcano goddess with a serious kick-butt attitude.

    And for anyone looking for an ending that will absolutely rock your world, Wildefire is a book not to be missed.

    In case you haven’t yet decided to grab a copy, the publisher, Simon & Schuster, is still offering a nice peek inside, HERE.

    ***

    I have read a few, but not all of the books in the above list. And I have grabbed all the free eBooks for both my nook and my Kindle – which at the moment is DOA – but that’s what the Kindle App is for.

    I am super excited about these upcoming releases, and for those that have already released, well, they are some of my favorites. Most of these books I either own or I have pre-ordered, but for the ones I haven’t yet have a chance to discover, getting a free download or being able to take a long look inside is such a great thing.

    So, for your reading pleasure, I’ve included them here. Happy reading!

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    The Extras: Teasers #7

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past month.

    ***

    There were a few passages with a lot more heat, but I thought this perfectly chaste one was absolutely delicious. It only hinted at what was to come for the characters, and did it in such a way that left you wanting more.

    Just like this kiss, this passage was such a tease.

    Emma and Brendan:

    Brendan’s eyes searched mine as he slipped his fingers around my palm and pulled my hand up to his mouth, pressing his lips to the back of my hand. His kiss was featherlight, but I felt the imprint of his lips as they scorched my skin.

    As always with Maggie Stiefvater, I could have probably filled just this one post with all the amazing passages from this book. As it is, I had to shrink this scene down a bit to still be able to call it a teaser.

    I had another one of my favorite passages included in my review post, but as this one was a bit longer I saved it until now.

    Isabel and Cole:

    This kiss was so soft that it was like a memory of a kiss, so careful on my lips that it was like someone running his fingers along them. My mouth parted and stilled; it was so quiet, a whisper, not a shout. Cole’s hand touched my neck, thumb pressed into the skin next to my jaw. It wasn’t a touch that said I need more. It was a touch that said I want this.

    It was all completely soundless. I didn’t think either of us was breathing.

    Cole sat back up, slowly, and I opened my eyes. His expression, as ever, was blank, the face he wore when something mattered.

    He said, “That’s how I would kiss you, if I loved you.”

    It was really tough to choose the teaser for this book. I had saved at least ten passages I called favorites, and one I used in my review, leaving nine to choose from.

    As most of the passages aren’t of the lovey-dovey variety, as I found the sarcasm and humor in this book very much to my liking, it made it all the more difficult to pick a favorite. So, I took the easy way out and chose the longest.

    Lenzi and Alden:

    He fidgeted and then ran his hands through his hair. “Okay. Your fear is a turn-on. Protectors are stimulated when their Speakers are afraid. It’s what makes it possible to put you in harm’s way. Otherwise, our instinct to protect would trump everything and we’d never allow you to do your job, which is to put yourself in danger in order to resolve the issues that keep the Hindered Earth-bound.”

    Well, that certainly wasn’t what I expected. “Get out! You’re turned on by fear?”

    “And pain to some extent.” He winked and pulled his hand away.

    Since this series isn’t all about the romance, and there were so many fantastic kick-a** teasers I could have chosen, I just thought I’d mix things up a bit and choose something a little more romantic.

    Besides, I already included quite a few of my favorite non-sexy and non-spoiler-y ones in the review.

    But I will keep this a teaser and only reveal who one of the two lip-lockers are.

    Riley and…

    He delicately tipped her chin up with a finger. His eyes told her what he intended. And then he kissed her, without waiting for her verdict on the subject. Like the wine and the watermelon and everything else around them, the kiss was beyond what it should be. Every nerve in Riley’s body tingled, a Simon-level kiss on steroids. They kissed again, this time more deeply. Her body began to hum, like it was lit from within by a strange erotic fire.

    I took this tidbit from the middle of one of my favorite scenes in this book. I will not reveal the entire scene as it heats up quite a bit. I am also keeping quiet on just who is in the room with Emma.

    For that you’ll have to read it yourself. But this is absolutely scrumptious.

    Emma and…

    His eyes are black in the low light of the room. “Do you surrender?”

    My heart is pounding and I’m tingling from head to toe. “Surrender to what?” I whisper, my chest rising and falling, my eyes locked on his.

    His gaze doesn’t waver. “A kiss.”

    When I read this book I made notes about a number of my favorite passages – and there were quite a few. As I don’t tend to use post-its or other ways of marking my pages, I use the notepad feature in my phone to write down page numbers and reference words to refresh my memory when I go back to capture those lovely passages.

    Well, just to give a hint about just a few of my favorites, because I can’t list them all, here are some of the words I used – “hamburgers,” “free rides,” “skank,” “hooks,” “scarlet accusation,” and “boys suck.”

    Yeah, I told you this was an awesome book.

    Braden to Lucien:

    I rolled my eyes, grabbing my bag and throwing it over my shoulder. “Just be sure to water your skank,” I said as I passed him. “She’s looking a little shallow.” It was a completely inappropriate thing to say, but I walked out of his office with a smile.

    While Evie’s sarcasm always makes me grin, instead of choosing one of those many, many passages, I thought I’d include one that was much more of a teaser. And hopefully not too much of a spoiler.

    And as Reth is my other favorite character in this series, I couldn’t choose one without him.

    Evie and Reth:

    Reth fixed his depthless eyes on mine and took my hand in his. There were none of the forced flames from before, just reassuring pressure, like he was trying to anchor me. “I suppose the idea for you started about twenty years ago.”

    He traced a finger tenderly down my cheek. “It was a very bad idea from the start.”

    I am so heartbroken that I can’t include my favorite passage from this book. In my attempt not to be spoiler-y I have to leave it off. And I’m devastated.

    Because it’s good. Sooooo good. So unbelievably…well, I better stop now or this might tease you more than the passage I am including.

    And, even the passage I did choose had to be slightly redacted – note the ellipses – so as not to reveal any secrets.

    Liv and Cam:

    No, Cam was neither gullible nor truly optimistic. He was desperate. He needed to believe that there was some kind of greater good out there to give his life meaning…. And that desperation—that need to believe—was what stared down at me, when I was ready to die for him, and he was ready to live for me.

    ***

    It’s taken me a bit longer to get my teasers post together this month, but I’ve still managed to squeeze it into August where it should be. I hope to be closer to on time next month.

    As I once again passed along my copy of an ARC before actually noting my favorite passages, I’ll have to include the teaser for Frost in next month’s post after I get my finished copy from Amazon.

    I haven’t included teasers from all the books I’ve read in the past month and a half, as I decided it would be better to save a couple for the next post, which will be out sooner than this last one.

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    Review: Blood Bound

    Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent is the first book in her new adult series that was released in the U.S. on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

    It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback formats. The eBooks are available for pre-order and will be released on September 1, 2011.

    Published by Mira, an imprint of Harlequin, the print edition is 400 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    By blood, by word, by magic…

    Most can’t touch the power. But Liv Warren is special – a paranormal tracker who follows the scent of blood.

    Liv makes her own rules, and the most important one is trust no one.

    But when her friend’s daughter goes missing, Liv has no choice but to find the girl. Thanks to a childhood oath, Liv can’t rest until the child is home safe. But that means trusting Cam Caballero, the former lover forbidden to her.

    Bound by oath and lost in desire for a man she cannot have, Liv is racing to save the child from a dark criminal underworld where secrets, lies, trauma and danger lurk around every corner…every touch…every kiss.

    And more blood will be spilled before it’s over…

    ***

    Never tell anyone your full name. Never leave behind a drop of your blood. Because if you do, they will find you.

    Always keep the lights on. Banish every shadow. Because no locked door can keep them out.

    The Skilled have been around for years, and those who are the most powerful are bound to one of the two powerful crime families that control the city.

    So, unless you are extremely careful, incredibly lucky or exceedingly wealthy, they can see you, they can track you, they can instantly travel to wherever you are, they can blind you and they can bind you.

    ***

    What an incredibly imaginative, richly developed, dark, gritty and deadly world Rachel Vincent has created in Blood Bound, the first book in her new paranormal series.

    Blood Bound instantly transports readers into this action-packed and danger-filled story where the Skilled, with just a name or a sample of blood, can track someone. With just a shadow, can travel instantly from place to place, or with a word, can forever lock someone into an agreement they may never have wanted.

    While the Government refuses to recognize their abilities, the syndicates use them to gain the advantage. For years, these two powerful families have divided the city – Jake Towers controls the West and Ruben Cavazos, the East. Only the really wealthy or the incredibly lucky don’t have to show their allegiance to either.

    But being Skilled, and as good as Liv Warren was, meant that being unbound couldn’t last. Eventually she would have to choose sides or the choice would be made for her. And even if she wouldn’t have to pay the price for her indecision, someone else would. Most likely someone she cared about.

    When Liv is forced to accept an old friend’s plea to use her abilities as a Tracker to find whoever murdered her friend’s husband and assassinate him, she had no idea just how complicated things would become. With a fresh blood sample, the job should have been a simple one for someone with her Skill.

    But her past quickly becomes her present when she is asked to work alongside the man who was once the love of her life. The man she walked out on with no notice or explanation. The man she has tried desperately to stay away from. Cam Caballero, the man she still loved, even after six years apart.

    As Liv and Cam search for the killer and try to figure out why someone would want to harm an unskilled, unbound family man, they become ensnared in an even bigger mystery. One that is more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

    And when truths are revealed and secrets from the past are uncovered, the pieces to this puzzle slowly begin to fit together. But getting the answers they need may cost one of them their lives.

    Blood Bound is an intense, riveting and irresistibly seductive novel in this new series, with a whirlwind pace, tension that continues to build, and a story that reveals itself to be much more complex than first meets the eye.

    This story is set in a world where the undercurrent of violence is ever-present. Where the dark and seedy underworld is in control and there is nowhere safe to hide. Author Rachel Vincent has created an exciting, dark and sexy urban fantasy novel that is part mystery and part crime drama, with an intricate plot that reveals itself layer by layer as the story progresses.

    Blood Bound is an absolute must read and has everything that fans of the author have come to expect – twists and turns, surprises around every corner, electrifying chemistry between the characters and a build-up to an ending that will leave readers wanting more.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=6]. Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note:

    I don’t even think I can find the right words to describe just how madly in love I am with this new series. Blood Bound is just so unbelievably awesome. It grabbed hold of me and refused to let go. Not like I wanted it to.

    And when it dropped me after the last line on the last page I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. So now I have to live in torment until Shadow Bound comes out to find out what happens next.

    There are so many things I want to talk about – about Liv and Cam, about their past, the secrets, the lies, and especially what it means to be bound – but I can’t say a word. Every single time I try I end up revealing something huge.

    If I had a redacting pen, this page would be filled with line after line of cross-outs.

    So, I’m left with no option but to talk about how much I love Liv and Cam.

    Blood Bound is told from a dual perspective – Liv’s and Cam’s. I got to see things from both their points of view and that thrilled me to no end. I wasn’t sure at first, as I hadn’t gotten to know Liv well enough at the beginning, and I thought that splitting the views would make me less connected with her.

    At the start, it was hard to see past her tough exterior, where Cam’s emotions were an open book. But Liv began to open up and that shell did crack just a little. Enough to make me love her as much as I was able to instantly love Cam.

    Liv is seriously fierce and she is not one to take things lying down, that’s for sure. She’s extremely protective and loyal, but she isn’t so hardened that she is unlikable. Being a blood Tracker is a pretty wicked Skill to have, a little bit creepy, yeah, but overall really cool. And the way she deals with Cavazos is seriously bad-a**. She is definitely my kind of heroine.

    What is there to say about Cam? Sure, he is delectable, but his devotion to Liv makes him one of the most perfect heroes I’ve ever met. Yes, he may have kept one or two secrets, but so did Liv. And the lengths he’s willing to go just to be in her life… Well, I can’t talk about those. But just the fact that he will risk almost anything, will fight the…oh can’t talk about those either.

    Cam is undeniably sexy, strong and brave, ready to put his own life at risk, and perfectly balances Liv’s pessimism with his optimism. Even in this dark and dangerous world they live in.

    I went into this book with a mix of high expectations and trepidation. I’ve read the author’s young adult series and it’s in my top five. I knew I’d love the author’s writing style because I couldn’t imagine that changing just because this was a book for adults. But I hadn’t read her adult series, which I know is extremely popular.

    I have always been slightly wary of adult books in this genre. As much as I love paranormal books with an urban setting, some of the adult books are really more romance novel with a hint of the paranormal than paranormal books with a love story.

    This wasn’t one of those. At all. I was really crazy to be worried in the first place, looking back. That’s just not how this author writes. The story was the driving force – the murder, the missing girl, the complex plot that comes together so perfectly in the end.

    Yes, there was that delicious tension between the two main characters, and it was definitely way more sexy than any young adult book I’ve read from this author. The characters were in their late twenties after all. But it wasn’t a book filled with pages of lusty hook-ups, scantily-clad women and leering…okay maybe there was some leering involved…men.

    There was definitely some heat, but nothing eye-popping, and violence, but they live in a city run by two criminal enterprises, what else is to be expected?

    Did I love this book? Yes. Will I follow this series to the very end? No question. Am I chomping at the bit to read the Shifters series? Heck yeah. One thing’s for sure, Rachel Vincent has definitely made me want to try out some more adult books by my favorite authors.

    Since I clearly had a lot to say, even when I thought I couldn’t say anything at all, I will just leave off with the fact that my expectations were left in the dust. This went so far beyond them. And as far as my wariness? It disappeared at the start of the fourth paragraph.

    To read Chapter One from the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

    ***

    UPDATE: Book trailer for Blood Bound:

    This review is based on an ARC I received from the author in exchange for my honest review. The ARC for review was 445 pages.

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #34

    Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of August 23rd-August 29th that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Bloodlines by Richelle Mead will be released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, the print edition is 432 pages.

    Bloodlines is the first book in a new series by Richelle Mead set in the same world as her Vampire Academy series.

    ***

    Of course I have this one pre-ordered. I also have the second book in this series pre-ordered. I would like nothing more than to drop everything and read this book. The Vampire Academy series is one of my most favorite young adult series and just the opportunity to be able to go back to the world, even if not to the same characters, is so unbelievably tempting.

    I can’t wait to get to know Sydney a little better. I always liked her but never really got to know her from her role in the Vampire Academy books. And I can’t imagine how well things could possibly work out for Jill Dragomir at a human school in Palm Springs.

    I’ve been trying not to get my hopes up too much that we’ll get to see what’s going on with Rose and Dimitri, but I’m prepared in the event we won’t get the chance. No matter what, I just know I’ll love this new series, but I still can’t help but keep my fingers crossed that Rose, Dimitri and Adrian will pop in every once in awhile.

    Possess by Gretchen McNeil will be released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 384 pages.

    Possess is one the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    ***

    I have a signed ARC of this book, but I still have it pre-ordered to download to my Kindle. I did not get a chance to read it the other week, though I really wanted to, but I still plan on reading it later this summer or early this fall. This is not one I’m going to allow to sink too far down in the pile.

    This was one of the 2011 debut books that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. And as I spotlighted it for my “Book Watch” post a few weeks back I won’t be too repetitive now. But, I absolutely love this cover and the fact that the heroine in this story has the ability to banish demons. That sounds like a completely awesome power to have.

    I can’t wait to get just a little breathing room so that I can move this one back to the top of the pile, because from what I’d read so far Possess is definitely a book I will really enjoy.

    Nocturne by Christine Johnson will be released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 368 pages.

    Nocturne is the second book in the Claire de Lune series by Christine Johnson.

    ***

    I have owned Claire de Lune for what seems like forever, but haven’t had a chance to read it…yet. I traded for an ARC of Nocturne some time ago in the hopes that I would be able to catch up with this series before Nocturne’s release. Sadly, I wasn’t able to.

    I have given away my ARC, but the eBook will download on Monday Midnight to join the first book on my Kindle. I haven’t let myself peek at the description on Goodreads for this sequel as I don’t want to discover any spoilers for book one, but I’m hoping it continues Claire’s story and not just the story of the pack of female werewolves she has become a part of.

    This is another series that I really don’t want to get further behind on and I hope to be able to read both books back-to-back later this fall.

    Sweetly by Jackson Pearce will be released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 320 pages.

    Sweetly is the companion book to Sisters Red in the Fairytale Retellings series by author Jackson Pearce.

     ***

    This cover freaks me out to no end. I saw it in the bookstore this past weekend and I can see nothing but the spooky face created by the dark silhouettes of the tree branches. I’m glad that the eBook I have on pre-order doesn’t do covers justice or I think I’d have nightmares just looking at this cover. It’s definitely awesome, but so unbelievably creepy.

    I haven’t read Sisters Red but I do own it and hope to read it some day soon. But the story in Sweetly is much more appealing to me. I haven’t read many, if any, fairytale retellings, but I think a retelling of Hansel and Gretel sounds really interesting.

    From what I read in the description, I like the idea that it’s not keeping strictly to the original story, but offers something new. There’s still a boy and girl, a witch and a forest. But Gretchen sounds much more kick-a** than Gretel ever was, and instead of blindly wandering into a trap, Gretchen is ready to fight.

    But in this newly re-imagined fairytale the witch may not be the source of the danger or the missing girls. So there is a bit of a mystery and a love story in Sweetly and I can’t wait to find out more.

    Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent will be released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats.

    It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (Note: In eBook format, Blood Bound won’t be available for download until September 1, 2011.)

    Blood Bound is the first book in a new series for an adult audience by author Rachel Vincent.

    Published by Mira, the print edition is 4oo pages.

    ***

    I am in the middle of Blood Bound right now and I absolutely love this new series. I haven’t read the author’s other series written for an adult audience, so this is my first introduction to her books aimed at an older crowd.

    I decided to add this book to the Releasing This Week post even though the Kindle version which I have on pre-order won’t be downloading until September 1st, because August 23rd is the book’s true release date.

    I am such a huge fan of the author and own all her books in both print and eBook format, so I wanted to add this one to my electronic family. Besides, as the ARC isn’t personally signed to me, I have already promised it to another reviewer.

    I won’t talk too much about this book now, as I will be posting my review on Wednesday, but from page one you are sucked right into Liv Warren’s dark and gritty world where she is a Tracker who can find people by the scent of their blood. And she must try to find and save her friend’s missing daughter from the dark and dangerous underworld where she’s been taken.

    I can’t wait to finish writing this post so I can get back to reading and find out how everything turns out at the end of this dark, sexy and gripping paranormal novel. And I’ll be even happier when the finished copy downloads onto my Kindle and I have it added to my permanent collection.

    The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore will be released in the U.S. on August 23, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online to pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats. (Note: Barnes & Noble also has an exclusive edition available to pre-order.)

    Published by HarperTeen, a division of HarperCollins, the print edition is 416 pages.

    The Power of Six is the second book in the Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore. (Pittacus Lore is the pseudonym for James Frey and Jobie Hughes.)

    ***

    I had been on the fence about reading this series due to some of the negative press that surrounded the first book’s release. But when the publisher sent a copy of this second book for review I decided to accept it and purchase the first book in the series so that I could get caught up.

    I had seen the film version of book one, so I figured why not read the book. And so far I’m enjoying it much more than the movie, although I am picturing the book characters as the actors in the film. Although I’m not quite finished with I Am Number Four, as I am not one to have an incomplete collection, I decided to pre-order the eBook of The Power of Six.

    And, until I added the second book in the series to the pile, I had not been aware that this book is not about Six, but about Seven. Seven is just one of the six remaining beings from Lorien that are still alive and being hunted by the Mogadorians.

    From the description on Goodreads, it seems that Seven is still in hiding and waiting for a sign, wondering if John Smith is just that. Or if the girl from Seven’s dreams is. But Seven is not content to remain in hiding any longer and is ready to fight back.

    ***

    The time for slow release weeks is now over. There are six new books releasing this week that I am purchasing for my collection and next week is just as crowded with new releases that I must have.

    While not all of the above books will be read in the next few weeks, I am hoping to have them all read this year. I have grand plans. But then I always do.

    Even though I have six books pre-ordered, I still feel like I’m missing something really important. I’m just not quite sure what that is. But I’ll be keeping an eye on the Twitter timeline on Tuesday for any book birthday mentions so that I might snag any of the books that I missed. Better late than never, right?

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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    My Reading Pile #20

    It was a bit of a small mailbox week, but size doesn’t always matter. Yes, that’s a copy of Rachel Vincent’s upcoming novel, Blood Bound, which I received for review. But as it’s not personally signed to me I’ll be sending it along to one of my favorite bloggers when I’m done. And, yeah, I will be reading it this week.

    I also got duplicate copies of Shatter Me and Don’t Breathe a Word which I received from a trade with another blogger and which I’m donating to the YA Crush Tourney along with a couple other books.

    I hope to read Shatter Me and Don’t Breathe a Word really soon, but in the meantime…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (July 31-August 6, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Blood Bound, the first book in a new adult series by Rachel Vincent. I received this signed advance copy for review from the author and I just couldn’t wait until next week to start reading it, so I added it to this week’s pile instead.

    I’ve been stalking this book since the moment I heard about it on Rachel Vincent’s blog. I loved seeing the different cover options that were being debated, but it was the synopsis that intrigued me. A paranormal tracker searching the criminal underworld for a missing girl and being forced to rely on a forbidden lover to assist her, sounds both thrilling and tantalizing.

    This story holds the promise of danger and desire, with fast-paced action, an exciting paranormal element and a twisty-turny plot. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a non-young adult book and I’m excited for it to be Blood Bound.

    Next up is Frost by Marianna Baer. I had requested and received an advance copy from the publisher for review. I had acquired another copy from a trade – yes, I clearly wanted this book – but I passed that one on to another blogger.

    Frost won’t be released until mid-September, but as an early review was requested, I’ve added it to the pile this week.

    I wanted to read this book ever since I saw the cover a few months ago. The bluish-grey tones called out to me. Then I checked out the description and knew I had to read this book.

    Frost is set in a boarding school, and the main character, Leena Thomas, gets a new roommate for her senior year. Odd things begin to happen, but whether they stem from Leena, the new roommate, or something else, is what remains to be discovered. Frost sounds eerie, disturbing and chilling and is one of those books that is right up my alley.

    I haven’t decided whether this will be one of my late night reads, or one that is best left for daylight hours. Either way, I can’t wait to find out what happens at Frost House.

    My third book of the week is Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany. This is the second book in the 13 to Life series and it was released back in February. I will be reading an eBook finished copy which has been sitting in my to be read pile for way too long.

    I’ve added this book to the pile this week as I have a review copy of Bargains and Betrayals from the publisher, which I plan to read prior to its release date in mid-August. I can’t wait to get back into this series as I’ve really missed Jess and Pietr and I’m dying to find out what happens next.

    I had every intention of reading this on release date, but as is typical with blogging, favorite reads get set aside for required ones. But now that the third book in the series is a required read for me, I am not complaining about having to add this book to the pile this week.

    According to the book’s description, there is more danger and even more of a paranormal element than in 13 to Life. I can’t wait to find out if the Rusakova’s are able to free their mother and just where in the paranormal realm the author will take me.

    Last, but definitely not least, is Possess by Gretchen McNeil. I won an ARC of Possess in a charitable auction and as release date is right around the corner I decided, with a little help from Kreag of I Devour Books, to add this one to the pile this week.

    I just spotlighted it for my Book Watch post, and was completely drawn into Bridget Liu’s story. And yes, it’s dangerous to skim a book before actually reading it, but I did not venture into the last half of the book when doing so.

    Bridget has the ability to hear demons and banish them, and she uses her gift to help out a priest with his demonic possession cases. But getting involved with anything demon-related is asking for trouble and it seems that Bridget must figure out what the demons are planning before someone she knows gets hurt.

    After my brief “glances” through the book, and maybe getting caught up in the first five or ten pages, I knew that I would enjoy Possess. It feels like a quick read with a main character who will be incredibly entertaining to follow.

    As this is my fourth book on the pile this week I hope it doesn’t overlap with next week’s reads.

    ***

    What a terrible Witch Week this was. Although I had several witchy posts, I only ended up re-reading Witch Eyes and reading The Near Witch. And I still have to write my The Near Witch review for Monday or Tuesday’s post.

    Would I like to read Witch Eyes again? Yeah. It’s one of those books I can just escape into, but as it’s heading off to the post office to be delivered to another blogger, I am forced to say goodbye.

    And I really hope to do better this week, but I make no promises.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    I actually don’t have a true wishful thinking read for this week, because I am reading Forgotten Souls by Tiffany King and I’m making that my wishful thinking read. Forgotten Souls is the sequel to the author’s first book, Meant to Be and continues the story of Krista and Mark.

    I can’t say too much about it as I’m only about ten percent of the way through and I haven’t read a description of it, but I’m excited to see where this leads.

    Those left behind:

    This is one of those shame-spiral sections this week. I did not read Once a Witch or Always a Witch and I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get to read them. I will try to read them this week, or at least the first book in the series, and I will try my hardest not to let them move too far down in the to be read pile.

    I also have some catching up to do on previous week’s reads, but I may add them back into a future reading pile just so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

    And once again, I am ever hopeful of tackling all four books in this week’s pile. I’m keeping not only my fingers crossed but my eyes crossed too!

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.